Eleanor Kirk is an experienced orchestral, chamber, and solo musician from Evanston, Illinois. She currently serves as the Principal Harpist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Harp Quartet and at the Ravinia Festival. Season highlights from the past year include appearances on the Rush Hour, Musicians Club of Women Artists in Recital, and Dame Myra Hess concert series.
In addition to numerous awards, Eleanor received honors at the Luminarts Competition in 2017 and the Musicians Club of Women Competition in 2019. She has played in major venues such as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Civic Opera House, and Symphony Center in Chicago. Eleanor has collaborated and performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Semyon Bychkov, Ken-David Masur, Sir Andrew Davis, Joshua Weilerstein, Teddy Abrams, and David Afkham.
Eleanor studied with New York Philharmonic harpist June Han, Lyric Opera of Chicago Principal Harpist Lynn Williams, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Harpist Sarah Bullen. She holds degrees from Columbia University, and Chicago College of Performing Arts, and is a dedicated educator, serving as harp faculty at the Peoples Music School and the Young Artists Harp Seminar. Eleanor’s students have received top honors at the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Harp Society Competition, and the Midwest Harp Festival Competition.
Eleanor is a founding member of 5th Wave Collective, a Chicago based classical music ensemble dedicated to the performance and promotion of music by womxn, where she works as development director. She is passionate about championing works by BIPOC composers, and developing thoughtful and impactful programming.