American harpist Chloe Tula is the third-year Harp Fellow with the New World Symphony (NWS), under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and is currently based in Miami Beach, Florida. After her NWS debut in 2017, her playing was recognized immediately as "exquisitely contoured" (South Florida Classical Review). Uniquely at ease as both a featured soloist and orchestral musician, Ms. Tula has enjoyed a varied career spanning across the United States.
In demand for the musicality and clarity she brings to the orchestra, her orchestral engagements have included performances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Opera, in addition to her current position with the New World Symphony. She has worked with conductors from all over the world, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Spano, Andris Nelsons, Mark Wigglesworth, Thomas Adès, Pablo Heras-Casado, Stéphane Denève, John Adams, and John Williams. She also has had the privilege of sharing the stage with international legends Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Itzhak Perlman, and Augustin Hadelich.
Recently, Ms. Tula was a 2019 Harp Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. In previous years, she attended the Aspen Music Festival and School for two consecutive summers as a scholarship recipient, where she studied with Nancy Allen (Principal Harp, New York Philharmonic) and Anneleen Lenaerts (Principal Harp, Vienna Philharmonic). She has also appeared as Principal Harpist of the Lakes Area Music Festival.
Since making her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the age of sixteen, Ms. Tula has established herself as a prizewinning harpist. She was a top prize winner in the 2019 Ima Hogg Competition, resulting in her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony, performing Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. In 2018, she won the opportunity of her concerto debut with the New World Symphony, in highly acclaimed performances of Glière’s Concerto for Harp, during which her "precision and verve were manifest" (South Florida Classical Review). In 2014, she won the Anne Adams Awards, a biennial national competition for solo harpists sponsored by the American Harp Society, as well as first prize in the Mildred Milligan Harp Competition.
Ms. Tula recognizes the need for being a multi-faceted advocate for music. In the 2018-19 season, she launched a recital series titled “Tales from the Harp” in a partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Library System to promote children's literacy and exposure to the harp in South Florida. In her first season at NWS, she worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas to curate “Double Take” - an immersive evening concert that brought visual and musical arts together for new audiences at New World Center, encouraging audiences to visually experience and react to the music of Schoenberg and Debussy through drawing and artwork. Through NWS, Ms. Tula has had the privilege of serving as guest faculty at the Iberacademy in Medellín, Colombia. During her time at Rice, she was a recipient of the Sviatslov Richter outreach grant from the Shepherd School of Music and performed a recital series for children in hospitals throughout the Texas Medical Center. Ms. Tula continues to work closely with her hometown youth orchestra — the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra — to maintain a scholarship fund for students, in memory of her late father.
A Wisconsin native, Ms. Tula received her Bachelor’s degree — graduating magna cum laude “with Distinction in Research and Creative Works” — from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she studied with Paula Page, former Principal Harpist of the Houston Symphony. Prior to that, she studied with Danis Kelly, former Principal Harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera. When not in Miami, she enjoys spending time with her partner, Francesco, at their other residence in Eugene, Oregon.
About the New World Symphony
The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 31 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,100 alumni worldwide.
A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’s extensive distance learning via the internet.
NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony and home of the Knight New Media Center.
In the hopes of joining NWS, more than 1,500 recent music school and conservatory graduates compete for about 35 available fellowships each year. The Fellows are selected for this highly competitive, prestigious opportunity based on their musical achievement and promise, as well as their passion for the future of classical music.