Annette Bjorling playing harp

Annette Björling - Harp


German native Annette Bjorling first studied harp at the music school of Heidelberg, and with various private teachers such as world-renowned Rüdiger Oppermann & Park Stickney.  She holds a diploma (akin to masters degree) in cultural education (harp, music, and theater) from the University of Hildesheim (Germany).

Annette has taught private harp lessons and music workshops since 1992. She has been a teacher for harp and recorder at The Musical Offering since 2001.

She performs as a soloist, and with several ensembles, especially as Duo Controverso with her husband Kurt (clarinets, saxophone, accordion, etc.)  Former ensembles with Annette’s harp include trio Kaleidophon! (Germany), a Yiddish cabaret group Der Agmes Nefesh Ansambl (Germany, Israel), Myridian (USA, Germany), and T.I.M.E. (USA).


Further musical experiences: musical director of Das Klezmer Orchester, (Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark), 1997-2003; harpist for the folksbiene Yiddish Theater, New York, winter 1999/2000; harpist at the Fantasticks, for the Theo Ubique Theater Company, Chicago, IL, fall 2005; performances & teaching at international folk music festivals in Germany, Poland, Hungary & Canada; instructor and performer at international harp conferences: HarpCon2003, Bloomington, IN, in July 2003, and HarpCon2005, in Big Sky, MT, in July 2005; Somerset Folk Harp Festival, Somerset, NJ, July 2004, and July 2005, and Somerset West in San Jose, CA, August 2006; and at regional harp conferences, the Great Lakes Harpers annual conference and immersion weekends since 2002; Big Sky Folk Harp Festival, Big Sky, MT, in July 2007; first ever harp teacher at KlezKanada, Quebec, in August 2007 and 2008.

Annette's thoughts about teaching:

  • I like teaching a lot, and I like to share musical experiences with others.

  • My teaching style combines oral traditions (lots of listening) and classical techniques.

  • Improvisation and interpretation is important for me as well.

  • Music theory is a part of my teaching: especially harp students need to know about chords and rhythms.

  • Students might choose or specify a preferred teaching method  - or get introduced to 'everything'.

  • I am open to all music styles.  Besides classical music,

  • I spezialize in klezmer and other East European traditional music.

  • I am offering workshops for groups/ for special themes (like Jewish music) in and outside Chicago.

  • I organize Harp Circles - gatherings of harp students and friends, and we have annual public Harp Class Recitals


To learn more about Annette, visit her website: