Mary BircherLecturer, Harp
Area of Focus: Strings
Mary Bircher has performed as principal harpist of the Omaha Symphony and the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra since 1981. On numerous occasions, she has been featured as soloist with the Omaha Symphony and has been praised by the Omaha World Herald for her “truly virtuoso and seemingly effortless performance.” She has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera and the Colorado Music Festival. Ms. Bircher is an active freelance performer, creatively exploring all types of music in a wide variety of venues. As a Certified Clinical Musician, she plays regularly at the Josie Harper Hospice House and at Omaha Children’s Hospital. Ms. Bircher collaborates with her husband, Omaha Symphony trumpet player Craig Bircher, sharing in the joy of providing music for numerous weddings and special events each year.
An enthusiastic and respected teacher, Ms. Bircher enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music and Creighton University, as well as a clinician at the Midwest Harp Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ms. Bircher has recorded a platinum album Mannheim Steamroller Christmas and gold album Fresh Aire Christmas with American Gramaphone Records, selling over 1,000,000 copies and over 500,000 copies respectively. She has also recorded with Summit Records on The Complete Brass Works of Paul Hindemith, and recorded three albums for Bircher Music; Simple Gifts with flutist Willis Ann Ross, and Music for Ceremonies and Celebrations and A Royal Celebration with trumpet player Craig Bircher. In July of 2002, Ms. Bircher was invited to perform as a member of the Salzedo Harp Ensemble at the World Harp Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.
A native of Richmond, VA, Ms. Bircher began playing harp in the Richmond, Virginia Public Schools harp program when she was in the fifth grade. Ms. Bircher is a student of renowned teachers Jeanne Chalifoux and Alice Chalifoux, and a graduate of the Peabody Institute of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in harp performance. Additionally, she spent six wonderful summers studying at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine.