Dr. Heaven Fan
Dr. Heaven Fan's performances have been described by critics as captivating, charming, and virtuosic. She has won competitions in Taiwan and the United States, including the national Anne Adams Competition of the American Harp Society, the National Taiwan Music Competition, and the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Award of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Lilly Endowment. She was invited internationally as a featured soloist in the MasterWorks Festival in Indiana, the Festival of Chinese Performing Arts in Boston, the Fukui Harp Festival in Japan, the Boston Harp Festival, the World Harp Congresses in Czech Republic and Switzerland, the International Harp Festival of Mexico, and with the Qingdao Municipal Opera and Dance Drama Theater Orchestra in China. Dr. Fan has just returned from performing and teaching in China where she was Guest Principal Harpist with the Yellow River Symphony Orchestra of China.
As a harp scholar, she is the first person to publish an in-depth analysis on the New Method for the Harp by the early 19th-century English harp virtuoso Elias Parish Alvars, which was published in the 2011 winter issue of the American Harp Journal. Dr. Fan has been elected as a member to Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society, and classified by the US Government as an Alien of Extraordinary Abilities in the Arts. She has served on the judging panels for the 2007 National Harp Competition in Taiwan, the 2008 and 2012 Young Artist's Harp Competition in Rabun Gap, Georgia, the Individual Artist Program of the Indiana Arts Commission for FY2012, the 2013 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarship Competition, and the Fourth International Harp Competition in Mexico 2016.
Dr. Fan has received her bachelor's degree with highest distinction in both harp and piano from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Griffith University) in Australia, and her master's degree, Artist Diploma, and Doctor of Music from Indiana University. Dr. Fan is currently on the faculty at Anderson University and a member of the artist faculty of the MasterWorks Festival. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Anderson University Harp Camp. Her students have won first prizes in national and international competitions and have held principal orchestra positions. In April and May 2017, Dr. Fan will be the guest masterclass clinician for the Central Illinois Roslyn Rensch Chapter's Auditions and Evaluations, a two-part program focusing on the improvement by participating in two events sponored by the American Harp Society.
Michelle Abbott is a well known harpist in Hong Kong where she performed regularly for over 20 years. During her time in Asia she was the principal harpist of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong for 10 years and also performed on invitation of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Her performance of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Hong Kong Baptist University choir was recorded and broadcast by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK). Additionally Michelle was an RTHK sponsored artist for a Recital of Nina Rota’s Quinetetto to critical acclaim.
During her time she taught harp simultaneously at HK Baptist University, HK Chinese University, HK University, and HK Academy of Performing Arts where she also trained local harpists in pedagogy and ran a successful touring harp ensemble. Michelle was a featured artist for the HK Arts Development Council and appeared at the grand opening of HK Disneyland where she was recorded with Disney’s the voice of Jasmine from Aladdin Vocalist Lea Salonga in a live televised event broadcast in Asia. Not satisfied with a career only based in Hong Kong, in 2011 Michelle toured the USA in support of Hong Kong Composer’s and performed solo contemporary harp works by Hong Kong composers at music festivals, solo recitals, lectures and master classes in Atlanta Georgia, Indiana University, Ball State University, University of Akron, and University of Delaware.
Following the US tour she was invited to UK and performed at The Royal Northern College of Music and at Robinson College, Cambridge University. Michelle as a cosmopolitan harpist entered a pop/classical crossover career via her representation of Tiffany & Co, BVLGARI Jewelry, Hong Kong Tatler Magazine, Hong Kong Shanghi Banking Corporation, Rolls Royce Motorcars, Lane Crawford Stores, Hennessy Cognac; Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Krug Champagne. Her media work includes a recording for Johnson & Johnson’s Asian broadcast TV commercial and an opening concert for II Divo in Hong Kong. She also enjoyed a concert series entitled Jazz (Electric) Harp Recital Series sponsored by Swire Properties.
In 2013 Michelle undertook the largest privately held harp archive in the world and is president of Vanderbilt Music Company and Lyra Music Company in her new role editing harp music. Her goal is to grow popularity of harp music by working with arrangers and composers to advance harp music in the global marketplace. She received her training from Kathryn Holm at the University of South Florida and Alice Chalifoux at the Cleveland Institute of Music. During her time in the US, Michelle performed on tour with the Cleveland Institute of Music Harp Ensemble and the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra. Michelle has undertaken a new endeavor in motivational speaking to university music students offering sensible advice on how to chart a unique career path and sharing humorous and inspiring experiences of being a working musician in Asia. She enjoyed invitations recently to speak at Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana State University and will speak at Arizona State University, Xavier University Ohio, Anderson Harp Camp as well as at a workshop presentation at the National Flute Convention in Michigan and the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong July 2017.
Dr. Fan-Fen Tai, Harp
“A pleasure of a [Handel] harp concerto….played dazzlingly by Fan-Fen Tai.” --The Herald-Times
“...Tai jump in on the third movement, setting the tone with the imitation of the open strings of a guitar at the start, then vaulting into a virtuoso tour de force that called for all manner of percussive action, intricate pedaling, coloristic nuance and kaleidoscopic mood. From the Bartokian grandeur of its midsection to the knife-edged urgency of its finale, Tai nailed the piece.
Harpist Dr. Fan-Fen Tai earned her DM from Indiana University in 2009, studying with Susann McDonald. She has an MM from the University of Arizona studying with Carrol McLaughlin and a BM from Taipei National University of Arts studying with Sophie Clavel.
Since 2010, she has been on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, coaching chamber music, directing the IU harp ensemble, and teaching college and precollege students. She served on the juries of the Taiwan Harp Competition in 2007 and the Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival in 2014 and 2016.
Tai was a prizewinner of numerous competitions including the Laureate Prize at the First Vera Dulova International Harp Competition in Moscow in 2000, Second Prize at Indianapolis Matinee Musicale in 2008, the winner of President’s Competition of University of Arizona in 2001, First Prize of Taipei Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition in 1995 and First Prize at The First Taiwan Harp Competition in 1993. She appeared as a soloist playing concertos with Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Asian Youth Orchestra, the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and the All-campus Orchestra of Indiana University.
An avid chamber musician, Tai formed BloomingDuo with violinist Dr. Ji-Woon Jung in 2014. In addition to performing existing repertoire for harp and violin, the duo has been working with composer Dr. Aaron Travers on new repertoire. In 2016, they premiered Vals for Susann at the 10th USA International Harp Competition and Three Dances. Previously, she was also a member of the trio La Follie (flute, viola and harp) performing at the National Recital Hall in Taipei in 2009, and the trio Syrix (flute, viola and harp) winning the “people’s choice” and the top prize in the Travel Grant Competition of Indiana University in 2007. While in Arizona, she was a member of Harpfusion, with which she performed in Russia, Switzerland and throughout the state of Arizona.
Dr. Ji-Woon Jung, Violin
Violinist Dr. Ji–Woon Jung has given numerous recitals and has performed internationally. Dr. Jung won prizes in the Busan, Chosun, Dong-A, and Seoul Artist Competition in Korea, and in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale, and Society of American Musicians competitions in the States.
As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Dr. Jung is a former leader of Joy of Strings in Korea, and a member of Arcturus Chamber Ensemble, based in Boston. Duo Jung–Carballo won the Premio Manuel M. Ponce in Aguascalientes, and the duo gave master classes and a concert tour in Mexico.
Dr. Jung earned her Master’s and Doctoral Degree from Indiana University where she has served as a faculty. She also attended the Korean National University of Arts, New England Conservatory, and Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.