Elisa Torres, Harp

Principal harp of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra


Elisa Torres Pérez is the first Puerto Rican to hold the post of principal harp in the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Native of Old San Juan, Torres began studying harp at the age of seven with Professor Marcelino Canino in the Pre-College Program of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. Studies with Irma Ramos and María Rosa Vidal, the first harpist of Puerto Rico, continued her formation. At the same time, Elisa studied classical guitar with Carlos O. Morales at Escuela Libre de Música Ernesto Ramos Antonini.

At age sixteen, Torres participated in Masterclasses at Indiana University, and a year later began her studies in the same institution under the tutelage of Susann McDonald, obtaining her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in harp performance. In 2003, Torres won the Buehler White award in the National Society of Arts & Letters competition.

During her years at Indiana University, Torres assisted professor Elzbieta Szmyt, teaching students from the Pre-College Program, and was in charge of the Harp Department of the School for the Performing Arts in Louisville, Kentucky.

Since her return to Puerto Rico in 2005, Torres has continued to maintain an active performance schedule in chamber music recitals. She has also performed as a soloist with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra playing Claude Debussy’s Danses: Sacred and Profane, W. A. Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto and Ginastera's Harp Concerto. Elisa has presented recitals in Brasil, Mexico and Italy, where she has also served as jury of international harp competitions.

Torres has also distinguished herself in popular music, collaborating with musicians such as Danny Rivera, Nelson González, Mima and Cultura Profética. Additionally, she participated in the recording of soundtracks composed by Omar Silva for the films "Mal de Amores", “Under My Nails”, and the short film “El Cielo de los Ratones”. “Natural”, her first album, sponsored by Humberto Ramírez, was released on November 2010.

Torres completed a project sponsored by the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music to publish harp arrangements with a didactic approach. The first stages of the collection, "Mi Pequeña Arpa" and “Mi Arpa Navideña”, include children's songs of the Latin American repertoire, and are already available in book and CD formats.

In addition to her work as an interpreter and arranger, Torres also acts as Professor of Harp in the Bachelor's Program of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.