As one of Canada’s premier harpists, Kristan Toczko is recognized for her radiant tone, expressive music-making, and scintillating virtuosity. A first-place winner of the prestigious OSM Standard Life Competition, Kristan was named a CBC Radio-Canada Young Artist and featured as a soloist in a national broadcast.
Kristan’s impressive career as a harpist has taken her to some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and orchestras. As a concerto soloist, Kristan has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony, l’Orchestre Francophonie, Kingston Symphony, and Bathurst Chamber Music Festival. Kristan has performed internationally as an orchestral harpist with several major orchestras, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony New Brunswick, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jalisco Philharmonia, and the Beijing Symphony. Her artistry has also been showcased at festivals such as the Ottawa ChamberFest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Rio Harp Festival in Brazil, Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Orchestra of the Americas, Scotia Festival, and Lucerne Festival Academy. Furthermore, Kristan has been repeatedly invited to the Banff Centre as an artist, a place she considers one of her favourites due to its breathtaking mountain scenery, its inspiration for creating music, and the opportunities it offers to collaborate with other like-minded musicians.
Kristan has performed on renowned stages and shared the spotlight with countless acclaimed artists, including Measha Brueggergosman, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Sir Simon Rattle, Barbara Hannigan, Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah McLachlan, and Johnny Reid. She has played in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the KKL Luzern Concert Hall, and Roy Thomson Hall.
As a chamber musician, she is a founding member of the harp duo “Duo Novus.” The duo has held an artist residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, has commissioned several new works, and has toured internationally with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
As an advocate for her profession, Kristan joined the social media platform TikTok in 2020 and grew her channel to over 800,000 followers within less than a year. Now, with millions of followers across her social media channels, she works as a content creator to arrange and record covers from classical to pop to video game music and create educational videos about the harp. She has a mission to make the harp and classical music more accessible to all, breaking down barriers and inspiring a new generation of music enthusiasts.
Kristan currently publishes her own arrangements and is often hired for various recording projects. Since becoming a social media sensation, she has proudly partnered with several brands, including RØDE Microphones, Peterson Strobe Tuners, Soundbrenner Metronomes, EA Games, Microsoft Xbox, Apple Music, EarthQuaker Devices, Musicnotes.com, Bow Brand Strings, and Hollywood Records. Furthermore, she has signed with Viral Nation Marketing Agency as her official agent for brand partnerships.
In 2022, Kristan expanded her musical arsenal by acquiring the Salvi Delta C electric lever harp, proudly supported by Lyon & Healy Harps. Despite being a newcomer to the world of electric instruments, she is rapidly mastering this harp and incorporating it into her musical career, introducing fresh sounds and dimensions to her already diverse musicianship.
In addition to her thriving performance career, Kristan is also a passionate and dedicated teacher. She has taught group masterclasses, adjudicated for various competitions and local music festivals, and has been a guest adjudicator for the Ontario Music Festival Provincial Finals for harp, which showcases some of the best students in the province. Kristan’s commitment and enthusiasm for teaching are apparent in her online private studio, as she maintains a full roster of students worldwide. Kristan’s students have achieved great success, many winning competitions and being accepted into prestigious music programs.
Kristan holds degrees from McGill University and Yale University. Originally from Moncton, New Brunswick, she now calls the picturesque St. John’s, Newfoundland, her home, where she resides with her husband.