Elaine Barber began playing the harp at the age of ten, and began playing professionally in her native Mississippi four years later. She earned her MM in harp performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Beatrice Rose.
Ms. Barber is Principal Harpist for Austin Symphony, and a regular guest with San Antonio Symphony. Also an early music specialist, she plays renaisssance and early baroque music with Texas Early Music Project and Austin Baroque Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist at the American Harp Society National Conference, and with Mozart Festival Texas, Austin Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Mississippi Symphony, Shepherd Symphony, and Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. She performs regularly as harpist for the Allegro Chamber Trio along with flutist Megan Meisenbach and violist Bruce Williams. As an orchestral musician she has performed with Austin Opera, Spoleto USA, Houston Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Mississippi Symphony and Mississippi Opera.
She has performed with Ray Charles and Renee Fleming, for the King of Norway and the Governor of Mississippi, on movie and video game soundtracks and children’s TV shows. She plays chamber music in Central Texas for Mason Chamber Music Festival, Austin Chamber Music Center, REVEL, Musical Offerings, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and Trio Copine. She has recorded for the Naxos, Nonesuch and Matador labels, and has premiered solo and chamber works by Gordon Jones, James Sclater, Peter Stopschinski, P. Kellach Waddle and Charles Rochester Young.
Ms. Barber maintains a private teaching studio in Austin and has been on the faculty of Mississippi College, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Austin Chamber Music Center, University of Texas Harp Camp, and Abilene Summer Music Festival.