The American Harp Society Foundation Board of Directors and Competition Committee are proud to announce the winner of the 2020 Grandjany Memorial Competition:
Hannah Cope Johnson, student of Prof. Jessica Zhou at New England Conservatory of Music
Hannah Cope Johnson began studying the harp when she was 5 years old. With a professional musician for a father, and a ballerina mother, Hannah grew up in a home saturated by the arts. These priceless, formative years of training prepared Hannah for numerous opportunities to perform, and she wholly enjoyed herself along the way. She is profoundly indebted to her family for their steady support.
Thanks to the encouragement of her musical family, Hannah was able to pursue her love of harp at the collegiate level; she recently completed her undergraduate studies with technique master Nicole Brady at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. Currently she has the privilege of earning her Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory, under the sage tutelage of Jessica Zhou of Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Hannah has consistently won top prizes from both the American Harp Society National Competition and the Lyon and Healy Awards. She has had the recurring privilege to perform as a masterclass student at the Lyon and Healy Summer Concert Series in Chicago, and has performed concerti with a full orchestra as a winner of several concerto competitions. In addition to solo work, Hannah finds great joy in orchestral playing. She has traveled as principal harp on international orchestra tours to Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, she has won fellowship positions at summer orchestra festivals such as Marrowstone Music Festival and Brevard Music Center.
When not practicing, Hannah loves to eat chocolate, play Mario Kart with her husband Ben, and snuggle with her kitty, Hobbes.
All of the finalists deserve our admiration for their fine performances. We wish them all the best in their future careers and look forward to hearing them often. We also thank all of the teachers, family members, and others who supported our finalists during this pioneer venture of an online competition.
We are very grateful to our dedicated and distinguished adjudication panel, each of whom delivered thoughtful and careful judging results for each competitor: Robert Sutter (Chicago, IL), Andrea Mumm (Charlotte, NC), and Courtney Hershey Bress (Lakewood, CO).
The Grandjany Memorial Competition winner will receive a $5,000 award. This competition was established in 1979 by the American Harp Society Board and was funded by Bernard Grandjany in honor of his father Marcel Grandjany. It was enhanced by bequests from Mary Wheeler and Hermine Herbring to continue performances and appreciation of the works of Marcel Grandjany.
With gratitude to all who helped make this competition possible,
American Harp Society Foundation Board of Directors and
Competition Committee, Frances Duffy, Director
Carrie Kourkoumelis, President
American Harp Society Foundation
Kathleen Bride, Vice President
Holly Avesian, Secretary
Penny Howk Beavers, Treasurer and Donor Relations
Karen Lindquist Speyer, AHS Liaison