Harpist Heather Cornelius

About Heather

Heather Cornelius is a harpist from St. Paul, Minnesota. One of five contestants selected to represent the United States at the 12th USA International Harp Competition in 2022, Cornelius was named an honorable mention in the American Harp Society Foundation’s 2020 Anne Adams Awards. She has also received multiple prizes in the American Harp Society National Competition. Cornelius is currently developing a concert-presentation program that focuses on the experiences of musicians living with mental illnesses, and strategies for increasing these musicians’ success in music and in life.

Cornelius frequently collaborates with composers to help them create new music for the harp. She was awarded two grants from the American Harp Society to commission new works for solo harp and for harp and classical guitar. Two of her commissions are available for digital download from Lyon & Healy, a nationally recognized publisher of harp music.

Cornelius regularly performs with local orchestras, including the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra. Cornelius was selected to participate in the Orchestral Auditions platform at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff, Wales, in 2022. She is a trained Suzuki harp teacher for Books 1 through 4, and has also served as a harp mentor for harp students in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies.

Cornelius received her Bachelor of Music in harp performance, studying with world-renowned soloist and teacher Judy Loman, at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota studying with Kathy Kienzle, who served as principal harpist of the Minnesota Orchestra for 27 years. Cornelius also studied with Isabelle Perrin, harp professor and head of the strings department at the Norwegian Academy of Music, at the 2019 Académie internationale de harpe Pierre Jamet in Gargilesse, France.