Dotian Levalier, principal harpist of the National Symphony Orchestra, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Carlos Salzedo and Marilyn Costello. Before joining the National Symphony in 1969, she was the principal harpist of the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Ballet, the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, and the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company. Ms. Levalier has made numerous recital, television, and radio appearances as well as guest artist appearances with orchestras other than her own.
Ms. Levalier has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Emerson String Quartet, Theater Chamber Players of New York, and with the National Symphony at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and at Wolf Trap. Ms. Levalier and violinist Marissa Regni have given numerous duo concerts in the D.C. area.
In June of 2008 Ms. Levalier premiered Four Angels by Mark Adamo. The concerto was commissioned by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony, and was extremely well-received.
Ms. Levalier is active in the National Symphony Orchestra education department performing with the "Unlikely Trio" from Alaska to Maine during the orchestra's American Residencies. The trio also performs in the Kennedy Center and in area schools. Ms. Levalier also partners with NSO violinist Marissa Regni to present music programs for very young children in the Teddy Bear concerts. In 1994, in conjunction with the then-named Northern Virginia Youth Orchestras (now American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras), Ms, Levalier began a program to train young harpists in orchestral skills. This harp program has become the model for training young harpists in youth orchestra programs across the country, namely in the Maryland Classic, Seattle, and Portland (Maine) youth orchestra programs. This July Ms. Levalier traveled to Brazil where she will be on the faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas to coach and teach gifted young harpists. She will also participate in chamber music performances with students and faculty members.
She has performed concertos with conductors Andre Kostelanetz, Antal Dorati, Mstislav Rostropovich, Andrew Litton, Leonard Slatkin, and others. She records on the Erato, Sony, MSR, and Pro-Arte Labels.