Michelle Gott, Harp
Michelle Gott, a native of Las Vegas, is a versatile performing artist dedicated to the artistic presentation of traditional repertoire and the creation of new works in collaboration with emerging composers.
Ms. Gott began her studies at the age of four under the leadership of her mother and harpist, Caryn Wunderlich Gott, and immediately took to the stage in the performance of solo and chamber works. As a featured soloist, Ms. Gott has performed concertos with the ART Symphony Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, and the Henry Mancini Institute.
In April of 2006, Ms. Gott debuted in Carnegie Hall with the East Coast premiere of a new concerto for harp and wind ensemble by Los Angeles composer, Kevin Kaska. Ms. Gott regularly performs with the New Juilliard Ensemble and AXIOM, and has also worked with the Slee Sinfonietta at the University of Buffalo and the New York-based Sequitur Ensemble. In January 2008, Ms. Gott performed for Elliot Carter with the New Juilliard Ensemble as part of a historic FOCUS! Festival celebrating the composer’s centennial year. For the same Festival, she also performed Carter’s virtuosic work, Trilogy, for oboe and harp with oboist, Nicholas Stovall.
Michelle Gott has worked closely with composer, Ursula Mamlok, for whom she performed Mamlok’s Music for Viola and Harp in 2006 for both the Ursula Mamlok Festival at the Manhattan School of Music and for Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival. Ever striving to support the vital dialogue between composers and performers, Ms. Gott has collaborated closely with Virko Baley, Kevin Kaska, Anthony Cheung, Cristina Spinei, Brian Mark, Philippe Bigar, and Roderick Gorby. Ms. Gott is one of the founding musicians of the ART Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra INSONICA. An active chamber musician, Ms. Gott has performed several times for Juilliard’s Chamberfest, including a 2005 premiere of Cristina Spinei’s Petrarca (a setting of four Petrach sonnets for tenor, flute, viola, and harp) and a performance of Maurice Ravel’s Introduction et Allegro. Most recently, Ms. Gott devoted a recital at Juilliard to innovative chamber music, which included premieres of new works by Brian Mark and Roderick Gorby and a rare performance of Raga for two harps by French-Canadian composer, Caroline Lizotte. Following a concurrent passion for musical theater, Michelle has performed as a substitute harpist for Anna Reinersman at The Producers on Broadway and frequently performs as a substitute for Jacqueline Kerrod at The Fantasticks.
Avidly committed to her work as an artist, teacher, and educator, Ms. Gott has coached young harpists for the pre-college programs of both The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music and for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York. Through the Morse Fellowship at Juilliard, she gained invaluable experience teaching music to 2nd and 3rd grade students in Harlem. For three years, Ms. Gott was also a teaching assistant for undergraduate theory courses in counterpoint at The Juilliard School. As a member of Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship for five years, Ms. Gott presented over 60 interactive concerts for both children and adults in hospitals, cancer facilities, psychiatric rehabilitation centers, and homeless shelters in New York City. The challenges presented by these many performance and teaching situations are at the heart of Ms. Gott’s dedication to teaching artistry and her ardent belief that the artist should strive to be an integral and essential member of society.
Michelle Gott has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Henry Mancini Institute, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez. She was a winner of both the 2004 and 2006 Anne Adams Award, a prizewinner of the 2005 American Harp Society National Competition, and a winner of the 2004 International Jazz and Pop Harpfest Competition. In May 2007, Ms. Gott received the honor of the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in the Arts from The Juilliard School. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Harp Performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen and is currently in the C.V. Starr Doctoral Program. Ms. Gott is also currently on summer faculty at the Performing Arts Institute of the Wyoming Seminary.