Carlos Salzedo founded the Summer Harp Colony of America in 1929; under this name, he offered intensive, world-class training to aspiring young harpists out of his home on Marine Avenue in Camden, Maine. Each summer’s class consisted of 40 musicians—mostly women—who practiced for eight hours a day. Salzedo was fond of telling his students, “To play like an angel you have to work like the devil.” His playing style and instruction embodied the performative nature of harp music, and he emphasized the importance of the harpist’s gestures.
Salzedo was a student at the Paris Conservatoire and won the premier prix in both piano and harp upon graduation in 1901, at age 16. He moved to NYC in 1909 to become the first harpist for the Metropolitan Opera, at the personal invitation of the director, Toscanini.
From the 200 photographs Ruohomaa took during his time at the colony, four were published in the September 2, 1946 Life magazine article, “Harp Festival,” along with text and captions written by Kosti himself.Browse Images