Carlos Salzédo

Carlos Salzedo (6 April 1885 – 17 August 1961) was a French harpist, pianist, composer and conductor. His compositions made the harp into a virtuoso instrument. He influenced many composers with his new ideas for the harp's sounds through his work with the International Composers' Guild. His many harp students performed in prominent orchestras.

Salzedo started studying at the Paris Conservatory at age nine and won the premier prix in harp and piano when he was just 16. He started his solo recital career at age 18, and moved to the United States of America six years later, playing harp with the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. He toured extensively with the Trio de Lutèce, where he played harp with Georges Barrère on flute and Paul Kéfer on cello. After being drafted into the French Army during World War I, Salzedo returned to the United States and continued touring with the trio. He developed a method of using gestures in his harp method, inspired by dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. He organized the Salzedo harp ensemble with his harp students, and also a harp trio. He performed as a soloist with many orchestras and organizations.

He co-founded the International Composers' Guild with Edgard Varèse in 1921, and was an active participant in many other societies to promote harps and new music. In addition to forming a summer harp colony in Camden, Maine, he founded the harp department at the Curtis Institute of Music in 1924 and taught at Juilliard School until 1937. He developed new techniques and notations for these techniques, which he used extensively in his compositions after 1919.

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