harpist and composer
A brilliant Quebec harpist and composer, Caroline Lizotte is named Composer of the Year at the Prix Opus 2023 and stands out internationally as one of the leading harp composers of her generation. Her works, often awarded prizes and imposed in competitions, are played and recorded by harpists around the world and are listed among the most influential of the late 20th and 21st centuries for the instrument.
Caroline Lizotte will be the central composer at the One Harp World in Toronto from July 28 to August 3, 2026. This joint event between the 15th World Harp Congress and the American Harp Society will award her the Ann Stockton Memorial Award for New Music for her important contribution to the harp repertoire.
In February 2024, Lizotte was invited to California (Los Angeles, San Diego) for an artist residency including concerts, workshops and masterclasses for harpists and composers.
The world premiere of her new opus “Partita” opus 52 for violin and harp, commissioned by harpist Lori Gemmell and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, will be presented on April 12, 2024 as part of the Ontario Harp Society concerts at the Toronto Heliconian Club.
Most recently, in June 2023, Caroline Lizotte was featured artist at the American Harp Society Summer Institute in Los Angeles and the Young Composers Project.
Caroline is dedicated to sharing her art through her creations, editions, concerts, mentoring and the recording of her entire works. She founded with her husband Étienne Ratthé RougébLeuë Productions and produced in 2022 her first album Lizotte Plays/Joue Lizotte, which collects several of her best known works written for harp from 1990 to today. This recording, nominated at l’ADISQ 2023 in the category Album of the Year – Classical, received critical acclaim and ten stars from Harp Column Magazine.
Caroline Lizotte performed in July 2022 for the 14th World Harp Congress in Cardiff, UK. Her performance of Stellar Sonata for electroacoustic harp was highlighted and acclaimed by her peers. She has been a regular guest as a soloist and chamber musician at the harp major events: World Harp Congress, Dutch Harp Festival, World Harp Competition, American Harp Society, Ontario Harp Society, Harpenning, Société des Harpistes de Montréal and Women in Music Festival.
An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, Caroline Lizotte began the composition at an early age and has an extensive catalogue of works, original transcriptions and arrangements for various ensembles. A frequent recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, several harpists have commissioned works from her, including Judy Loman, Jennifer Swartz, Valérie Milot, Heidi Krutzen, Marta Power, Elizabeth Jaxon, Jasmine Hogan and Lori Gemmell.
Caroline founded les éditions Calyane in 1999, a publishing company that produces her works with a personalized touch. She distributes her music in all countries of the Americas and Europe, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan. There are also points of sale in the most important harp manufacturers around the world such as Camac Harps France, Salvi Harps London and Lyon & Healy Harps USA.
Among her works:
“Partita” opus 52 for violin and harp (2023), commissioned by Lori Gemmell with support from the Canada Council for the Arts
“Stellar Sonata” opus 51 for electroacoustic harp (2019), supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and created at Espace Camac in Paris
“El Niño Mudo Prologue-La Barraca-Epilogue” opus 50 for voice, flute, viola and celtic harp, commissioned by Jasmine Hogan and the Baltimore Peabody Institute of Music
“Stellae Saltantem” opus 49 for electric harp and acoustic harp (2014), commissioned by the Atlantic Harp Duo/Marta Power and Elizabeth Jaxon
“Close for Couloir” opus 48 for harp and cello (2013), commissioned by the Duo Couloir/Heidi Krutzen and Ariel Barnes, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Recorded on the album Transfiguration by Valérie Milot and Stéphane Tétreault, Atma Classique – Prix Opus 2023 Album of the year: Modern and contemporary music
“La Madone” opus 43 for solo harp (2009), commissioned by Valérie Milot, is among the required repertoire for the American Harp Society’s Anne Adams Award in 2020
“Raga” opus 41 for two harps (2006), commissioned by Radio-Canada for harpists Judy Loman and Jennifer Swartz
“Concerto Techno” opus 40 for harp, live techno and orchestra (2003), commissioned by the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières
“Suite Galactique” opus 39 for solo harp (2000) required piece for the American Harp Society’s Anne Adams Award in 2016 and for the American Harp Society National Competition in 2023.
“Odyssée” opus 37 for solo harp (1990) won the fourth place worldwide in the USA International Harp Competition’s Composition Contest in 2010. Required piece for the American Harp Society National Competition in 2023.
Caroline Lizotte is also a member and co-founder of the Four Seasons Harp Quartet with harpists Jennifer Swartz, Lori Gemmel and Caroline Léonardelli. Lizotte has written several original transcriptions for the quartet, which has toured Canadian chamber music festivals since its formation in 2004. An accomplished orchestral musician, she was with the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières for 20 years and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for 23 years.
Teacher and mentor for several career harpists, Caroline founds in 2023 Lizotte Academia specializing in teaching her compositions. She is also called upon to give master classes and to present concerts of her works around the globe, including: University of North Texas, Colburn School of Music Los Angeles, Glenn Gould School and University of Toronto, Eastman School of Music Rochester, Royal Northern Academy London, University of Arizona, Norvegian Music Academy Oslo, University of Ottawa, Roosevelt University Chicago, Boston Conservatory of Music, Conservatoires de Musique du Québec.
She has taught at Trois-Rivières and Montréal Conservatories of music, Schulich School McGill University and Cégep St-Laurent. She was on the National Youth Orchestra of Canada‘s Faculty and the Orford Academy‘s Faculty. Since 2010, Caroline Lizotte is harp professor at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Music.
A native of Quebec City, she graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Québec in 1992 and studied at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY.