Emily Sanzaro – Tasmanian Harpist


Emily is a harpist, vocalist, violinist and loop artist based in Launceston, Tasmania.  She is also a registered Occupational Therapist and therapeutic musician.  Emily took an unusual path in becoming a professional musician; after classical training in violin from a young age, she started learning the harp in her late twenties as a hobby whilst working as a health professional.  With a combination of hard work and opportunity Emily organically found herself firmly ensconced in a new career.

Emily plays a wide range of musical genres on the harp including classical, folk, jazz & blues.  She specialises in creating contemporary arrangements, original compositions, improvisations and experimentation with percussion, electronic effects and looping.  Emily relishes any opportunity to depart from the type of music audiences expect to hear from a harp.  With the use of her loopstation, Emily is able to combine harp, vocals, violin, effects and percussion into her solo performance creating a complex, multi-layered sound.  She is also able to present the harp as a solo acoustic instrument for a traditional sound when the occasion requires it.

Emily is a versatile performer with experience in numerous solo and collaborative performance contexts.  Along with weddings and functions, Emily has performed at Dark Mofo (2019, 2018 2017 & 2016), MONA FOMA (2021, 2020 & 2019), Ten Days on the Island (2021), MOFO Sessions (2019 & 2018), FARO Experiments, MONA JAM (2020, 2019 & 2018), Taste of Tasmania (2020 & 2019), ECHO Festival (2019), Junction Arts Festival (2019, 2017 & 2016) & Beaker Street (2020 & 2019) along with multiple live radio broadcasts with ABC radio. 

Emily attended the Australian Art Orchestra ‘Creative Music Intensive’ in 2019 as a recipient of a MONA full scholarship and is an active member of Launceston’s ‘Composers’ Cage Collective’.  Emily is in the process of recording a debut album of original contemporary music with the support of a grant from the Arts Tasmania ‘Contemporary Music Fund’. 

Emily has performed on many occasions with the Launceston Philharmonic Orchestra and has served as president of the Harp Society of Tasmania.  Emily is studying the final level of the ‘Clinical Musicians Certification Program’ and works as a therapeutic harpist playing her small harp at the bedside for palliative patients in the last stages of their life. 

Emily is an avid bushwalker and takes her small harp into the Tasmanian wilderness whenever possible with her bespoke Macpac harp backpack.