Elizabeth Hainen - Behind the Scenes
Elizabeth Hainen Principal Harp
Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.
Where were you born? Toledo, Ohio.
What piece of music could you play over and over again? Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.
What’s your most treasured possession? Cosmo, my Parson Russell Terrier.
What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Parc Brasserie.
Tell us about your instrument. My ebony and gold style #11 art nouveau harp was made by Lyon & Healy, Chicago, in 2012.
What’s in your instrument case? My concert clothes. A harp trunk is the perfect thing to keep your gowns from getting wrinkled!
If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? Béla Bartók: Why didn't you write a piece of chamber music that included the harp?!
What piece of music never fails to move you? Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss.
When did you join the Orchestra? 1994.
Do you play any other instruments? Not so much now, but I was an accomplished pianist and coloratura soprano.
What’s your favorite type of food? Italian: any kind of pasta.
What books are on your nightstand? Hard and paperback copies of Emma by Jane Austen, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (I wanted to read it before I saw the movie).
Do you speak any other languages? I attempt to speak a bit of French and Hebrew.
Do you follow any blogs? Jeremy Denk’s think Denk.
Do you have any hobbies? I’m a ski instructor PSIA certified Level II.
Do you have a favorite movie? Moonstruck.
Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Ginastera’s Harp Concerto.
What’s the last recording you purchased? Sheryl Crow’s “Shotgun” and Jeffrey Khaner’s British Flute Music.
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? I was age 12. My family took me to the Hill Auditorium at University of Michigan during the Orchestra's residency at the May Festival.
Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? The Tonhalle in Zurich, Switzerland.
Photo by Amanda Hall Studios