Sebastian Lipman

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‚ÄčFrench Australian harpist Sebastien Lipman began his harp studies under the tutelage of Madame Suzanne Chardon at the Grenoble (France) Conservatorium at the age of only seven while attending the intensely musically focused Berlioz primary school, and at a later stage, the Charles Munch high school as part of the only such specialized program available in France, limited, on an audition basis, to outstanding musical talents.

He pursued his Musical training, age fifteen, in Chicago, under the expert guidance of Mr Edward Druzinsky-Solo harpist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, while a high school exchange student in the USA, for one year.

Upon his return to France, he immediately and successfully auditioned and was accepted to enter the famed "Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris" (founded in 1796) in the class of Mr Gerard Devos, at the exceptionally young age of 16.

As a student, he participated actively in such Music camps as the Norwegian National Summer academy, and, the National Music camp in Interlochen, Michigan, (USA), where he won all available competitions, allowing him to perform as solo harpist of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra during the entire duration of the Summer, as well as a concerto soloist, in the 4000 seat Kresge auditorium and, as a Chamber Musician, as a honour recitalist.

To complete his musical studies even further, he returned to the USA, where, in 1986, he obtained an Artist Diploma with high honours, from Indiana University(USA), home of the world's largest harp department, as a student of Susann McDonald-Distinguished Professor, Artistic Director of the World Harp Congress, chair of Indiana University Harp Department, and former Professor at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was the very first student to be awarded an Artist Diploma in harp in the history of Indiana University. (Often ranked as the leading music institution in the USA)

In 1985, barely twenty year old student, he competed, and became a finalist in the oldest International Harp competition, the Israel International Harp Competition, held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Privately, he has also had the good fortune to study with such mentors as Marielle Nordman, and Martine Geliot as well as with the legendary Lily Laskine, at the International Academy, in Nice, France.

His first engagement, in 1986, immediately upon his graduation, was as the harpist of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, while also performing with the Norwegian Opera Orchestra, and, freelancing and touring overseas with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Mariss Jansons. (BBC Proms, France, Spain.)

For National radio networks, he has recorded extensively major solo harp repertoire, in France, Germany, Norway, South Africa and Australia, and, has, independently, released two solo CD's.

In 1987, he was appointed as Solo harpist of the 120 member strong Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Herbert Von Karajan. He was only the fifth harpist in the position of Principal harpist, since the creation of the orchestra in 1882, as well as the youngest member of the orchestra.

In the following years, in this tenured position, he performed, toured and recorded (Sony, Philips, etc...) extensively, with such distinguished world famous conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Georg Solti, Andre Previn, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Andrew Davis, as well as with numerous extraordinary soloists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jessye Norman, Ithzak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, etc... 

Touring included performances for the BBC Proms, in Royal Albert Hall (London), Carnegie Hall (New York), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Musikverein (Vienna) as well as for the Salzburg and Luzern Festival, on numerous occasions.

In 1995, Sebastian joined the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University as lecturer in harp, where he has developed Australia's leading harp class, composed of both Australian and overseas students.

He has served as harp tutor for MOST, and the Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute.

He combined his teaching activities in Brisbane, with master classes overseas, as well as with performances as a concerto soloist  (Berlin Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra) and as a solo recitalist, in all Australian capital cities, as well as on all continents.

As a performer and teacher, he has been on numerous occasions, a guest of the National Music camp (Australia) and, the Fukui and Soka festivals (Japan) where he was both a performer and member of the jury for the Soka International Harp competition, playing for and meeting the Empress of Japan.

Overseas teaching activities included Trinity College-London, the Central Conservatory (Beijing-China), Taiwan, and Tokyo, as well as Indiana University where he was guest Assistant Professor, replacing Distinguished Professor Susann Mc Donald for the longest period of her first sabbatical in fifty years.

Overseas concerts include performances at Northwestern University (Chicago), at the Kennedy Centre (Washington DC), in Tokyo and Kanazawa (Japan), as guest with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, at London's Covent Garden Royal Opera House as guest principal harpist and, on numerous occasions, as guest principal harpist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2006, Sebastien Lipman and Sayo Lipman formed the husband and wife duo "Lipman Harp Duo". As such, they have performed extensively nationally and internationally, over 100 concerts in four years. In 2006, they released their first CD "Harp Fusion" and have released their second CD, Internationally, for the Naxos label, in late 2007. They embarked on a tour from Brisbane to Cairns in April 2008. In March 2009, they undertook their first world tour, performing to great acclaim in Tokyo, Paris, Cairo, Washington DC, Toronto and Salt Lake City. Furthermore, they have released their third CD, entitled "Arpeggio", and their fourth CD "Dualite"for the "Harmonious Resonance "label. Sebastien Lipman performed at the 2009 Australian Festival of Chamber Music.