Rachel Brandwein

Office: Jenson-Noble 176
Phone: 563-387-1792
Email: [email protected]
Degree: D.M.A., Stony Brook University; M.M., The Juilliard School; B.M., University of Michigan
Interests: Harp

Harpist Dr. Rachel Brandwein is the winner of the 2014 Mu Phi Epsilon International Solo Competition. She was the Mu Phi Epsilon Concert Artist for the 2014-16 concert seasons and performed and gave outreach presentations throughout the continental United States.

Dr. Brandwein is on faculty at Luther College, College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University, and Mount Calvary Academy of Music.  She also teaches at two summer harp programs for adult learners: the HarpArts Music Retreat in Petoskey, Michigan, and at the Adult Harp Retreat in Georgia. Dr. Brandwein has presented master classes around the United States as well as in Asia. Among her many performance and composition accomplishments are first prizes and grants in numerous regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Harp Society, the American String Teachers Association, and Mu Phi Epsilon. 

In addition to appearances in Ireland and China, Brandwein embarked on a nine-state, fifteen-concert tour with Trio Matisse (flute, cello, harp) as part of the Allied Concert Services Tours. She frequently performs with various ensembles throughout the United States, including VocalEssence and the National Lutheran Choir (with whom she can be heard on their new Christmas CD released in 2016). Brandwein has also performed concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra under conductors Osmo Vänskä, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Mark Wigglesworth, and debuted in Hong Kong and Chiayi, Taiwan, with flutist Linda Chatterton in late 2016. She enjoys concertizing with trombonist Dr. David Peterson as the Branderson Duo in programs of original and arranged works. Having appeared in New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska, they were awarded a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and in 2016 premiered and commissioned a work by Dr. Paul Salerni. They also completed a residency at Lehigh University.

In 2013 Brandwein was awarded the top prize in the Mu Phi Epsilon Original Composition Contest for her work for harp solo Introduction, Theme, and Variations. In 2014, by invitation from the American Harp Society, she performed a full recital of her compositions at the National Conference in New Orleans. Also in 2014, she was awarded a commission grant by the American Harp Society to write a work for Apple Orange Pair (horn and harp), and in 2015 she completed a residency as a composer with the duo at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute. The same work written for them, Suite de Nature, received the top prize in the 2015 Original Composition Contest sponsored by Mu Phi Epsilon. Since its premiere in 2015, it has been performed with horn, trombone, and flute. Brandwein received the ARCH Awards for original harp solos from the American Harp Society Minnesota Chapter in 2013 and 2015. She is currently writing a work for organ and harp, commissioned by the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN, which will be premiered on their Chamber Music Concert Series in 2017. Brandwein is co-presenting a composition master class workshop, as well as sharing a concert of her compositions with composer Libby Larsen and featured student composers during the new Young Composer’s Program in the 2017 American Harp Society National Institute. Her compositions have been performed at venues such as the University of Michigan, University of Indiana, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, Sacramento State University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, National Chiayi University in Taiwan, and at Interlochen Center for the Arts where she serves on the faculty during their summer camp seasons.

Dr. Brandwein earned degrees from the University of Michigan (BM), The Juilliard School (MM), and Stony Brook University (DMA).  She also studied harp and French for one year in Paris and Lyon, France.  After performing at her doctoral commencement, she was awarded the prestigious Ackerman Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies for high accomplishment in performance and pedagogy. Dr. Brandwein’s goal as a teacher is to help her students appreciate and fulfill their artistic potential with confidence, creativity, and dedication.

Visit Rachel Brandwein's professional website