Courtney Hershey Bress

Contact Information

Role: Adjunct

Position: Instructor of Music; Harp


Courtney Hershey Bress joined the Colorado Symphony as Principal Harp in 2001. She has appeared with the orchestra as a soloist on numerous occasions. Before coming to Colorado, Ms. Bress enjoyed a wide and varied freelance career, including engagements with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was also the Principal Harpist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She has served as Acting Principal of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was Principal Harp with the United States Army Field Band in Washington, D.C. where she toured the 48 continental states, playing concertos and concerts. Ms. Bress played with the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Strings Music Festival, Steamboat Springs, Colorado for many years. She held the Principal Harp position with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California from 2002-2007. She has also performed as a guest artist with Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She was selected and performed for the American Harp Society and the World Harp Congress.

Ms. Bress is much sought-after as a teacher and has given master classes around the country. In addition to her private teaching studio, she is the Assistant Professor of Harp at Colorado State University and has been a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music. Her students have won National and International harp competitions. She has served as a juror for the American Harp Society National Competition and held the position of artist and clinician for the Midwest Harp Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In 2017 Ms. Bress became a published author. For Love of the Harp was published by Veritas Musica Publishing. The book is in two parts with the first being advice to the young musician and stories about her career. The second part discusses and shows examples of how to write for the harp. Ms. Bress was a 2005 GRAMMY® nominee for her performance of George Crumb’s chamber work Ancient Voices of Children. Ms. Bress is a member of Duo Classique, a duo harp chamber group, with her mentor, Kathleen Bride. Besides recordings with Naxos, Bridge, and Albany records, one can find her music on many albums with the Colorado Symphony and the U.S. Army Field Band. Her duo album with violinist, Andrés Cárdenes, will be released in 2020. Ms. Bress earned a Bachelor of Music degree and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and she received her Master of Music in Orchestral