In Florida, Susan plays a contemporary harp designed by Lyon & Healy, the Style 85. It is marked by its pure elegance and its workhourse traits. Subtle in design, but equal in quality of sound and craftsmanship to other Lyon & Healy harps, the Style 85's ornamentation is sparse, bringing focus to its fluted Hard Maple column, the fluid curves in the base and showcasing the classic harmonic outline of the harp. The Sitka Spruce soundboard is decorated with a beautiful climbing vine while the solid brass action plates feature restrained decoration.
Susan Knapp Thomas also plays Lyon & Healy's Salzedo. Introduced by Lyon & Healy in 1928, the Salzedo is named after legendary harpist-composer-teacher Carlos Salzedo, who collaborated with Witold Gordon on its design. Created in the Art Deco style characteristic of the 1920s, the Salzedo is marked by precise linear carving and austere geometric decoration in the Hard Maple column and base. This same style is reflected in the ornamentation on the extended soundboard, which features hand-applied red and silver stripes - also a popular Art Deco pattern. Its bold lines and angles create a striking and unmistakable profile while its full, clear sound make it world-class. The Salzedo's uniquely angled Sitka Spruce soundboard is highlighted by Rosewood inlay along the edges. Restrained decoration on the solid brass action plates complements the design of the harp.
Another harp Susan plays is a beautiful gold Aoyama. Known for their extremely hard wood and able to remarkably stay in tune in Florida's humid conditions. Originally founded as the Aoyama Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company in 1897 in Fukui Japan, later generations of the family began the commercial manufacture of folk harps in the production of Grand Concert Harps.
Susan Knapp Thomas
Florida's Professional Harpist
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