Jeanne Norton is founder and director of HarpOhio, a performing ensemble for pre-college students, as well as a founding member of COSMOS, a viola-flute-harp trio, and harpist for Opera Naples (Naples, Florida). She has been principal harpist and soloist with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio and is substitute harpist for the Columbus Symphony. Ms. Norton has held the position of principal harpist and soloist with the Florida Symphony Orchestra and the American Festival Orchestra (Salerno, Italy).
She has performed with the orchestras of Akron, Atlanta, Canton, Charleston, and Wheeling as well as the Naples-Marco Island Philharmonic and the Lancaster and Cincinnati May Festivals. Strongly committed to encouraging new music for the harp, Ms. Norton commissioned two works by Harriet Bolz: Narrative Impromptu (for harp solo) and Repartee Rhapsodic (for flute and harp). In 2010 she premiered and recorded Jerry Casey’s Two Christmas Songs. In collaboration with Katherine Borst Jones, Ms. Norton commissioned a work for soprano, flute, and harp by Dale Warland and recorded a CD entitled Paradise. A recent collaboration with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra resulted in the commission and premiere of a concerto for flute, harp, and chamber orchestra by Stephen Montague entitled Disparate Dances.
Ms. Norton travels and performs frequently with the COSMOS Trio and has premiered commissioned works for the trio by Steven Main, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, Andrew Boysen, and Donald Harris (A Letter from Home). COSMOS released its first recording of these works on the MSR Classics label. In 1985, Ms. Norton served as national conference chair for the American Harp Society’s Salzedo Centennial Celebration. She is now a member of the Society’s board of directors.
Ms. Norton is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Alice Chalifoux; and she has also studied with Marjorie Tyre (harpist first of the Philadelphia Orchestra and later of the Metropolitan Opera). She joined the Wittenberg faculty in fall 2013.