Hailed as “an accomplished, poised, self-assured performer” (New York Concert Review) with “breadth of expression and remarkable tone” (Choral Journal), virtuoso harpist Grace Cloutier trained at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and in France. She gave her solo Carnegie Hall debut recital in 2006, an encore solo recital in 2008, and a “Grace and Friends” concert there in 2014. Grace has performed for audiences across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, regularly appearing in recital for the American Harp Society, the World Harp Congress, and the Ukrainian National Music Festival. She co-founded Ukraine’s International Harp Competition, where she served as head juror of a panel comprised of musicians from Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. As a chamber musician, Grace performs regularly with Etherea Vocal Ensemble, and with Jennifer Black and Rebecca Ringle (both of The Metropolitan Opera). She has also appeared with Constantine Orbelian and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the Calder String Quartet, and many others. A dedicated teacher, Grace regularly gives master classes nationwide and has held multiple residencies at UCLA and served on the faculty at The University of Texas; she is currently head of the harp departments at both The Hartt School and Quinnipiac University.
Grace has been privileged to work with many respected conductors, including James De Priest, David Hill, J. David Jackson, Andrew Litton, David Robertson, Julius Rudel, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Alexander Vedernikov. She has performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with numerous composers, including David Lefkowitz and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Del Tredici, whose newest harp work, Aeolian Ballade, she commissioned and premiered at Carnegie. Grace was a substitute with the New World Symphony and won the position of Principal Harp with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed on Broadway, has given solo concerts for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump, and was honored to perform for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. On television, Grace has appeared on NBC, CNN, and CBS, and the national television networks of Germany, France, and Ukraine.
An active proponent for increased public awareness concerning the intrinsic value of music for all people at every stage of life, Grace regularly gives workshops for the young and has received the Gluck Fellowship from The Juilliard School for her work with victims of AIDS, the elderly, and children in the NYC metro region. In addition, she has been honored with a Presidential Point of Light Award for her musical contributions to Hospice.
Grace maintains an active concert schedule, and has been featured on numerous recordings, including Radiant and Winter Solace (HIP Records, 2004 and 2008), Ready for More (Three Monkeys Music, 2008), Ceremony of Carols (Delos, 2011), Introduction (Purple Critter, 2012), Hymn to the Dawn (Delos, 2013), Harp's Desire (Albany Records, 2014), and an album of Wagner and Elgar selections (MSR Classics, 2015).
Grace gratefully acknowledges harpists Nancy Allen, Mariko Anraku, Letizia Belmondo, Sarah Bullen, Deborah Hoffman, Susann McDonald, and Isabelle Perrin for their teaching, support and insight.