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Alison Read, Harpist: Bio

Dallas-based harpist, Alison Read, began playing professionally at the age of fourteen. She has performed with most of the orchestras in the Metroplex and surrounding areas, including the Dallas, Ft. Worth, Richardson, Sherman, and Shreveport Symphony Orchestras. Currently, she is principal harpist of the Abilene Philharmonic, the Abilene Opera, Garland and Las Colinas Symphony Orchestras, and Symphony Arlington. She has performed at the Utah Festival Opera and the New Hampshire Music Festival.

In 2001, Ms. Read made her Carnegie Hall debut as a guest of the Richmond Harp Ensemble. She made her European debut in 1998, when she performed as a soloist with the Varna Philharmonic in Varna, Bulgaria. She has been heard as half of a harp and organ duo on the nationally-broadcast radio program Pipedreams. Ms. Read was the only non-organist on a program of up and coming “twenty-something” organists.

Much in demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Read has appeared with a wide variety of instrumentalists and ensembles in the Metroplex. She has frequently accompanied the Arts District Chorale, the Plano Civic Chorus, as well as the choirs of Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, and First Presbyterian Church of Richardson. She often appears as a guest artist in recitals, including at Mt. Vernon Music, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas A&M at Commerce, Brookhaven College, and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. In addition, Ms. Read is a member of Octavia, North Texas’ only eight-member harp ensemble.

Her teachers have included Susan Dederich-Pejovich of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Alice Chalifoux, harpist emerita of the Cleveland Orchestra. In high school, Ms. Read was invited to study at the prestigious Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine. She then studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, where she was awarded the Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance and Music History. She earned the Master of Music in Harp Performance at Southern Methodist University.

In 1998, Ms. Read established a studio in Dallas to teach harp lessons privately to students of all ages. In 1999, she founded and directed the harp department at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas where she taught both in the Preparatory Department and at the university level until 2006.