Elaine Barber

Image of Elaine BarberElaine Barber began playing the harp at the age of ten, and began playing professionally in her native Mississippi four years later. She earned her master’s degree at the Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Beatrice Rose, and has been Austin Symphony Principal Harpist since 1992. Also an early music specialist, she plays baroque and renaissance harp with Texas Early Music Project, Austin Baroque Orchestra, Istanpitta and on the St. Cecelia Music Series. She has been featured soloist at the American Harp Society National Conference, and with Austin Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Shepherd Symphony, and Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. As an orchestral musician she has performed with Spoleto USA, San Antonio Symphony, Houston Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Mississippi Symphony and Mississippi Opera. She has performed with Ray Charles and Renee Fleming, for the King of Norway and the Governor of Mississippi, on movie and video game soundtracks and children’s TV shows. She plays with central Texas chamber music groups such as REVEL, Austin Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Musical Offerings, and Victoria Bach Festival. She has recorded for the Naxos, Nonesuch and Matador labels, and has premiered solo and chamber works by James Sclater, Peter Stopschinski, Gordon Jones, and P. Kellach Waddle. Ms. Barber maintains a private teaching studio in Austin and has been on the faculty of Austin Chamber Music Center, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Abilene Summer Music Festival, University of Texas Harp Camp, and Mississippi College. She is artistic director of the Girl Scout Harp Ensemble, probably the only Girl Scout troop anywhere made up entirely of harpists. She has two nicely grown children and a sweet old dog.