Stacey Shames is recognized as one of the world’s foremost harpists, performing as concerto soloist, chamber musician and orchestral principal. She is celebrated for her luxurious tone and an expansive repertoire, which encompasses Scarlatti to the most current composers of today.
Since making her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall at age 14, Ms. Shames has appeared as concerto soloist with The Saint Louis Symphony, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Riverside Symphony, National Chamber Orchestra, and Juilliard Symphony, among others. This past season brought three performances of the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp with the New Jersey Symphony.
Her extensive list of honors includes First Prize in the AHS Young Concert Artist Competition, and a top prize in the 11th International Harp Contest in Israel. Ms. Shames’ busy performing schedule includes appearances at major international festivals with celebrated musicians from around the globe. Her career has featured collaborations with Renee Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, James Galway, Andreas Scholl, Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, and Gil Shaham, in numerous recording, concert and television appearances.
As principal harpist of the Saint Louis Symphony, Miss Shames performed, recorded and toured under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. She has also been principal of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Mostly Mozart Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and she performs frequently as second harpist with the New York Philharmonic. She currently enjoys a busy schedule of performances, recordings and tours as the solo harpist of the acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and of late, has been the acting principal harpist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Shames is a member of the Aureole Trio, the preeminent merger of Flute, Viola and Harp. The group has released nine recordings which include all of the standard repertory for the combination, as well as newly commissioned and championed works by such composers as ToruTakemitsu, Harrison Birtwistle, John Tavener, Nicholas Maw, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Jan Bach, and George Tsontakis. Also current are several discs, which cross into the popular and world music realm, including a collection of lullabies with soprano, Heidi Grant Murphy.
Ms. Shames began her harp studies at the age of six, traveled internationally as a young soloist, and attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying harp, piano and composition. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Nancy Allen.