harpist . composer . recording artist
Sharlene Wallace is one of Canada’s most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harpists. Playing both Classical/pedal and lever/Celtic harps has led Sharlene to copiously diverse musical influences and opportunities.
Winner of two international competitions, the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (Tucson, Arizona) and the Concours d’Improvisation de Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique (Dinan, France), Sharlene has created 7 independent CDs – the rhyme & the river, Journey of Shadows, Beyond the Waves, Island Mountain, Anticipation, a collaborated CD with Susan Piltch, Q&A, a Celtic harp duo CD with American Celtic harpist Kim Robertson, and most recently In Night’s Deep Silence with bass player George Koller. These albums feature many of Sharlene’s compositions inspired by her explorations in South American, Celtic, Classical and contemporary music and by her close connection with the Canadian landscape.
Sharlene has also been involved in commissions for the lever harp by numerous Canadian composers such as John Beckwith, Bruce Mather, Nancy Telfer, Evelyne Datl, Kirk Elliott, Loretto Reid, William Beauvais, Rodney Sharman as well as South American harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.
Sharlene tours internationally giving concerts, workshops, masterclasses and adjudications. She has performed in numerous festivals and concert series across North America and in Europe including Celtica and the Workshop Internazionale di Arpa (Italy), Musicora (Paris, France), Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON), World Harp Congress (Vancouver, BC) Harpcon (St. Louis, MO), The Harp Gathering Festival (Ohio, USA) and Vancouver Island Musicfest (BC), Stratford Summer Music Festival (Stratford, ON), International Divas Concert Series (Toronto, ON).
Sharlene performs in duos and trios with George Koller (bass) and Joseph Macerollo (accordion), with Ron Korb (woodwinds), Ben Grossman (hurdy gurdy and percussion) and Susuan Piltch (flute, piano). In 2016 Sharlene was invited to join Harp & Holly, an annual touring Christmas show with Sandra Swannell (fiddle, viola, vocals) and Terry Young (fingerstyle guitar, vocals). Arrangements of ancient carols, jubilant seasonal favorites and poignant storytelling performed on Celtic harp, acoustic guitar, violin, and voices create this tapestry of yuletide magic.
Sharlene is on the music faculties of York University, University of Guelph and Wilfred Laurier University teaching both Classical and lever harps. Her own performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman, O.C.. Sharlene is Principal Harpist with the Kingston, Guelph, and Oakville Symphonies.