“I must have known the notes before I was born !”

Indeed, Annie Challan was born in a musical family. She started playing the piano at the age of 2 and started learning the harp at 9 with Lily Laskine. Eventually, she won the 1st prize diploma at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, at age 15. From then on, she began her music career and she has loved and enjoyed everything about it ever since. At 16 years of age she became a solo harpist at the Colonne Orchestra, and got in the Paris National Opera Orchestra when she turned 18 — she stayed there 18 years.

With Suzanne Cotelle as a partner, Annie Challan created the first ever “French Harp Duet” resulting in the recording of a disc, after which she formed the world famous “Flute and Harp Duet” along with Roger Bourdin. She toured in France and foreign countries numerous times as a solo performer or as part of duets or trios. She has also been featured as soloist at the ORTF on radio and television programs.

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She was already recording prestigious material before she turned 25: a disc came out of her discovery of unknown concertos and received critical acclaim. She then recorded Musique Française pour Harpe with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire directed by André Cluytens, as well as several solo discs or in duet with Roger Bourdin, not to mention the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Debussy with Colette Lequien and Roger Bourdin, a recording that remains a work of reference to this day.

Other duets subsequently emerged, among which the first duet for cello and harp with Yves Bellec. In parallel, being a teaching enthusiast, she was appointed professor at the conservatories of Versailles and Marly le Roi in 1971 and eventually became head of the latter. She has been passing on her love and respect of music to her numerous students ever since. Devoted to show off all possibilities of the harp, she is constantly looking to expand the repertoire of this little-known instrument. After having explored the music of the 18th century, Annie Challan now adapts piano and guitar pieces, taking us to unknown musical territories during her performances or through her new recordings.
Annie Challan is a famous and celebrated composer, she has authored numerous pieces for solo harp, harp ensembles, and duets or trios with flute, cello or clarinet. Through her passion for music teaching, she has composed many pieces for students of all levels.

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