Lakes Area Music Festival presents 'The Glass Salon'

The Lakes Area Music Festival’s Winter Series comes to a close with a long-awaited recital Friday, May 13, featuring Dallas Symphony harpist Emily Levin, with guests from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Artaria String Quartet.

Emily Levin 2021
Musician Emily Levin returns to the Brainerd lakes area to conclude the Lakes Area Music Festival Winter Series.

BRAINERD — The Lakes Area Music Festival ends its Winter Series with “The Glass Salon” recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts in Brainerd.

The concert will feature harpist Emily Levin of the Dallas Symphony, with guests from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Artaria String Quartet. There is no set admission fee to attend but tickets must be reserved in advance through the organization’s website.

“If you have ever wondered why the harp is so often miscast as a ‘feminine’ instrument, this is a concert you won’t want to miss!” Levin stated in a news release.

Emily Levin soloing at the Lakes Area Music Festival.
Contributed / Lakes Area Music Festival

Levin is the principal harpist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her playing has been praised by the Jerusalem Post for its “communicative, emotionally intense expression.” Levin brings the harp to the forefront of a diverse musical spectrum to connect with audiences.

“Join me in exploring the domestic roots of this ancient instrument and the groundbreaking ways female harpists and composers revolutionized the harp’s place in the musical world,” said Levin, who curated “The Glass Salon.”


Levin has also performed as guest principal harp with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony, and regularly appears with the New York Philharmonic.

As a soloist, she has performed throughout North America and Europe, in venues including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Rugen, Germany.

She appeared as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Other concerto performances include the Jerusalem, Colorado and West Virginia symphony orchestras; the Louisiana Philharmonic; the Lakes Area Music Festival; and the Indiana University Festival Orchestra.

For her debut album, “Something Borrowed,” the Classical Recording Foundation named her their 2017 “Young Artist of the Year.”

Levin is a prize winner at the two most prestigious harp competitions: the 2013 USA International Harp Competition, where she won the bronze medal, and the 2009 International Harp Contest in Israel, where at age 18 she was a finalist and recipient of the Renie Prize.

She is a 2016 Winner of the Astral Artists national auditions. She was named adjunct associate professor of harp at Southern Methodist University in 2019 and is also on faculty at the Young Artist’s Harp Seminar.

She received her Master of Music degree in 2015 at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen and completed undergraduate degrees in music and history at Indiana University with Susann McDonald.

Violinist Julia Choi and cellist Patricia Ryan will join Levin for “The Glass Salon” recital Friday in Brainerd.


Praised by The Classical Source for her “delightful idiosyncrasy” and “narrative sweep and involving performances,” Choi joined the first violin section of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2019.

Julia Choi headshot
Julia Choi
Contributed / Lakes Area Music Festival

Prior to her appointment, she performed as an extra with the Philadelphia and Metropolitan Opera orchestras, and has also appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota and Montclair orchestras; and the Atlanta, Detroit, New Jersey and the San Diego symphonies.

Throughout her career, she has worked in various orchestras with world-renowned conductors, and has also won top prizes in several competitions, including the LISMA International, Caprio Young Artist, and New York competitions.

She has received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School as well as a professional degree in orchestral performance from The Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Glenn Dicterow, Lisa Kim, Sally Thomas and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Ryan is the cellist of the Artaria String Quartet based in St. Paul and faculty of the Artaria Chamber Music School and Stringwood Summer Music Camp. She is also a core member of the Houston-based conductorless ensemble KINETIC and a member of Delphia Cello Quartet based in the Twin Cities.

She has performed with some of the world’s leading chamber musicians including pianist Emanuel Ax, the Pacifica String Quartet, violinist Geoff Nuttall, violist John Largess, Peter Slowik, and cellists Norman Fischer, David Geber and Jean-Michel Fonteneau.

Ryan has completed a second Master of Music at Rice University Shepherd School of Music, an artist certificate in chamber music and a master of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Patricia Ryan headshot
Patricia Ryan
Contributed / Lakes Area Music Festival

Ryan is the host of the podcast “Haydn Behind the Music Stand,” where she interviews classical musicians on their careers and inspirations outside the field.


“The Glass Salon” concert is the final in a series of nine concerts presented live at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts beginning last October, featuring favorite Lakes Area Music Festival artists and internationally acclaimed guest soloists.

This program will also be presented Thursday at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis where the Lakes Area Music Festival serves as artists in residence.

Tickets for “The Glass Salon” performance may be reserved online through the LAMF website with name-your-price admission (suggested donation $20). For assistance in reserving tickets, or more information, call 218-831-0765 or visit .

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