Elisabeth Remy Johnson
The Sally and Carl Gable Chair

Elisabeth Remy Johnson

Principal Harpist



Principal harpist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1995, Elisabeth Remy Johnson performs nationally and internationally in solo and chamber music recitals. An avid recording artist, her recent solo album, “Quest,” spotlights works by women past and present, and has been acclaimed internationally, Gramophone calling it “an exquisite demonstration of the harpist’s art laid out in virtuoso swirls of colour, pearls of elegant nuance and audiophile sound.” She performs as principal harpist with the Grand Teton Music Festival, and teaches at Emory University, Georgia State University, and Kennesaw State University.

Ms. Remy Johnson is a graduate of Harvard University, Phi Beta Kappa, where she majored in Music and French. Winner of first-place awards in competitions of the American Harp Society and the American String Teachers Association, she was an NFAA/ARTS awardee.

In 2018, she founded The Merian Ensemble, a chamber group dedicated to performing and commissioning chamber music composed by women. The Merian Ensemble has received a travel grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation USArtists International; commissions have been funded by grants from the American Harp Society, the PRS Foundation, and Agnes Scott College’s Kirk Fund. Their 2023-2024 season is supported by New Music USA’s Organization Fund. Their debut album presenting their commissioned works will be released in late summer 2024.

Ms. Remy Johnson recently published two volumes of transcriptions of works by female composers; additional transcriptions of works by Mel Bonis are published by Éditions Billaudot.

Ms. Remy Johnson was co-founder and artistic director (2000-2010) of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, serving students from the Atlanta Public Schools. She has received Atlanta's Channel Eleven Community Service Award, the TBS Pathfinder’s Award, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle's "Up & Comers Award.” She is a 2022 awardee of New Music USA’s Creator Development Fund for her project Solais with composer Clarice Assad, exploring the roles of women in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. In 2022, she was elected Governor for the Recording Academy’s Atlanta Chapter.

Q & A

What year did you join the ASO?

Favorite composer(s)?
Prokofiev, Mahler, Clara Schumann

Why did you choose your instrument?
I saw a harp concert at a little church when I was 6 years old. The harpist let me come up to touch the harp after the concert, and it turned out she gave lessons locally. So my parents rented me a tiny little harp that was basically just wood and strings, and that was the beginning!

What's the most interesting or difficult facet of your instrument?
You have to be ready for anything - changing all seven pedals in two seconds to start wherever the conductor would like to start in rehearsal, fixing a broken string right before a concert, or even during the concert.

Any famous people in your family?
Apparently, I'm distantly related to Jerry Remy of the Red Sox.

What's your favorite Atlanta hidden treasure?
The rose cardamom chai at Revolution Doughnuts.

Featured Events

More Info for Robert Spano Conducts
March 20 - 22, 2025
Delta Classical

Robert Spano Conducts

Robert Spano Music Director Laureate
Elisabeth Remy Johnson Principal Harpist
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra