Stephen Fitzpatrick started playing the piano at the age of four, and three years later commenced with harp studies. After initial lessons in his native North Wales, he was accepted as a student at the Royal College of Music in London with Marisa Robles. Further studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Edward Witsenburg and privately with Sarah Bullen in Chigago and Erika Waardenburg in Amsterdam culminated with a performance diploma in addition to the degree and teaching diploma already attained in London.
Stephen was principal harpist of the English Symphony Orchestra, co-principal harpist of Gothenburg Opera Orchestra and Guest Principal Harpist at the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm. In 2000 he was chosen by Daniel Barenboim to be Principal Harpist of the Deutsche Staatskapelle Berlin, where he still plays. He was harpist in the Bayreuther Festpiele from 2007 until 2014. He has freelanced with many world class orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and La Scala, Milan, and was regularly invited by Christoph von Dohnyáni to be Guest Principal Harpist at the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.
Stephen is active as a chamber musician in various ensembles which have performed throughout Europe. He is committed to contemporary music and has given critically acclaimed performances of works by living composers. He is a founder member of the Boulez Ensemble, founded in 2017 by Daniel Barenboim, combining chamber music from the classical and romantic period with landmark contemporary music.
He is regularly invited to be a jury member for national and international competitions and orchestral auditions and has given masterclasses throughout Europe.
Stephen was Professor for Harp at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Seville from 2004-2011. In 2010 he was appointed Professor of Harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and in 2018 Visiting Professor of Harp at the Royal College of Music in London.
Faculties / departments: Strings