Los Angeles Harpist Catherine Yom Litaker is an avid soloist, chamber musician and orchestral harpist. She has performed on countless stages across the globe including Western Europe, South America, North America and Asia. She currently performs as a freelance harpist in and around Los Angeles, CA. She has performed with many Orchestras including: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Symphony, Ars Viva Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Dubuque Symphony and Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Catherine is currently an active substitute for Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was Principal Harp of Civic Orchestra during the 2010 - 2012 season. She has also participated in many festivals around the world including YOA Orchestra of the Americas on the South American tour, China tour and Pacific Music Festival in Japan.
She has always been active in performing chamber music and is a founding member of the Chicago Harp Quartet; a dynamic group aiming to expand the repertoire and exposure of the harp by bringing a high level of harp chamber music to the stage. Among other accomplishments the quartet has recently returned from am ambassadorship in Cuba, has performed for audiences across the US and abroad, is commissioning new works for harp quartet, working with composers and released it's debut album, Soiree D'ete in 2014. Currently the quartet is working on their 2nd album which is almost entirely comprised of original works for harp quartet. In addition to the quartet, Catherine performs with Cellist Diana Flores and is able to explore the wonderful sound world of Harp and Cello music. And as an avid promoter of new music, Catherine is often working with composers on new works for the harp and has performed with Fonema Consort and the University of Chicago New Music Ensemble. Catherine has also been featured on season 3 and 4 of FOX's hit TV show, Empire.
Loving to teach and coach students, Catherine currently has a private studio on LA's westside in Mar Vista. She has been a coach for the Chicago Harp Ensemble and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Being a huge advocate for the exposure of classical music, she has been involved in many outreach and non-profit organizations and concerts.
As a young harpist, Catherine won the San Diego Symphony's Hot Shots Competition as well as received awards from ASTA and the American Harp Society. Catherine went on to receive her Bachelor's degree in Harp Performance from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Susann McDonald with a minor in History. She then earned her Master's degree from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts, where her teacher and mentor was Sarah Bullen, Principal Harpist of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
I have been playing the harp since I was a little girl. Raised in Southern California with a Korean Tiger mom and Southern Father, I grew up playing piano since age 4 and harp since age 7. I played in 2 youth orchestras during high school (my poor Mom had to schlep that harp everywhere!) and then moved to the Midwest where I continued my harp studies at Indiana University. After, I moved up to Chicago to earn my Masters degree from Chicago College of Performing Arts, where I studied with Sarah Bullen. After grad school I won the position of Principal Harpist of Civic Orchestra which is one of the only training orchestras in the United States. I am now a freelance musician, harpist, artist living on the west side of Los Angeles and happy to be close to home. I also work as a freelance floral designer in and around Los Angeles. Always eager to collaborate as a recording artist and performer, one of my favorite projects was recording for the soundtrack for a short animated film, Falling Up with my friend, James Auwarter. Besides music I enjoy hiking, whiskey, traveling... and always looking forward to the next adventure.