Abigail Kent

Adjunct Professor of Harp

Address: Cato Center
Personal Website: https://www.abigailkentharp.com/

An international award-winning harpist, Abigail Kent was hailed as “superb” by the South Florida Classical Review and praised for “immaculate playing and musical sensitivity” in Fanfare Magazine. Kent was the February 2018 “New Artist” for Musical America International Magazine as well as the touring Harp Ambassador “Concert Artist” for the American Harp Society 2017-19. With this prize, she presented 25 solo recitals and taught 18 masterclasses throughout the US.

She was also a Laureate Finalist at the 2017 Classics Alive management search in Los Angeles, the 2019 Silver Medalist at the Medallion International Concerto Competition, and was a Live Finalist for the Young Concert Artist International Auditions in 2020. Most recently, she received 3rd prize at the 2022 Korea International Harp Competition.

In addition to their success as a concert soloist, Kent is also in high demand as an orchestral harpist. Most recently appointed as Principal Harpist of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, she is also Acting Principal Harpist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Principal Harpist for “Symphony in C” Orchestra in New Jersey, and plays often with the New World Symphony. Additionally, she has performed at international summer music festivals including Spoleto Festival USA, Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), and the Aspen Music Festival.

A committed pedagogue, their love of teaching stems from hosting masterclasses during the two years as Concert Artist. Kent is the harp faculty at College of Charleston, where she has created two unique pathways in harp: traditional lever harp and classical pedal harp. Additionally, she teaches at the Charleston Academy of Music and “Circle Circle” Arts Academy (New York City) and manages a private studio. This summer, she was on faculty at the Brevard Music Center. She has also given masterclasses and lectures for the American Harp Academy, the 2019 American Harp Society National Institute, The Curtis Institute of Music, and The Juilliard School.

An avid proponent of new music, Kent has premiered commissioned works and solos written for her including dahlianum by Andrew Hsu, The Star at Night and The Angel at Dawn by Ben Yee-Paulson, and The Tolstoy Trio by Nicholas Bentz.

Kent studied for a year in the BMus program at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then was selected as the Maryjane Mayhew Barton Fellow at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Here, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree under Elizabeth Hainen, Principal Harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, graduating with the Landis Award for Excellence in Academics. Kent went on to obtain the Master of Music degree as a Presidential Scholar at the Mannes School of Music in New York City, studying with Emmanuel Ceysson, Principal Harpist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In June 2021, Kent completed the residency of her Doctor of Musical Arts degree as a C.V. Starr Fellow at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Nancy Allen, Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic.

Courses Taught

MUSP 298 - Applied Harp