Sebastien Lipman


The French/Australian harpist Sebastien Lipman began his harp studies at age seven in the class of Suzanne Chardon, at the National Conservatoire, in Grenoble, France. Harp studies there were part of an intensive and competitive program, combining musical and general education at the Berlioz primary school and at the Charles Munch College. At 15, while an exchange student in the U.S., Lipman continued his training in Chicago, under the direction of Edward Druzinsky, Principal Harpist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon his return from the U.S., he actively participated in the class of Lily Laskine, at the Nice International Academy. A year later he was admitted to the class of Gerard Devos at the Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique de Paris. In 1983 he attended the National Music Camp in Interlochen, where he was a concerto performer, honor recitalist, and first harpist of the World Youth Symphony.

Later, Lipman won a harp scholarship to Indiana University, where he attended the class of Susann McDonald. He graduated in 1986 with the first ever “Artist Diploma” in Harp, with “high distinction.” During this period, he was also a finalist in the International Harp Contest in Israel.

Professional engagements have included: solo harpist with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a permanent position with the Norwegian Opera Orchestra. He has recorded and toured with the Oslo Philharmonic under the direction of Mariss Jansons. In 1987, Lipman was appointed solo harpist of the Berlin Philharmonic, under Herbert von Karajan. At age 22, he was their youngest member. He has recorded with Karajan, Maazel, Mehta, Barenboim, Muti, Abbado, Solti, Rattle, Davies, Menuhin, Jansons, Haitink, Previn, Levine, Osawa, and others.

Since 1995, Lipman has been based in Brisbane, Australia, where, at the Queensland Conservatorium – Griffith University, he has created the largest and most active harp class in Australia, while performing solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and giving masterclasses in all major cities in Australia, and, overseas, in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. He is currently lecturer in Harp at the Queensland Conservatorium – Griffith University.

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