Julie Smith Phillips

Principal Harpist of the San Diego Symphony since 2007, Julie Smith Phillips is one of the most prominent young harpists today, performing as both an orchestral musician and concert artist. Silver medalist winner in the 2004 USA International Harp Competition and Bronze medalist in 2001, her playing has been described as “precise” and “luminous” (American Record Guide). She made her National Symphony Orchestra debut in 2003 and has been honored in numerous competitions throughout the country including grand prizes in the Corpus Christi International Young Artist Competition and the Midland/Odessa National Young Artist Competition, both open to all instrumentalists.
Ms. Phillips regularly performs as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra. Her appearances include multiple performances with the San Diego Symphony, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. She has been a guest artist and opening recitalist for the 2006 & 2018 American Harp Society National Conference, recital soloist at the 2014 Lyon & Healy 150th Birthday Celebration, the 2007 USA International Harp Competition and Guest Artist for the 2010 Young Artist Harp Seminar in Rabun Gap, GA.
Ms. Phillips is equally experienced as a chamber and orchestral musician collaborating with renowned musicians across the country. A founding member of The Myriad Trio, she regularly appears on the San Diego Symphony Chamber Concert Series, Art of Elan, ECHO series, and the San Diego New Music Ensemble. She has performed abroad in Italy, Japan and Taiwan and with The Myriad Trio performed a 5-city tour in China. Her festival credits include the Bay Chamber, Festival Mozaic, Mainly Mozart, and Tanglewood Music Festivals, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. During the 2006-07 season she was the Acting Principal Harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and prior to that held the position of Principal Harp for the New World Symphony Orchestra (2004-2006).
Ms. Phillips is an avid promoter and performer of new music. Several works have been written and premiered by Ms. Phillips including Tree Suite for Harp by Hannah Lash, Cactus, a double concerto for harp and violin written by Michael Torke and premiered by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, The Eye of Night for flute, viola and harp by David Bruce, and Sonata, a trio for flute, viola and harp by Jeremy Cavaterra, both premiered by The Myriad Trio.
Formerly Associate Faculty of Harp at Arizona State University’s School of Music, Ms. Phillips maintains a private studio of students out of her home, working with harpists of all ages. She is a certified instructor in the Suzuki harp method and former faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Ms. Phillips also serves on the board of San Diego Chapter of the American Harp Society and directs the Nebraska Harp Workshop in Peru/Brownville, Nebraska.
Ms. Phillips has a solo album, The Rhapsodic Harp. The Myriad Trio also has a recording entitled The Eye of Night. Attending the Cleveland Institute of Music, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in harp performance where she studied with Yolanda Kondonassis. Her other primary teachers have included Alice Chalifoux and Patrice Lockhart. A native of Hastings, NE, Ms. Phillips began studying the harp at age eleven. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality moments with her husband and two young children.

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