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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Video: New Harp Release Focuses On American Composers

courtesy of the artist

Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis grew up in Oklahoma. She made her debut (at age 18!) with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and has since toured worldwide, with every major orchestra. On top of her busy schedule, Yolanda heads the harp department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has even written a children's book about conservation (see the related story below).

With over a dozen albums recorded including a "best of" and critically acclaimed Debussy, Salzedo, and Hovhaness releases, Kondonassis has a novel project for her latest recording: composers from the United States who have written for solo harp. The Azica disc (and downloads on iTunes/Amazon) spans music composed from 1948 to 2008, many which have never been recorded before!

“I’ve wanted to make this album for years,” says Yolanda. “I am puzzled when people say the harp has so little repertoire. In fact, there are stacks of original repertoire for the harp. The problem is that it rarely sees the light of day. With this album, I’d like to offer a peek into some of the wonderful harp music that exists - and hopefully, whet audiences’ appetites for more.”

We hope Kondonassis will tour with this repertory, and that more composers will be inspired for solo harp works! 

Track listing: JOHN WILLIAMS The Lanes of Limerick

HANNAH LASH Stalk world premiere recording

LOWELL LIEBERMANN Music for Harp, Op. 116 world premiere recording

STEPHEN PAULUS Berceuse world premiere recording


JOHN CAGE In a Landscape


When Yolanda performed in Austin recently, she spoke with KPAC's John Clare about the new release:


John Clare is comfortable behind a microphone, streaming video or playing violin. A former broadcaster for NPR, John has previously worked with Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and stations in Kansas, Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania.