rita costanzi

rita constanzi and alain trudel

“An Artist of immense gifts….”  Vancouver Sun

Harpist Rita Costanzi resided in Vancouver for 28 years and was one of the city’s most recognizable artists, sharing her talents as concert performer, recording artist, actor, teacher, composer, writer and Arts Advocate. Formerly Principal Harpist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, she subsequently became Solo Harpist of the CBC Radio Orchestra and on the faculties of the University of British Columbia School of Music, the Comox Valley Youth Music Center and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. Having established an international reputation as an artist of rare depth, sensitivity and “exquisite virtuosity,” she was soloist with orchestras across Canada and with every major arts organization in Vancouver. As a recipient of commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council, she premiered many new works written especially for her, including three monodramas with harp. The West coast Music Awards nominated her solo Classical CD, Of Fields and Forests for “Best Classical Album”. Vancouver Television introduced her in its series Pacific Profiles featuring prominent and unique individuals living in Vancouver and CBC Radio’s Tapestry devoted a documentary to her work playing for the terminally ill. Her fourth and most recent CD, Song of the Stars, an album of Celtic music for contemplation and healing, received a Five Star rating from CBC Radio’s Sound Advice, and her latest composition, Beneath Her Heart, for Women’s Choir, Children’s Choir and Narrator, was premiered by Vancouver’s Elektra Women’s Choir in April, 2008.

Invitations from the Tanglewood, Marlboro, Chautauqua, Sitka and Bellingham Festivals, the World Harp Congress, Cambridge Music Conference and Musikfest Horwelten reflect her status as an internationally acclaimed artist. Rita Costanzi’s inspired performances and teaching at the Brazilian FEMUSC International Festival were featured on global television and in numerous newspaper articles. In addition to her yearly association with FEMUSC, she has also been engaged in Brazil as Artist/Teacher  at Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordao, Rio Harp Festival and Festival MIMU. Recently, she adjudicated and performed at the Montreal Symphony Standard Life Competition and was invited to give a week of Master Classes for the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra “Sistema” and Brazil’s Neojiba Youth Orchestra Programs. In 2013, she returned to Caracas as teacher and concerto soloist with The Simon Bolivar Orchestra.

Rita CostanziCostanzi’s distinguished teaching career includes Master Classes in conjunction with her solo appearances as well as at the Juilliard and Eastman Schools, the Peabody Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the University of Toronto School of Music, McGill University, the Glenn Gould School and New York University where she subsequently taught for three years as Adjunct Professor of Harp.

After relocating to New York City in 2007, Rita Costanzi began a collaboration with Director Arthur Masella of Hal Prince’s Office, on a one woman show which made its sold-out, award-winning New York Debut at the United Solo Theatre Festival (the world’s largest) in 2011, and was also featured at the Ottawa International Festival, The World Harp Congress in Sydney and for a week’s run in Melbourne.

Currently, a new one-woman theatrical show with harp is being written for her by renowned performer/producer/presenter, Hershey Felder, based on a collection of Vignettes about her life that she has written. The show and book will be launched in the 2017-2018 Season.

Ms. Costanzi’s training began at an early age under the guidance of her father, the noted violist Francis Tursi, and harpist Eileen Malone. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music with Highest Distinction and the Performer’s Certificate, she furthered her studies with Bernard Zighera, Marcel Grandjany, and in France on an ITT International Fellowship with Jacqueline Borot. She was twice winner of the American Harp Society’s National Competition and reci'pient of the Lily Laskine Award for the most outstanding solo harp recital.

Rita Costanzi can be found at: