Kelsey Molinari – Harp
Raised in Thiensville, WI, Kelsey Molinari began studying harp at age 11 and quickly became one of America’s most in-demand harpists. From 2005-2008, Kelsey was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, touring the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She worked with some of today’s leading conductors, including James Levine, Paavo Järvi, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta and several others. Kelsey has also participated in the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. During the 2008-2009 season, Kelsey performed as acting substitute principal harpist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her appointment, she toured with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall on two occasions and worked with maestros Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Charles Dutoit, Esa Peka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach, and others.
She can be heard on the Chicago Symphony’s Grammy nominated CD featuring Stravinsky’s “Symphony in Three Movements.” In January and February 2011, Kelsey was the guest principal harpist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for its European tour which included performances with the orchestra and Maestro Gustavo Dudamel in Lisbon, Madrid, London, Paris, Cologne, Budapest, and Vienna. In January and February 2012, Kelsey was invited by Gustavo Dudamel to return to the LA Phil as guest principal harpist in its Mahler Project, a complete survey of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler performed by the LA Phil and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in both Los Angeles and Caracas, Venezuela. The Mahler Project culminated in a performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony, the “Symphony of a Thousand.” In Caracas, Venezuela more than 1,400 musicians were involved. The concert was broadcast live to movie theaters across the world and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Kelsey’s solo performances have drawn critical acclaim. The Chicago Tribune described her as “a splendid harpist.” The Chicago Sun-Times dubbed her an “outstanding soloist.” Kelsey performs with several orchestra throughout the Midwest including the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She is also on faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Kelsey completed her bachelors and masters of music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University with Sarah Bullen, principal harpist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys cooking and golfing with her husband TJ, a lawyer in Milwaukee. In April of 2014 they welcomed their first daughter, Maria.