Harpist, Isabel Cardenes is known for her sensitive musicianship and unique self expression. She is passionate about using music for healing and social change, and frequently performs as a citizen artist in non-traditional settings.
Having played her piano debut at age nine with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany, Isabel began her journey with the harp at age eleven as a student of Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen. She is currently an undergraduate student at Manhattan School of Music studying with Metropolitan Opera Harpist Mariko Anraku on a Presidential Scholarship.
In 2021 Isabel won the Arts Scholarship from the Blackwood Center for the Arts to support her music studies. In 2019, she won First Prize in Pittsburgh’s Lois Streator/Smith Competition as well as Third Prize at the American Harp Society National Competition in North Carolina. From 2016-2019, Isabel also won merit scholarships to attend Interlochen Arts Camp, Ameropa Festival in Prague, Olympic Strings Camp, and Musikferienwoche at the Bavarian Music Academy.
With a strong commitment to music for healing, Isabel performed on a mindfulness series, “Music in the Moment” at the Wallingford Yoga Studio, performed at the one-year anniversary of the Tree of Life shooting at Pittsburgh’s Center for Victims, is a frequent performer for chemotherapy patients at the Hillman Cancer Center, and has given meditative performances at Rancho la Puerta Wellness Resort in Tecate, Mexico.
As a member of the Trio con Brio with her mother and brother, they presented a weekly Porch Concert Series during the warm months of 2020 and 2021, featuring over 80 regional musicians and raising over $15,000 for local causes. The trio recently produced an educational video, titled “Spark Your Creativity,” commissioned by the Allegheny Regional Council for the Arts in Pennsylvania. Isabel hopes to continue her educational and wellness initiatives in New York City.
Aside from music, Isabel enjoys Sudoku and exploring the ice cream offerings of the world.