International prizewinning harpist Abigail Kent has just finished her 2 year touring as the harp ambassador for the American Harp Society as “Concert Artist.” With this prize, she presented 25 solo recitals and taught 18 masterclasses throughout the US. She was also a featured harp soloist for the 2017 World Harp Congress in Hong Kong, a Laureate Finalist at the 2017 Classics Alive management search in Los Angeles, and named the February 2018 “New Artist of the Month” for Musical America International Magazine. Most recently, she was awarded the 2019 Silver Medal at the Medallion International Concerto Competition.
Her earlier awards include Finalist for 2016 International Harp Competition in Hungary, Winner of 2015 American Strings Teachers Association Senior Harp National Solo Competition, and Winner of “Play With Pros” Concerto Competition, performing with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the 2013 Saratoga Harp Colony.
As an orchestral harpist, she is Guest Principal Harpist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Principal Harpist for “Symphony in C” in New Jersey, and plays often with the New World Symphony. Additionally, she has performed at summer music festivals around the world including Spoleto Festival USA, Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), and the Aspen Music Festival. She has performed internationally in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Southwark Cathedral in London, and Konzerthaus in Berlin, and has performed under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Jurowski, and Ken Lam.
An avid proponent of new music, she has premiered commissioned works and solos written for her including dahlianum by Andrew Hsu, The Star at Night and The Angel at Dawn by Ben Yee-Paulson, and The Tolstoy Trio by Nicholas Bentz.
A multi-instrumentalist, Ms. Kent has studied classical piano, cello, and mandolin as well as Celtic harp and tenor banjo, and began her classical pedal harp studies in 2010 first with Judy McCoy, then Anastasia Jellison, Jacquelyn Bartlett, Catherine White and Elizabeth Hainen. In 2014, she completed a Jazz harp course with the legendary Park Stickney. Abigail has also worked with Susann McDonald, Jana Bouskova, Maria Luisa Rayan, Anneleen Lenaerts, Catrin Finch, Ina Zdorovetchi, Karen Vaughan, Chantal Mathieu, Skaila Kanga, and Isabelle Moretti.
Ms. Kent studied for a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and then was selected as the Maryjane Mayhew Barton Fellow at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she graduated with the Landis Award for Excellence in Academics. She went on to obtain her Masters of Music degree as a Presidential Scholar at the Mannes School of Music in New York City, studying with Emmanuel Ceysson, Principal Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree as a C.V. Starr Fellow at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen, Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic.