Harpist Lauren Hayes distinguishes herself in the areas of contemporary music, ensemble performance, and harp instruction. She performs frequently as an extra musician with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and as a substitute harpist in the Chicago Harp Quartet in their 2020 series. She serves as the Principal Harpist for the Chicago Composers Orchestra, presenting 4-6 premiere concerts per season. Most recently, Lauren appeared as a guest harpist with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Swedish National Orchestra. Lauren was a Harp Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for the summer of 2018 performing under conductors including Andres Nelsons, Thomas Ades, and Stefan Asbury. In 2019, she was an Artist in Residence at the Caroga Lake Music Festival (NY). Lauren received her Master of Arts in Harp with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in 2016, under the tutelage of Karen Vaughan and Skaila Kanga. While at RAM, she also pursued an emphasis in Music Business as well as studying for the LRAM teaching certificate. Upon completion of her Masters, she accepted a position as a Teaching Artist with the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble in Atlanta, GA where she worked with more than 80 harp students. In 2017, she began her studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University pursuing a Professional Diploma in orchestral studies in harp with professor Lynn Williams. Additionally, Lauren serves as a Teacher for the Chicago Harp Ensemble, a harp and piano instructor at the American Music Institute and House Call Music, maintains a private harp studio, and served as a teacher in the Harp Column Academy’s 2017 Summer Camp.
As an active chamber musician, Hayes is a core member of the contemporary chamber ensemble Chamber Cartel in Atlanta, GA, has been featured on the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Chamber Music Series in Wisconsin, the St. Phillips in the Hills Chamber Music Series in Tucson, AZ, and organized a chamber recital at the Janesville Performing Art’s Center entitled From London to Janesville, which was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. Hayes has given several USA premieres of contemporary works by Dominic Murcott, Aaron Jay Myers, Anthony Donofrio, and JP Merz. Most recently Ms. Hayes was featured on rapper Noname’s album, “Room 25”, recorded the music for “Brawl in Cell Block 99”, premiering at the Venice Film Festival in 2017 and recorded “Young Bloods” for the RADA Festival in London. Additionally, she was featured in the premiere of Bruce Broughton’s harp quartet, Dancing for Love, Dancing for the Gods.
Following her 2012 Carnegie Hall solo debut, Ms. Hayes was awarded third prize in the 2013 American Harp Society National Competition. In 2015 she was named as a finalist in the London Philharmonic’s “Foyle Future Firsts” Fellowship Program for up and coming orchestral musicians. Prior to commencing her studies at RAM, she was selected to participate in the festival MusicAlp in Tignes, France for two summers. As a 2012 winner of the University of Arizona President’s Competition, Ms. Hayes appeared as soloist with the Arizona Symphony. Also in 2012, Ms. Hayes was selected to be a participant at the International Harp Master’s Academy in Bern, Switzerland. During 2011, she was selected as a finalist in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition.
Originally from Whitewater, Wisconsin, Ms. Hayes has won various performance awards and received recognition at the state and national level for her solo composition for harp and electronics, entitled Impressions of Glacier. Ms. Hayes has served as the Principal Harpist of the Athens Symphony Orchestra (GA), a substitute Principal Harpist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra (NC), Augusta Symphony Orchestra (GA), and the Macon Symphony Orchestra (GA). She has performed with London’s Orion Symphony Orchestra, the Aldwych Sinfonia, the Saffron Walden Symphony, the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble, the Arizona Symphony, and the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra. Hayes was also a member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Hayes has been an active member of the American Harp Society, the World Harp Congress, and Sigma Alpha Iota. She serves as a group leader and volunteer with the non-profit, Sharing Notes, that specializes in bringing live music into Chicago-area hospitals and cancer treatment centers. She holds a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, in harp performance from the University of Arizona where she studied with Dr. Carrol McLaughlin.