Biography

harpist . composer . recording artist

Canadian harpist and composer Sharlene Wallace performs, records and teaches on both lever and pedal harps. Sharlene is the winner of the Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Lever Harp Competition (USA) and the Dinan Concours d’Improvisation de Rencontres International de Harp Celtique (Brittany).

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 solo as well as with bass player George Koller, the Winter’s Eve Trio (Sharlene,  George Koller, bass and Joseph Macerollo, accordion), and Ron Korb (woodwinds). In 2016 Sharlene joined the touring Christmas ensemble Harp & Holly (Sharlene, Celtic harp, Sandra Swannell, vocals, fiddle and viola, Terry Young, vocals and finger-style guitar, Rob Ritchie, vocals and keyboard and Juanita Wilkins, vocals).

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
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 composed many pieces for harp and harp ensemble as well as commissioning numerous works for harp by Canadian composers such as Evelyne Datl, Loretto Reid, William Beauvais, Kirk Elliott, Nancy Telfer, Rodney Sharman, John Beckwith etc.. Sharlene’s mentor, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, wrote Niagara Moon for her to perform at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, BC.

Sharlene has taught harp workshops across North America as well as regularly for CAMMAC in Quebec and Island Mountain Arts in Wells, BC. She also teaches both lever and pedal harps at York University, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Guelph. Her own harp performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman.

Sharlene has been guest soloist on both Celtic and pedal harps with orchestras in Kingston, Belleville, Timmins, Sarnia/Port Huron, Stratford, Oakville, London and Guelph. These performances have included orchestrations of her compositions (eg Acacia Street, Winter Frieze). Sharlene is principal harpist with Kingston, Oakville and Guelph Symphonies.