The Legacy of John Williams Podcast
L.A. Studio Legends #16: JoAnn Turovsky
Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto
JoAnn Turovksy is one of the most accomplished and talented harpists in the world. She is Principal Harp of several Los Angeles-based orchestras: the L.A. Opera orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In a career spanning now four decades, Turovsky has been lauded and revered with many accolades: she is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Harp Society.
Harp is an instrument very dear to John Williams as it's often prominently featured in a lot of his film and concert music. Harpist extraordinaire JoAnn Turovsky has possibly the longest and most impressive track record of playing a lot of John Williams' harp parts over the last three decades as his favoured principal harp for studio recordings in Los Angeles. Turovsky is heard playing exquisite harp solos on some of the composer's most lyrical and haunting film scores including Angela's Ashes, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Munich and The Book Thief. Turovsky's impeccable playing can be appreciated even when not playing a solo part, but when accompanying and enriching the orchestral texture, as the harp is used by Williams like a master orchestrator would do.
JoAnn has also been a professor of harp at the USC Thornton School of Music for the past three decades and sits on the faculty of the Colburn Conservatory of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts, teaching the next generation of harpists.
In this conversation, JoAnn Turovsky talks about her impressive career as a classical and studio musician, remembering her many experiences playing for John Williams, including her solo work for Angela's Ashes and The Book Thief, but also illuminating on the composer's use of harp and how he let the instrument shine within the orchestral palette.
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