Hailed as “a brilliant and expressive player” (Dallas Morning News), Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s premier solo harpists Since making her debut at age 18 with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, she has performed across the globe as a concerto soloist and in recital, bringing her unique brand of musicianship and warm artistry to an ever-increasing audience. A published author, speaker, professor of harp, and environmental activist, she brilliantly weaves her many passions into a vibrant, multi-faceted career. Joining her for for this Music in the Park Series concert is world-renowned guitarist, Jason Vieaux, who, in the words of NPR, is “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” The New York Times lauds his playing as “virtuosic, flamboyant, dashing and sometimes ineffably lyrical.” With his remarkably varied repertoire, Jason Vieaux is hailed by critics as the classical guitarist who goes beyond the classical. The Kondonassis-Vieaux album, appropriately titled “Together,” offers a glimpse into the vast musical possibilities of this instrumental collaboration.
About Yolanda Kondonassis
Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s premier solo harpists and is widely regarded as today’s most recorded classical harpist. Hailed as “a brilliant and expressive player” (Dallas Morning News), she has performed around the globe as a concerto soloist and in recital, bringing her unique brand of musicianship and warm artistry to an ever-increasing audience. Also a published author, speaker, professor of harp, and environmental activist, she weaves her many passions into a vibrant and multi-faceted career.
Since making her debut at age 18 with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Kondonassis has brought new audiences to the harp and has appeared as soloist with numerous major orchestras in the United States and abroad such as The New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, to name a few. She has been featured on CNN and PBS as well as Sirius XM Radio’s Symphony Hall, NPR’s All Things Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts, St. Paul Sunday Morning, and Performance Today.
The first harpist to receive the Darius Milhaud Prize, Kondonassis is committed to the advancement of contemporary music for the instrument, with recent premieres including works by Bright Sheng, Keith Fitch, and Gary Schocker. Kondonassis has also earned a reputation as a world-class chamber musician, collaborating with artists such as the Shanghai, JACK, Jupiter, and Vermeer string quartets, pianist Jeremy Denk, and guitarist Jason Vieaux, among others. The Kondonassis/Vieaux duo released their debut album, Together, in January 2015 on Azica Records.
Kondonassis’ extensive discography, released on the Telarc, Azica, Oberlin, New World, and Channel Classical labels, includes nineteen albums. Her 2008 album Air (Telarc) was nominated for a Grammy Award. Her many discs have earned universal critical praise as she continues to be a pioneering force in the harp world, striving to make her instrument more accessible to audiences and to push the boundaries of what listeners expect of the harp.
As an author, composer, and arranger, Kondonassis has published three books to date: On Playing the Harp, The Yolanda Kondonassis Collection, and The Yolanda Kondonassis Christmas Collection. Carl Fischer Music publishes all of her works. Kondonassis carries her passionate artistic commitment to issues regarding the protection of natural resources, air quality, and climate change. Royalties from several of her projects are donated to earth causes and she is the founder and director of Earth at Heart, a non-profit organization devoted to earth literacy and inspiration through the arts. Her first children’s book, entitled Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters, was published in 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing.
Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Kondonassis attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy. She continued her education at The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a student of Alice Chalifoux. Kondonassis heads the harp departments at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Cleveland Institute of Music and plays a Lyon & Healy Salzedo Model harp.
About Jason Vieaux
Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the classical guitarist that goes beyond the classical. He has earned a reputation for putting his expressive gifts and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of recital, concerto, chamber music, teaching and recording commitments is distinguished with return engagements throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Vieaux’s solo recitals have been a feature at every major guitar series in North America, as well as many of the important guitar festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. Recent and future highlights include returns to the Caramoor Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and New York’s 92nd Street Y, as well as performances at Argentina’s Teatro Colon and Oslo, Norway’s Classical Music Fest. Vieaux’s appearances for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others have forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer. He collaborates in recitals this season with Escher Quartet, acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin and Gary Schocker.
Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with over 50 orchestras, including Cleveland, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Ft. Worth, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Buffalo, Grand Rapids, KitchenerWaterloo, Richmond, Edmonton, IRIS Chamber, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chautauqua Festival, and New Hampshire Music Festival. Some of the conductors he has worked with include David Robertson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jahja Ling, Stefan Sanderling, Michael Stern, David Lockington, Steven Smith, and Edwin Outwater.
Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. His latest album, PLAY, a selection of audience favorites celebrating Vieaux’s 20 years of professional touring, was released in January 2014 on Azica Records and has been nominated for a 2015 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. In summer 2014, NPR named PLAY’s Zapatadeo as one of their “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (So Far),” describing Vieaux as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Of PLAY, Soundboard Magazine writes, “If you ever want to give a friend a disc that will cement his or her love for the guitar, this is a perfect candidate,” while Premier Guitar claims, “You’d be hard pressed to find versions performed with more confidence, better tone, and a more complete understanding of the material.” Among his previous eleven commercial albums is an Azica disc of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra. Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1 hit No. 13 on Billboard’s Classical Chart after its first week and received rave reviews by Gramophone, The Absolute Sound, and Soundboard. Images of Metheny features music by American jazz legend Pat Metheny, who, after hearing this landmark recording, declared: “I am flattered to be included in Jason’s musical world.” Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz made several Top Ten lists the year of its release. Vieaux’s albums and live performances are regularly heard on radio and internet around the world, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online around the world, including such magazines as Acoustic Guitar, MUSO, Gramophone, and on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence.”
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and he has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2001.
Vieaux is a member of the Advisory Board of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia.
Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd.
Date & Venue
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Saint Anthony Park United Church of Christ
Join us at 3pm in the church for a pre-concert talk with the artists.
Concert length is estimated to be 2 hours with one intermission.
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Program to be announced. Concerts are estimated to be two hours in length with one intermission.