Arts and Entertainment

'Russia's greatest harpist,' 16, to perform with FWay Symphony

Federal Way Symphony’s winter concert this weekend will feature guest soloist Elisabeth Mernaya, a 16-year-old harp player from Russia.

During the “Winterlude” performances Saturday and Sunday at St. Luke’s Church in Federal Way, Mernaya will play Reinhold Gliere’s “Concerto for Harp, op 74 in E flat Major.”

The concerts will be her American debut. During her stay here, she’s being hosted by members of the symphony’s board of directors.

Born in 1988 in Moscow, Mernaya is already acclaimed as Russia’s greatest harpist, according to a symphony spokeswoman.

Mernaya is the third generation of harpists in her family. Her grandmother is a music professor in Moscow, and her mother is the solo harpist for the Spivikov Orchestra, reputedly one of the top orchestras in Russia.

In her country, Mernaya is a student in a music conservatory for gifted musicians that is under the auspices of the Moscow Conservatory.

She also has attended master classes in London, England at the King’s Academy and the Sorbonne in France.

The teenager has won international competitions and has been honored several times in the Moscow Festival.

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