Katherine Ventura

Harp Faculty (Suzuki and Traditional)
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Suzuki Education
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts, Master of Music, Harp Performance; 2010

Carnegie Mellon University, Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors, Harp Performance; 2008

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Sarah Bullen, Principal Harp, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Gretchen Van Hoesen, Principal Harp, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

My goal is to provide a positive environment in lessons where students will learn how to use the harp as a vehicle for self expression. Lessons are fun and engaging and tailored to meet the needs of each student. Everybody learns differently! I focus on proper technique and relaxation to prevent any potential injuries down the road. Aside from harp, I use games for rhythm and ensemble skills, integrate solf├Ęge and theory, and use things like stickers to motivate students. Both encouraging and demanding, I will help students to play their best, while building their self confidence. Skills learned in music lessons will translate to successes in their lives. Performance opportunities will be provided both at the Music Institute and in offsite outreach venues.

Awards and achievements: 

-Accepted by audition, has attended the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC), Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO), Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen, CO), Courchevel Music Alp Festival (France), Saratoga Harp Colony (Saratoga, NY), and Interlochen Music and Arts Academy (Interlochen, MI)

-Finalist, Principal Harp, Hong Kong Philharmonic

-First Prize, Chicago College of Performing Arts Concerto Competition

-Finalist, American Harp Society Anne Adams Awards

-First Prize, Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist Solo Competition

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Substitute Principal Harp, Second Harp with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (present)

Guest Principal Harp with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London (2014-2015)

Substitute Harp with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Fort Wayne Philharmonic (present)

Substitute Harp with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (2011-2013)

Principal Harp, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Switzerland (2012-2014)

Faculty, The People's School of Music (present)

Guest Faculty, Sun Valley Summer Symphony Music Workshops, Idaho

Interests outside of music: 

Cooking (and eating!), Languages (currently studying Italian, have also studied French, Japanese, and Russian), Travel, Hiking, Biking, Reading, Museums

Favorite quote: 

"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

Favorite practice tip: 

Slow. It. Down. And, don't get discouraged and forget why you love music in the first place!

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Whatever piece I'm working on at the moment! So right now, that is Fantasy in C-minor by Louis Spohr. Orchestral music: Mahler, Ravel, and Debussy (best harp parts!)

Favorite musical moment: 

Sitting next to my first teacher, Gretchen, in the Musikverein (Vienna, Austria), recording Mahler 2 live, in the hall where Mahler used to conduct.