Taiwanese-American harpist Noël Wan (1994) explores intersections between corporeal expression, identity, and the social agency of performance; she is influenced by the politics of 20th century avant-garde sonic & visual landscapes and narratives of empowerment in the aesthetics of Janelle Monáe, Nao, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill. Motivated by current issues of social equity in classical music, Noël's doctoral research contextualizes the dramaturgy and composition of Georges Aperghis' Fidélité within a feminist/new materialist intervention of harp organology and praxis.
Acclaimed as a performer, Noël made her international debut in 2010 performing Alberto Ginastera's Harp Concerto with the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra and appeared on the Dutch Radio 4 program Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw. As a soloist and orchestral harpist, Noël has performed concerts at the Muziekgebouw, the Vredenberg Leeuwenbergh, Eslite Hall, Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Smetana Hall, and Symphony Hall (Chicago). She is the youngest winner in the history of the Dutch Harp Festival Competition and has also received awards from the 18th International Harp Contest in Israel, the 2008 Lily Laskine International Harp Competition, the 2013 Nippon International Harp Competition, the 2015 Korea International Harp Competition, the Chimei Arts Foundation (2012, 2015), and the American Harp Society National Harp Competition (2005, 2007, 2009, 2015). Equally engaged in classical and contemporary idioms, Noël has performed and premiered solo, chamber, and orchestral works by John Adams, Kyong-Mee Choi, Augusta Read Thomas, Aaron Jay Kernis, Stephen Andrew Taylor, and Dmitry Tymoczko. Interdisciplinary ventures include La Merita (with choreographer Jennifer Monson), Krists Auznieks' Thyme, R. Murray Schafer's The Crown of Ariadne (with the University of Illinois Theatre's The Minotaur: "Into the Labyrinth"), and Yale Repertory Theatre's 2016 production of Cymbeline.
Noël is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Illinois and recipient of the prestigious Illinois Distinguished Fellowship. She currently heads the elective harp program at the University of Illinois and holds faculty positions at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. Noël draws inspiration in learning, teaching, and living from diverse mentors: Ann Yeung (University of Illinois), June Han (Yale School of Music), Erika Waardenburg, Dan Yu, Douglas Rioth, and Linda Wood Rollo.
Click here for an extended biography.
Email to request a CV.