Mollie Marcuson Schiffer
American harpist Mollie Marcuson Schiffer has enjoyed a varied career as a symphony and chamber musician, freelance harpist, and teacher. Before relocating to Germany in 2012, Mollie performed regularly as harpist with the St. Paul (MN) Chamber Orchestra and was for five seasons the principal harpist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas. She has also appeared frequently with many other major American orchestras, including the Houston, San Antonio, Kansas City and Spokane Symphonies, has played under the baton of such eminent conductors as Hans Graf, Marin Alsop, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Stern, Andreas Delfs, Douglas Boyd, Eckart Preu, Claus Peter Flor and Gunther Schuller, and has shared stages with legends of both classical and pop music, such as Dawn Upshaw, Itzhak Perlman, and Gloria Gaynor.
Mollie is also an enthusiastic advocate for new music, and has shown consistent dedication to performing and promoting it. She served for two seasons as principal harpist at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA and performed regularly with Musiqa, a Houston composers' collective. She appears in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s 2007 recording of works by George Tsontakis, and recorded Karim Al-Zand’s Duet for Viola and Harp with violist Ab Sengupta for an album released in early 2009 ("Chamber Music of Karim Al-Zand"). She has premiered countless orchestral and chamber works by the likes of Tsontakis, Al-Zand, Osvaldo Goliov, Carter Pann, and David Heath, and has collaborated with many young composers on solo and chamber pieces for the harp.
Mollie began playing the harp at age seven in her home town of Kansas City. She received her bachelor’s degree in harp performance from the University of Minnesota in 2003, and her master’s degree in harp performance in 2006 from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Her main teachers were Paula Page, Alice Chalifoux, Deborah Wells-Clark, Kathy Kienzle, and Francis Miller.