More About Professor Barlaan:Kristal Schwartz Barlaan is an experienced educator, harp entrepreneur, dynamic harp ensemble director, and freelance performer with over twenty-five years of performing and teaching achievements. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Performance (with Honors) from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2007, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Thomas Edison University in 2005.
Mrs. Barlaan is a dedicated teacher who brings out the best in her students by concentrating on the individual details that produce an excellent performer. Her greatest joy is seeing her students take flight. Mrs. Barlaan maintains a large thriving private studio in the Bay Area with over 30 students from beginner through professional levels. Her students have performed at the 2018 American Harp Society Institute, got accepted to SFCM Pre-College, placed and won competitions, such as the Yvonne La Mothe Schwager, ASTA, SJYS and National Harp Competitions. Many of her students have gone on to work as professional harpists, in addition to majoring and minoring in harp. Mrs. Barlaan presents an annual community harp outreach concert featuring her students collaborating with professional musicians.
In 2008, Mrs. Barlaan began building the first K-12 harp program in Northern California at Valley Christian Conservatory. She fosters harp awareness in local schools, such as Clark Elementary School, Harker, Mitty, Saratoga High School, and many more.
In 2010, Mrs. Barlaan began partnering with San Jose Academy of Music to foster a multi-teacher prestigious school for piano, voice, and strings. She was co-owner of San Jose Academy of Music from 2010-2015.
Mrs. Barlaan is the director and founder of the San Jose Youth Symphony Harp Ensemble, a pre-professional ensemble known for stunning performances, pioneering electric harp with traditional concepts. The ensemble performs Mrs. Barlaan’s own arrangements of contemporary and electroacoustic harp ensemble pieces, as well as collaborative pieces of new and emerging composers and arrangers from around the world.
When not involved in teaching, she performing solo concerts, with the new San Francisco Harp Quartet as a founding member.
Professor Kristal Schwartz Barlaan is a professional harpist with over a twenty years of performing and teaching achievements.
She is a native of Santa Clara Valley who is in demand for solo performances, recordings, ensembles, teaching, weddings, private parties, afternoon teas, or any special event.
As a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, earning a Masters in Performance with Honors, as well as a Bachelors of Music Performance from Thomas Edison University, she studied with principal harpists of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory, and San Jose State.
Clients appreciate Kristal’s attention to detail and her ability to bring out each client’s personality in her selected repertoire. Kristal enjoys those engagements where she is able to provide an extraordinary atmosphere that is conducive to conversation, companionship, and memorable moments for those in attendance.
“When I was three I was first exposed to the harp while attending a party. Although it sounds funny, I knew then I was supposed to play the harp!” Kristal recalls. Her parents thought it might be a passing fancy, but Kristal’s persistence eventually brought about harp lessons and her very own harp.
Although Kristal enjoys using her musical skills in many venues, she is particularly drawn to small, intimate occasions. These circumstances allow her to see the effect that her music has on her listeners as it transforms stress into tranquility – hurriedness into serenity.
What part does she feel she plays in Life Events? “It is important to understand what the clients are looking to communicate during their event. That is why I spend a lot of time interviewing the client, seeking to find out what sort of mood and atmosphere they are trying to create. Events, although blessed occasions, have a tendency to produce stress. I feel my role is to anticipate this and perform my music so as to reduce the normal tensions and provide a context in which this meaningful moment is able to be enjoyed without distraction.”
Consider booking Kristal for your next special event.