Sunday, April 22, 2007
ANYONE attending a symphony concert can spot the gorgeous, gleaming harp, even from the last row of the last balcony. Children and adults alike gasp at the size of it, at its sparkling gold crown towering above the musicians. Lou Anne Neill, principal harpist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the last 24 years, remembers the first time she glimpsed a harp in the back of an orchestra. "I couldn't see the strings from where I was sitting," she says. "I just saw hands move through the air, and these beautiful sounds were coming out of the instrument."
The harp came into its own thanks to 19th and 20th century composers as well as Harpo Marx, above in “A Night in Casablanca” from 1946.
(The Kobal Collection)