Artist Bios

Lori Gemmell, harpist

Lori Gemmell has been a musician all her life. Growing up in Montreal, as the child of a Presbyterian minister and a musically passionate mother, singing, and playing music were her natural state of being. She taught herself the flute in high school, played trumpet in the band, and spent her weekend mornings at harp lessons at L'ecole Vincent D'Indy.

Between an undergraduate and Masters' degree from the University of Toronto, Lori played summers with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, studying with the octogenarian Alice Chalifoux, and a year in Paris, studying with Catherine Michel.

Busking in Toronto and Montreal, Lori gradually began building a career that took her to harp positions with Orchestra London, The Calgary Philharmonic, a chamber music residency at the Banff International Festival, on the frontlines of new music at the Darmstadt Festival in Germany and touring Europe and Japan with Montreal's Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne.

In 1999, Lori won the position of Principal Harpist with the KWS, where she still plays today. One year later she was a prize-winner at the Canadian Concerto Competition. She also has been a teacher for many years, both with a private studio and a faculty position at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Lori has earned a strong reputation among Canadian Composers for her passion and dedication to their music. Over the years she has worked closely with R. Murray Schafer, Srul Irving Glick, John Weinzweig, Alexina Louie, Glenn Buhr, Marjan Mozetich, Jeff Ryan and many others. In addition to all of that, Lori also makes time for playing and creating with others in small groups. In recent years she has made chamber music with Yo-Yo Ma, Joseph Silverstein, Sara Sant'Ambrogio, Jamie Parker, Joe Macerollo, Oliver Schroer, Mark Fewer, Robert Cram, Etsuko Kimura, Camille Watts, with singers Patricia O'Callaghan, Monica Wicher and Julie Nesrallah and Feist. She also plays in the Four Seasons Harp Quartet, and in her duo with Jennifer Swartz.

Lori has one solo recording, Prelude, and a harp duo recording, The Garden of Peacocks. She is married and lives in Toronto.

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