STEPHEN FITZPATRICK

Lecturer in Harp

BIOGRAPHY

Stephen Fitzpatrick started playing the piano at the age of four. Three years later, he began studying the harp. After initial lessons in his native North Wales, he was accepted at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Marisa Robles. Further studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Edward Witsenburg and privately with Sarah Bullen in Chicago and Erika Waardenburg in Amsterdam culminated with a performance diploma in addition to the degree and teaching diploma he had already attained in London.

Stephen was principal harpist of the English Symphony Orchestra, co-principal harpist of the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra and Guest Principal Harpist at the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm. In 2000, he was chosen by Daniel Barenboim to be the principal harpist of the Deutsche Staatskapelle Berlin, where he still plays. He was harpist at the Bayreuther Festpiele from 2007 until 2014. He has freelanced with many world class orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Furthermore, he was regularly invited by Christoph von Dohnyáni to be Guest Principal Harpist at the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.

Stephen is active as a chamber musician in various ensembles which have performed throughout Europe. He is committed to contemporary music and has given critically acclaimed performances of works by living composers. He is a founding member of the Boulez Ensemble, formed in 2017 by Daniel Barenboim and combining chamber music from the classical and romantic period with landmark contemporary music.

He is regularly invited to be a jury member for national and international competitions as well as orchestral auditions and has given masterclasses throughout Europe. 

Stephen has been Professor for Harp at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Seville since 2004. In 2010, he was appointed Professor of Harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and in 2018 Visiting Professor of Harp at the Royal College of Music in London.