Jacques-Georges Cousineau (France, 1760-1824) invented the bequille and other mechanisms for the harp, was also a harp virtuoso.
Sebastien Erard (Germany, 1752-1831), developed the single action and double action harp, revolutionized the harp by the invention of the fourchette mechanism (discs with prongs) that is still used today.
Clelia Gatti-Aldrovandi (Italy, 1901-1989), esteemed harp soloist and respected teacher.
Marcel Grandjany (France, 1891-1976), successful harp virtuoso, esteemed teacher, helped found the American Harp Society.
Alphonse Jean Hasselmans (Belgium, 1845-1912), refined the techniques known as the French method of harp playing, instructed many respected harpists while harp professor at the Paris Conservatoire.
Lily Laskine (France, 1893-1988), harp prodigy with a long career including posts at the Paris Opera, Orchestre National de France, Theatre Francais and as professor of harp at the Paris Conservatoire; also a successful recording artist.
Harpo Marx (USA, 1888-1964), second oldest of the “Marx Brothers” – the popular vaudeville act and movie team of the 20’s and 30’s; taught himself to play the harp while never learning to read music; his two gold Lyon & Healy harps were donated to an Israeli university for student use upon his death.
Turlogh O’Carolan (Ireland, 1670-1738), blind harpist and composer of the harp, wrote many popular Irish airs.
Charles Oberthür (Germany, 1819-1895), renowned harpist and composer.
Elias Parish-Alvars (England, 1808-1849), considered one of the best harpists of all time; composer of concertos, fantasias and solos for harp, many still popular today.
Henriette Renié (France, 1875-1956), was one of the first successful female harp virtuosos and a respected teacher and composer.
Alberto Salvi (Italy, 1893-1983), renowned harpist, performed many solo concerts in a time when more harpists were accompanists; performed in many operas; recorded with RCA Victor and was popular on radio.
Carlos Salzedo (France, 1885-1961), widely credited as establishing the harp as a significant instrument in the 20th century; composed a large body of music pieces for the harp; esteemed harp virtuoso and beloved teacher; designed the Lyon & Healy Salzedo model harp.
Marcel-Lucien Tournier (France, 1879-1951), harp virtuoso and composer; succeeded Hasselmans as professor of harp at the Paris Conservatoire.
Nicanor Zabaleta (1907-1993), increased the popularity of the harp worldwide by aggressively touring and selling more than four million copies of his recordings.