Taiwanese-American harpist Noël Wan (1994) is an international prize winner and critically acclaimed concert artist whose "exquisite musicality, impeccable technique, and mature interpretation of music in different styles" has earned her the commendation of being "one of the best harpists in this generation" (Dan Yu). Garnering more than 20 awards within the past twelve years, Noël is the only harpist to have won the Carmel Music Society Instrumental Competition, the youngest winner in the history of the Dutch Harp Festival Competition, and the only two-time harp recipient of the prestigious Chimei Arts Foundation Award.
Lauded as "an enchanting player" and “a huge talent [with] hidden power and amazing maturity" (Bart van Oort), Noël has been actively concertizing in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2003. In 2010, she made her international debut performing Alberto Ginastera's Harp Concerto with the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra and appeared on the Dutch Radio 4 program Spiegelzaal at the Concertgebouw. The following year, she toured the Netherlands with guest artists Rosanne Phillippens and Remy van Kesteren and released her debut album The Secret Garden. In recent years, Noël has been featured in concerts at the Muziekgebouw, the Vredenberg Leeuwenbergh, Eslite Hall, and Carnegie Hall, and as an orchestral harpist, she has performed under the baton of Peter Oundjian, Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carolyn Kuan, and John Adams at Davies Symphony Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Smetana Hall.
An avid proponent of new music and interdisciplinary arts, Noël has participated in a number of projects during her studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Yale University. She 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 Claire Happel, Jennifer Monson, & Zeena Parkins), Krists Auznieks' Thyme, and R. Murray Schafer's The Crown of Ariadne in the University of Illinois Music and Theatre collaboration The Minotaur: "Into the Labyrinth." In 2016, Noël formed Duo Canora with Toronto-based oboist Ron Cohen Mann, exploring chamber repertoire written for Heinz and Ursula Holliger. Additionally, Noël is influenced by the sonic and visual landscapes of 20th century avant-garde repertoire as well as the artistic stylings of Nao, Janelle Monáe, and Ms. Lauryn Hill. She is researching intersections between corporeal expression, identity, and agency in musical performance, and her doctoral dissertation investigates posthumanist performativity, feminist theory, and philosophies of dramaturgy and music in the harp writing of Georges Aperghis.
Noël received her Bachelor of Music with Highest Honors, James Scholar Honors, and University Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. She is currently studying with Ann Yeung as a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate and Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois. Former teachers include Linda Wood Rollo, Dan Yu, Douglas Rioth, Erika Waardenburg, and June Han. Also active as a pedagogue, Noël has presided on the jury of the 21st CMTANC International Youth Music Competition and has given masterclasses in Taiwan and the United States. She currently maintains a private studio in South Bend, Indiana and is harp faculty at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College.