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Nadia Pessoa

Nadia Pessoa



NADIA PESSOA is an award-winning harpist whose career has taken her to stages across North America and abroad, from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to The White House, the United Nations, and China's National Centre for the Performing Arts.

A versatile musician known for her commanding sound, she has garnered a reputation as one of the east coast’s go-to harpists, performing with Andrea Boccelli, Arturo Sandoval, Diana Krall, Regina Carter, Placido Domingo, Lee Greenwood, Wynonna Judd, Denyce Graves, Fredericka von Stade, Measha Brueggergosman, DeeDee Bridgewater, Christylez Bacon, and the rock band Kansas.

She has played harp for numerous D.C.-area productions, including The Fantasticks (Arena Stage) and Titanic (Signature Theatre), with Bernadette Peters and Johnny Mathis at Wolf Trap, and with The American Pops Orchestra.

Other regional theater credits include extended runs of Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Pippin, Kiss Me Kate, Once Upon a Mattress, Company, and Candide.

Pessoa served as the harpist for Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s concert for the White House Inaugural Ball. Other notable engagements include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s swearing-in ceremony, the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Ford’s Theatre galas, and Christmas at the Washington National Cathedral.

She has performed at The White House, the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Department of State, and the Vice President’s residence on multiple occasions.

Pessoa regularly performs as Principal Harpist with The Washington Ballet at The Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap; productions include Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. She has also performed The Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet at the Hippodrome (Baltimore), the Richmond Ballet, the Manassas Ballet Theatre, and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

Recording credits include the four-time GRAMMY award-winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience (“Best Classical Album” in 2005), Charlie Barnett’s Retablos, and Faye Webster’s Car Therapy Sessions.

She is a prizewinner of several national competitions, including the National Society of Arts and Letters, the Fort Collins Symphony, the American Harp Society, the National Federation of Music Clubs, and Downbeat Magazine. She performed in the "New Music Showcase" at the 8th World Harp Congress in Geneva.

Pessoa has previously served on the faculty at Howard University, Louisiana State University, and the Washington Conservatory of Music, and has presented masterclasses at NYU, Shenandoah University, and Greenspring Academy. She holds degrees from Indiana University (B.M. and Performer Diploma) and the University of Michigan (M.M.), and received a travel grant for additional studies in Vienna, Austria.

Professional Experience

  • Regional
  • Concerts/Cabaret
  • Education
  • Master’s Degree


  • NYC/Tri-State Area
  • D.C./Baltimore/Mid-Atlantic

Interested in touring?

  • Yes

Maestra Expertise

  • Instrumentalist/Pit Musician

Primary Instruments

  • Harp