Chicago Symphony’s harp retires

Chicago Symphony’s harp retires


norman lebrecht

August 12, 2021

Sarah Bullen, principal harp of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), plays her final CSO concert on Saturday at Ravinia. Bullen will officially retire in September 2021.

She has been principal harp for 24 years.


  • Sisko24 says:

    And before Chicago, she was principal harp with the New York Philharmonic.

  • SMH says:

    I wish her the happiest of retirements and congratulations. In the evolving conversation on diversity in classical music it cannot be forgotten that many musicians hold there positions for decades and that turnover is very slow. Also, literally no new principal harp positions are being created. The symphonic world is at best a zero job growth industry….

    • Bill says:

      Principal Trombonist Jay Friedman has been with the CSO since 1962 and shows no signs of retiring at the age of 82. To his credit, he still sounds fantastic; no mean feat for a brass player at that age.

      • Berndt says:

        I’m quite sure that he might be break Stanley Drucker’s legendary 61 year service record in rival orchestra New York Phil. Then he would be 7th in top10 longest serving orchestral players

      • Henry williams says:

        Nobody cares about a younger player finding employment.
        Germany you retire at 65.

      • Henry williams says:

        Nobody cares about having a younger player
        To replace him. The next generation need

  • Sam says:

    Congrats, Sarah!! This is so richly deserved after a stellar career!!

  • Joe Tucker says:

    Congratulations Sarah!!!!!
    All My best wishes and good luck with whatever is next.
    Will miss You and Sam at the park.