Carlos Salzedo

Reprinted by permission of the Publisher, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Letter on File.


SALZEDO, CARLOS (b. April 6, 1885, Arcachon, France; d. August 17, 1961, Waterville, ME). American harpist and composer of French birth. He studied at the Bordeaux Conservatory (1891-94) and graduated in piano and harp from the Paris Conservatoire, where his father taught singing, in 1901. He moved to New York in 1909 and was first harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (1909-13). In 1913 he founded the Trio de Lutece with Georges Barrere and Paul Kefer. He helped to found the International Composers Guild in 1921 and from 1921 to 1932 edited the Eolian Review, later names Eolus, a Review for New Music. In 1923 he became an American citizen. He inaugerated the harp department at the Curtis Institute in 1924 and in 1931 the Salzedo Harp Colony at Camden, Maine. Honorary doctorates were awarded to him by the Philadelphia Musical Academy (1937) and the Curtis Institute (1949). His pre-World War I harp compositions published in Paris (opp. 1-28) are graceful works whose harmonic vocabulary recalls Ravel. In the USA he became more and more astringent, leaving at his death a second harp concerto with numerous parallel triads contrapuntally interwoven in an athletic idiom. He succeeded in bringing harp literature abreast at least of Hindemith.




With Lucile Lawrence- Modern Study of the Harp (New York, 1921, 2/1948); Method for the Harp (New York, 1929); The Art of Modulating (New York, 1950)

Major Compositions

(Available from Vanderbilt Music)

Ballade; Christmas Harp Collection, Conditioning Exercises, Iridescence, Lamentation, Preludes Intimes, Quietude, Scintillation, Sketches for Harpist Beginners, Suite of 8 Dances, Theme and Variations on Haydn, Variations sur un Theme dans la Style Ancien, Whirlwind;

(Available from Lyra Music)

Annie Laurie, Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms, Chanson Chagrine, Chanson dans la Nuit, Deep River, Dixie Parade, Fraicheur, I Wonder as I Wander, Introspection, Juex d'Eau, Jolly Piper, Londerry Air, Poem of the Little Stars, Prelude (Ravel), Prelude for a Drama, Prelude in the Nature of an Octave Study, Recessional, Song of the Volga Boatman, The Last Rose of Summer, Traipsin' Thru Arkansas, Turkey Strut, Two New Wedding Marches, Two Wedding Marches.

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