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
Grammy-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the guitarist that goes beyond the classical. NPR describes Vieaux as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” His most recent solo album, Play, won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressiveness and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of performing, teaching, and recording commitments is distinguished throughout the U.S. and abroad. Recent and future highlights include performances at the Caramoor Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, New York’s 92Y, Ravinia Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bard Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, and Grand Teton.
A first-rate chamber musician and programmer, he frequently collaborates with artists such as the Escher Quartet, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Avner Dorman, Dan Visconti, Vivian Fung, Keith Fitch, Eric Sessler, Jeff Beal, Gary Schocker and many more. He has performed as concerto soloist with nearly 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, California, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Fort Worth, and Buffalo.
Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. His latest album, Infusion with bandoneonist Julien Labro, was released in October 2016 on Azica Records and features Vieaux and Labro in their own arrangements of works by Leo Brouwer, Piazzolla, Gnattali, Metheny, and iconic 1980s rock band Tears for Fears. Vieaux recently recorded Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata for Guitar Op. 47 for a Ginastera Centennial album produced by Yolanda Kondonassis, which was released in October 2016 on Oberlin Music. His duo album Together, with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, was released in January 2015. In addition to his Grammy-winning 2015 solo release Play, his previous albums include a recording of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, Bach: Works for Lute, Vol. 1, Images of Metheny, and Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz. Vieaux was the first classical musician to be featured on NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series.
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., a 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 in 2015 was invited to inaugurate the guitar program at the Eastern Music Festival. Vieaux has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1997, heading the guitar department since 2001.
Vieaux is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. 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.
Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd and plays a 2013 Gernot Wagner guitar.
For more information, visit www.jasonvieaux.com.
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.
Turn Back Unneeded Tickets
If you have tickets but are unable to attend, please consider turning back your tickets as a tax-deductible contribution. Your generosity allows other music lovers to attend our sold out concerts. Turnback tickets online or call 651.292.3268 at least one hour prior to the concert.
Alan Hovhaness — Sonata for Harp and Guitar, Opus 374: Spirit of Trees
Antônio Carlos Jobim—A Felicidade (arr. Dyens)
Máximo Diego Pujol—Suite Magica
Gary Schocker — Hypnotized
Small River Flowing (arr. Y. Kondonassis)
Carlos Salzedo—Chanson dans la nuit
Xavier Montsalvatge — Fantasia