Allegra Lilly joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as Principal Harp in 2013. She has appeared as Guest Principal Harp with the Chicago, Houston, Toronto, and Charlotte symphonies, Boston Pops, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, and All-Star Orchestra. A frequent substitute with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she acted as Guest Principal Harp for the BSO’s 2015 Tanglewood season and European tour, and she has earned the unique distinction of appearing as Principal Harp on back-to-back albums that won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance: the SLSO’s City Noir in 2015 and the BSO’s Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow in 2016.
Since making her solo debut at the age of twelve with the Detroit Symphony, Lilly has appeared as soloist with the SLSO, Juilliard Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and numerous ensembles in New York and in her home state of Michigan. She has also taken prizes at the Concours International de Harpe in Nice, the American Harp Society’s Anne Adams Awards, and the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition. Lilly’s summer festival appearances have included Brevard Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Festival dei Due Mundi (Spoleto, Italy), National Repertory Orchestra, Artosphere Festival, and Castleton Festival. She is also an active chamber musician and has been a featured guest artist with the Missouri Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, Innsbrook Institute Music Festival, Missouri River Festival of the Arts, Argento New Music Project, and Carnegie Hall’s EnsembleConnect.
In addition to holding the harp faculty position at Brevard Music Center since 2017, Lilly has given masterclasses at Northwestern University, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston University, and the University of Ottawa. She has also coached orchestral and chamber music for New World Symphony and the preparatory divisions of The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory. Born in Detroit, Lilly began her own study of the harp with Ruth Myers at age seven. She was also a competitive pianist as a child, winning numerous state and local awards before electing to focus exclusively on the harp in college. She went on to join the studio of New York Philharmonic Principal Harpist Nancy Allen at The Juilliard School, where she earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees.