Grace Roepke is an international award-winning soloist and the newly appointed principal harp of the Louisville Orchestra. As the first and only harpist to be awarded the Grand and First Prize at the FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition, she has also received top prizes in numerous competitions including the American Harp Society National Competition, the Dutch Harp Festival World Harp Competition, and the Lyon & Healy Awards. As a soloist, she has appeared twice with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta and Sunny Xia, as well as with the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra under José-Luis Novo. Upcoming solo appearances for the 2022-2023 season include the performances with Long Bay Symphony with Charles Jones Evans and the Minnesota Orchestra with Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
As an orchestral musician, Roepke has performed as second harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra and Grant Park Music Festival, and has served as guest principal harp with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic and Quad City Symphony Orchestra. She has spent summers as a fellowship recipient at the Lucerne Festival Academy, Round Top Festival Institute and Texas Music Festival.
Passionate about exploring the capabilities of the harp, Roepke is a sought after contemporary music performer and collaborator. She has premiered a number of works, including Mammoth by Teddy Abrams with solo cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Air by Thomas Adès with solo violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and presented the live premiere of Time Lapse by Patrick Harlin as a part of Yolanda Kondonassis’ FIVE MINUTES for Earth Project. While a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she was a frequent soloist and chamber musician in CIM’s New Music Ensemble and worked closely with composers Marcos Balter, Sebastian Currier and Keith Fitch, among others.
In addition to her performance career, Roepke is a passionate music educator. She is a Suzuki certified teacher, having trained in the Suzuki method herself as a young student. Roepke currently maintains a private studio, offering both in-person and virtual lessons, and has been on the faculties at the Avon School of the Arts and the Gilmour Academy.
Roepke began her musical journey at the age of six, and is a proud third-generation harpist, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Grammy-nominated soloist Yolanda Kondonassis. Additionally, she received an Artist Diploma as an inaugural member of the Robinson Orchestral Career Fellowship, continuing her studies with Kondonassis as well as various Cleveland Orchestra musicians. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Maurice and Judith Kaplow Prize for Uncommon Creativity, the Jocelyn Chang and Michael Leese Award in Harp, and the Alice Chalifoux Prize in Harp. Roepke is a native of Chanhassen, Minnesota, where she was a student of Phala Tracy.
[Photo by Agnes Szlapka]