Erica Goodman is arguably the most prominent Canadian harpist of her generation, and easily among the top several from North America.
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Erica Goodman Biography

by Robert Cummings

Erica Goodman is arguably the most prominent Canadian harpist of her generation, and easily among the top several from North America. Her technique is all-encompassing and her interpretive skills incisive and imaginative. To say her repertory is broad and eclectic would be an understatement: she performs works from all periods, from Baroque (Handel, Couperin, Lully, and many others) to contemporary (Elliott Carter, Crumb, Hovhaness); from little known composers (Fran├žois Joseph Gossec, Louis-Fran├žois Dauprat, Marjan Mozetich) to well-known composers not associated with the harp (Donizetti, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Satie), as well as women composers (Sophia Corri Dussek, Barbara Pentland, and Alexina Louie). And, of course, she has regularly appeared at the world's major concert venues as soloist, chamber player, and recitalist. Goodman has made over 30 recordings spread over several labels, including Naxos, BIS, CBC, Marquis, and Opening Day.

Erica Goodman was born in Toronto, Canada, on January 19, 1948. Her father was violinist Hyman Goodman. Young Erica began studying piano in 1958, and a year later, without abandoning piano, took up the harp. In her early years Goodman's harp teachers included Charles Kleinsteuber, Judy Loman, and Carol Baum. At the Curtis Institute (1967-1969) she studied harp with Marilyn Costello.

Goodman launched her professional career with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, serving as second harpist from 1962-1966, returning for a second stint in 1969-1973. During this last period she debuted as a soloist (1969) in the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1970 she teamed with fellow Toronto Symphony member, flutist Robert Aitken, to form the Aitken-Goodman Duo. The two toured the U.S. with the American chamber group Tashi in 1976. That same year Goodman gave the highly praised premiere of the Oskar Morawetz Harp Concerto in Guelph, Ontario. She would commission and perform many other important harp works, like 1979 Milton Barnes' Variations for harp solo.

Goodman was given the prestigious Mona Bates Award in 1978 for her exceptional artistry. In 1980 she and Aitken won the Grand Prix du Disque Canada for their BIS LP entitled Flute and Harp. Throughout the 1980s and beyond, Goodman freelanced and continued performing in the Aitken-Goodman Duo. She also played in other chamber groups, including the Trio Toronto, Galliard Ensemble, and Trio Lyra. Goodman remained busy in the new century. Her later recordings included the 2008 Naxos CD of Elliott Carter's Mosaic.

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