Cynthia’s Story


Raised in “Surf City USA” Huntington Beach, California, Cynthia Artish strayed into a dream when she met the Celtic harp.

One in the first crop of harpers in the American Folk Harp movement, Cynthia has grounded a free-lance career in the Los Angeles music scene, working in many capacities: song-writing, recording, concerts, event projects and teaching. Her clinical musician skills have graced the halls of healing since 1987.

A third generation classical violinist, Cynthia was on an orchestral career track when a Progressive Rock band recruited her.  Learning improvisation in one of the most innovative epochs in modern music history, shaped her approach to harping. She credits the mentoring of band mates, Mark Mancina and Doug Smith; maverick guitarists David Gilmour and Steve Hackett, as being significant musical influences.

A life long musician, her harp studies began with Sylvia Woods while working in entertainment production for Disneyland in 1983.  The journey led to Ireland where she received a teaching credential from world-renowned, Dr. Janet Harbison.  She has also studied with Kim Robertson, Alfredo Ortiz and Deborah Henson-Conant.

Cynthia thinks the harp is the ultimate crossover instrument. Blending many musical languages, her sound is lyrical, dynamic with buoyant rhythms and whimsical edges.

Her performing and teaching experience spans from the Los Angeles Music Center to sharing stages with a list of diverse creative artists like Don Ellis, the Ramones, Hiroshima, Taj Mahal, John Bilezikjian, David Hlebo, Doug Smith, Mark Mancina, Kim Robertson and Sunita Staneslow to serving as a resource artist for the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, Sawdust Festival, the Claremont Folk Music Festival, Yamaha Musical Instruments and the Southeastern Harp Weekend.

Cynthia has crafted a fresh, integrated curriculum for the lever harp: Intuitive Harp®play-to-learn with natural musicality.

She embraces the folk harp’s traditional legacy while celebrating its contemporary vibrancy.

Cynthia Artish is based in Los Angeles county, City of Diamond Bar, California.