This month I'll be presenting a concert on Friday, April 16 at noon (Eastern Daylight Time) featuring award winning compositions from the Northern California Harpists' Association Award composition competition. I'll offer some thoughts about these four diverse pieces throughout the performance:
Apunte Betico by Gerardo Gombau (1952)
Legend of the Redwoods by Grace Becker Vamos (1950)
Impromptu by Lex van Delden (1955)
Petite Suite by David Watkins (1961)
The performance will live stream free of charge, with donations accepted, through Jacqueline's YouTube channel. Click here to access the concert.
On Saturday, April 17 at noon (Eastern Daylight Time) I'll be giving an online masterclass for students on building technical harp skills. This will take place via Zoom and is open to students at any level, playing either a lever or a pedal harp. See the calendar page for more information.
Performance and Masterclass
On Friday, March 19 at noon (Eastern Daylight Time), I'll be performing a program of jazz favorites, and will speak about the works throughout the program. The performance will live stream free of charge, with donations accepted, through my YouTube channel. Click here to access the concert.
Can't Help Falling in Love
by Peretti, Creatore and Weiss, arr. J. Pollauf
All the Things You Are
by Jerome Kern, arr. Skaila Kanga
Liten Visa Till Karin
by Staffan Linton, arr. Jacqueline Pollauf
Georgia on My Mind
by Hoagy Carmichael, arr. Paul Baker
by Henry Mancini, arr. Skaila Kanga
Preludes II and III
by George Gershwin, trans. Jacqueline Pollauf
On Saturday, March 20 at noon (Eastern Daylight Time) I'll be giving a masterclass for students via Zoom. This masterclass is open to students of any level, playing either a lever or a pedal harp. Participant slots are filled, but there is still space for observers. Click here for more information.
Thanks to everyone who attended February's performance: a Concert of Themes and Variations. Due to a technology glitch, the program is available to watch in two parts.
I really enjoyed performing for everyone, and presenting a student workshop on glissandos and harmonics. It was great to connect with everyone online! Below are photos from both events.
Spring Concert Series Begins this Month
The first performance of my online spring concert series will be on Friday, February 19 at noon (Eastern Time). I'll be performing a program of Themes and Variations by a variety of composers, and will speak about the works throughout the program. The performance will live stream free of charge, with donations accepted, through Jacqueline's YouTube channel. Click here to access the concert.
The Minstrel's Adieu to His Native Land by John Thomas
In a Landscape by John Cage
Passacaglia by George Handel
Fantaisie sur un Theme de Haydn by Marcel Grandjany
As a new part of the series, I'll be hosting several events for students. On Saturday, February 20 at noon (Eastern Time) the first workshop, focusing on playing glissandos and harmonics on the harp, will take place via Zoom. This workshop is open to students of any level, playing either a lever or a pedal harp. Click here for more information.
Lyon and Healy Publishes New Arrangement
Lyon and Healy Publications has just released Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók for harp and cello. I arranged this work alongside cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski for our recent album, Beau Soir. More information is available on Lyon and Healy's website.
Spring 2021 Concert Series Announced
I'm happy to announce that I will be continuing my online concert series in the Spring of 2021. Join me on the third Friday of each month at noon (Eastern Time) for a short performance of solo harp music. Each concert will explore a different theme and will live stream through my YouTube Channel for free, with donations accepted.
As a new and exciting part of the Spring Series, I will also hold three online students events: a masterclass and two workshops, on the third Saturday of the month. See the calendar page for more information about the entire series.
Friday, February 19 | Concert: Themes and Variations
Saturday, February 20 | Workshop: Playing Glissandos and Harmonics
Friday, March 19 | Concert: Jazz Favorites
Saturday, March 20 | Student Masterclass
Friday, April 16 | Concert: Award Winning Compositions
Saturday, April 17 | Workshop: Building Technical Skills
Friday, May 21| Concert: The Music of Claude Debussy
New Arrangement Published
I recently made an arrangement of Of the Father's Love Begotten, a Christmas Hymn based on 13th century plainsong. Due to several inquiries, I have gone ahead and published this arrangement and it is now available through Oakway Studios at my informational harp website, HarpInsideOut.com. Click here for more information.
Of the Father's Love Begotten
Every year during the Christmas season, I aspire to arrange a few of my favorite Christmas carols for solo harp, but have trouble finding time. This year, however, I took a few days and arranged Of the Father's Love Begotten, a Christmas Hymn based on 13th century plainsong. Here is a video I put together of myself performing this new arrangement.
Candlelight Christmas Concert
For the past several years, I've had the pleasure of performing on the Spire Series' Candlelight Christmas Concert at First and Franklin Church in Baltimore, Maryland. This year there will not be live performance, but instead an online concert will be presented on December 20th at 4pm (EST), featuring recordings of both new performances and years past, as well as Christmas carols and readings of poetry. I'll be performing Marcel Tournier's Six Noël for solo harp, Marcel Grandjany's Aria in Classic Style for harp and organ and Henri Büssier's Le Sommeil de l'enfant Jesus for cello, harp and organ. Click here for more information.
Online Concert of The Music of J. S. Bach
I'm really excited about the fourth and final concert of my online fall mini-concert series. This will take place on Friday, December 18 at noon (Eastern Time) and will feature the music of one of my favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). I'll present some thoughts about Bach and four pieces during the performance:
• Sarabande and Double from Violin Partita no. 1, trans. by Marcel Grandjany
• Suite in e-flat minor, BWV 996, trans. by Marie-Claire Jamet
• Largo from Violin Sonata no. 3, trans. by Marcel Grandjany
• Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, arr. by Daniel Burton
The performance will live stream free of charge, with donations accepted, through Jacqueline's YouTube channel. Click here to access the concert.
Performance of The Transcriptions of Marcel Grandjany
The third concert of my online mini-concert series will take place on Friday, November 20 at noon (Eastern Time). I will be presenting the transcriptions of Marcel Grandjany. A French harpist, Grandjany (1891-1975) transcribed many beautiful and varied works for the harp. His attention to detail in these transcriptions is outstanding and they really showcase the many moods of the harp. In addition to some thoughts about Grandjany, the program will feature five pieces:
Pavane and Bransles by Antoine Francisque
Siciliana by Ottorino Respighi
Movements II and II from Concerto in B-flat Major by George Handel
El Viejo Castillo Moro by Eduardo Chavarri
Sacro Montë by Joquin Turína
The performance will live stream free of charge, with donations accepted, through Jacqueline's YouTube channel. Click here to access the concert.
Performance of The Music of Sergiu Natra
This Friday, October 16 at noon (Eastern Time) I will be presenting the music of Sergiu Natra as part of my online mini-concert series. Natra, born 1931, is a Romanian-born composer who currently resides in Israel. His music is really dramatic and uses the harp in some unexpected ways. Throughout the program, I'll be sharing thoughts about Natra and performing the following:
Selections from A Book of Hebrew Songs
New Exercise Book Published
I'm excited to announce that I have published a new exercise book: Glissando Exercises. It's a book of fifty incremental exercises all focused on playing glisses on the harp through many different techniques, including playing crossing glisses, parallel glisses, and multiple glisses with one hand. At the same time, the exercises also focus on all the details surrounding glisses, such as starting and ending on exact pitches, playing glisses of different rhythmic lengths, and using both hands equally.
Glissando Exercises has the same detailed and thorough approach as my other exercise books, Pedal Exercises for Harp and Exercises in Harmonics. More info, including a PDF available for purchase, can be found at HarpInsideOut.com. A hard copy is available for purchase through Amazon.com.
Performance of Alphonse Hasselmans
This Friday, September 18 at noon (Eastern Time) I will be presenting the music of Alphonse Hasselmans in the first concert of my new online mini-concert series. Hasselmans was a Belgian-born harpist who composed many short character sketches for solo harp. In addition to some thoughts about Hasselmans, the program will feature five pieces:
Chanson de Mai
Fall Mini-Concert Series
This fall I'll be presenting an online mini-concert series on the third Friday of each month at noon Eastern Time. Each themed program will be a half-hour long, exploring a different composer through solo harp music and remarks about each piece. Concerts will be accessible free of charge through the live stream on my YouTube channel, with donations accepted.
Below is a video introducing the concert series and discussing the theme of each performance. See my calendar page for more details.
I'll be giving an online solo performance this month, in a program including works by J. S. Bach, Gabriel Pierné, Nino Rota, and a set of theme and variations that I composed. Click here for more details.
Tuesday, July 14th at 2pm
presented by the
Enoch Pratt Fee Library
Baltimore Harp Camp Canceled
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Baltimore Harp Camp 2020 has been canceled. We are hopeful to be back in 2021!
Distribution Through Lyon and Healy
I'm excited to announce that Lyon and Healy is now distributing fifteen of my works for harp through harp.com. These publications include exercise books, pieces for solo harp, and arrangements for harp ensemble. Many works are also available for purchase through my informational harp website - harpinsideout.com - and selected publications are available through Amazon.
New YouTube Videos
For the past couple of years, I've been filming, editing and posting a video on my YouTube channel (youtube.com/JacquelinePollauf) every other week. However, with more time at home during the pandemic, I've increased my pace and have been posting weekly videos. Here are my latest couple of videos:
Harp Column Review
The Harp Column Magazine gave Beau Soir, my recent recording with cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski, a glowing review in their May/June 2020 issue:
"Harpist Jacqueline Pollauf plays with a breathier and darker sound, drawing on her instrument’s richness to balance the dense beauty of cellist Dariusz Skoraczewski in their lovingly recorded Beau Soir. Primarily consisting of familiar works of the fin de siècle France, most notable in this handsome disc is Arvo Pärt’s Fratres allowing the cello to put in motion a hypnotizing motif. The two then explore simple variations, again seeming to luxuriate in a duskier soundworld. Vaughn Williams Six Studies in English Folk Music places the duo in their sweet spot of expressiveness as well as their ability to evoke a time long gone by. Pair this one with Spiegel im Spiegel and you have utter perfection."
Publication About Chamber Music
A Guide to Including Young Harpists in Chamber Music Settings has been published as a feature article in the current edition of American String Teacher. Aimed at providing information for music teachers and chamber music coaches working with young harpists, I hope this article helps young harpists find more ensemble opportunities.
Although I've taught online lessons for many years, with the coronavirus pandemic, I have transitioned to teaching exclusively online for the time being. I have put together a page of information and FAQ's here.
I'm delighted to announce that I will be giving a few virtual performances on behalf of local libraries. With so many of my spring 2020 performances canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, I've been missing performing.
The upcoming performances will take place on April 28, April 30, and May 8. More info, including links to watch these performances, is available on my calendar.
Below you'll find a preview video with a few short pieces.
Summer Camp Updates
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan has canceled it's summer program. While I will miss being a part of of the Blue Lake Faculty, I am hopeful that the Baltimore Harp Camp will still run as scheduled in August.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of my spring performances have been canceled. Many are hoping to reschedule for the summer or fall. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra Harp Ensemble
I'm excited to announce that in March I will be guest conducting the Maryland Symphony Youth Orchestra Harp Ensemble, a group comprised of harpists from age 8 - 18, for two performances.
New Publication from Lyon and Healy
I'm delighted to announce that Lyon and Healy Publications has just published my arrangements of Gabriel Fauré's Romance en La Majeur, Op. 69, for cello and harp. You can see more information here, including a video performance of the piece.
Beau Soir Widely Available
Beau Soir, a recently released album of cello and harp music with Dariusz Skoraczewski, principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is now available through iTunes, Amazon and all other major streaming sites.
Dariusz Skoraczewski, principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and I just released Beau Soir, a recording of pieces for cello and harp. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Judith Krummeck at Baltimore's WBJC radio station for a short interview about the release. You can listen to the interview here.
Performances of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols
A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten is a beautiful work for choir and harp, written in 1942 while Britten was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. This year, I'll be performing the piece with three excellent choirs:
December 4, 7:30 pm
Johns Hopkins University Choral Society, under the direction of Mark Hardy
Shriver Hall, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland
December 15, 10 am
Towson Presbtyerian Church Choir, under the direction of Stephen Harouff
Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 West Chesapeake Avenue, Towson, Maryland
December 15, 4 pm
First and Franklin Sanctuary Choir, under the direction of Jason Kissel
First and Franklin Presbyterian Church, 210 West Madison Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Album Release Concert
I'm delighted to announce the completion of Beau Soir, a recording of pieces for cello and harp with Dariusz Skoraczewski, principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It will shortly be available in both physical and digital versions. We will be holding a album release concert:
Saturday, December 7 at 2pm
An die Musik
409 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
National Gallery of Art Solo Recital
My solo recital at the National Gallery of Art was a great experience. I performed a contemporary program, including the premiere of Nicky Hind's Harpers Ferry, a work that was written for me. The gallery has many beautiful spaces and I performed in the East Building Library, pictured below.
Free Improv Performance
Every now and then I enjoy stepping outside of my musical comfort zone. To that end, I just performed on Derrick Michaels Presents, a free improv series in Baltimore. Below are photos from the performance, including Derrick Michaels on saxophone, Zachary Swanson on bass, and Brent Madsen on trumpet.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Season Begins
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra recently found themselves in a difficult situation and experienced a fourteen week lock out, during which they were unable to perform. Thankfully, they were able to negotiate a new contract and begin performing again in September. I was honored to be a part of their opening weeks. Here I am warming up before a concert at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, Maryland.
Performance and Masterclass at Florida State University
I'm looking forward to performing Maurice Ravel's Introduction et Allegro at Florida State University alongside FSU Faculty members. While I'm in Tallahassee, I will also be giving a masterclass for the harp studio at FSU.
Solo Recital at the National Gallery of Art
I am honored to announce that I'll be giving a solo recital at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C. this fall. The program will feature 20th century music for the harp, including works by Paul Hindemith, John Cage, Ami Maayani and the premiere of a new work by Scottish-American composer Nicky Hind. More info is available here.
I have a couple of exciting new videos on my YouTube channel, where I post twice a month. I've been branching out and recently did two videos about approaching technique through repertoire. Check them out below.
New Piece by Scottish Composer
I am honored by having a new piece for solo harp written for me by the Scottish-American composer Nicky Hind. We met last April when working on music Hind had written for voices and harp with the Scottish Voices ensemble and this led to a new collaboration. I'm really excited to learn this new work!
Houston Summer Harp Festival to Perform Arrangement
I'm honored to announce that The Houston Summer Harp Festival, taking place at Houston Baptist University in Houston Texas in July, will be performing my arrangement of Brian Boru's March for lever harp this summer.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
As always, it's a pleasure to spend some of my summer at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Western Michigan. Besides working with talented young harpists, I also had the chance to perform with the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra and to collaborate with the dance faculty on a performance. The setting is absolutely beautiful.
New Recording to be Released Fall 2019
Beau Soir, a recording of pieces for cello and harp with Dariusz Skoraczewski (principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) is nearing completion. The recording will be released in both digital and physical formats this fall.
Masterclass for Student Harpists
The Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra Program hosted a masterclass for young harpists at the beginning of May. I had the pleasure of working with a variety of student harpists (pictured below) from the Washington D. C. area and was so impressed with the level of their playing and their responsiveness!
Lyon and Healy Publications has just released my transcription of Three Songs for Voice and Harp by Reynaldo Hahn. These beautiful songs were originally written for voice and piano. More information is available here.
Collaboration with Scottish Voices
Next month I'm looking forward to collaborating with the Scottish Voices, an ensemble of four female vocalists under the direction of conductor and composer Graham Hair. The group is based in Glasgow, Scotland and specializes in contemporary classical music. I'll be performing in concerts with them in Boston, Massachusetts and Radford, Virginia and we'll be collaborating together a new recording.
I had the pleasure of performing with the Columbia Pro Cantare recently, both accompanying the choir and performing solo harp music, and we received a great review:
"We were then treated to two harp solos by Pollauf. She played two pieces by the Frenchman, André Caplet, “Divertissements à la Française’ and “Divertissement à l’Espagnole.” The first sounded like a reflection of a Parisian street on a rainy day, and the second had a Flamenco flavor. Pollauf’s expertise on her instrument was apparent as her fingers effortlessly caressed the strings."
Click here to read the full review on MD Theater Guide.
Songs and Dreams Performances
In March and April I'll be giving several solo performances featuring music from my recent album, Songs and Dreams at several local library branches. Admission is free. Anyone is welcome to attend or simply to listen to a piece or two while browsing for books.
Thursday, March 7, 6:30 PM
Catonsville Branch, 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD
Wednesday, March 20, 7 PM
Rosedale Branch, 6105 Kenwood Avenue, Rosedale, MD
Saturday, March 23, 2 PM
Owings Mills Branch, 10302 Grand Central Avenue, Owings Mills, MD
Saturday, April 20, 3:30 PM
Washington Village Branch, 856 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, April 27, 3 PM
Light Street Branch, 1251 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
Article in Stringendo Magazine
I recently had a short article about practicing published in the American String Teacher Maryland Chapter Handbook.
Trio Sirènes Concert
January was a busy month with several concerts with Trio Sirènes, with flutist Marcia Kämper nad violist Karin Brown. We especially enjoyed performing at the Cosmos Club in Washington D. C. Below are a couple of photos from our performances.
I am thrilled to announce the release of my new book, Exercises in Harmonics! There are two versions, one for pedal harp and one for lever harp, and both are available either as PDF download through Harp Inside Out, or as a hard copy through Amazon. Use the below links to see more info!
Exercises in Harmonics for Pedal Harp
Exercises in Harmonics for Lever Harp
Exercises in Harmonics Book
My newest pedagogical publication, Exercises in Harmonics, is just about to be released by Oakway Studios. It's actually being release in two versions, one for pedal harp and one for lever harp, and will be available as a PDF download through my informational harp website, HarpInsideOut.com, and through Amazon.com. More information will be coming soon. In the meantime, check out this video about playing harmonics that I put together.
Interview with Mary Brigid Roman
I had the honor of interviewing harpist Mary Brigid Roman as she celebrates her 50th year (!) of teaching at Florida State University. The interview was just published as a feature article in The American String Teacher.
Songs and Dreams available
Livewire New Musical Festival
I'm looking forward to performing on the Livewire New Music Festival at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Saxophonist Noah Getz and I will be performing a piece by the featured composer, Anna Rubin.
World Premiere at Florida State University
Later this month I'll be traveling to Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida to give the world premiere of Aulos by the Czech/American composer Ladislav Kubik with flutist Eva Amsler. The premiere will be part of a memorial concert in memory of the composer and will feature a variety works by him.
Rehearsing with flutist Eva Amsler.
Opperman Music Hall, Florida State University.
Harp Inside Out
HarpInsideOut.com is now live! This is a new informational harp website that I put together, which organizes and presents the many resources I have for students and amateurs. You can find articles, videos and publications from Oakway Studios throughout the site. One of my favorite part are the illustrations of harps done by children!
Songs and Dreams to be released in September
My new solo recording is finally ready to be released! It has been a long process, but I'm so pleased with how it's all come out and can't wait to share it. The CD release party will be:
Sunday, Sept. 30th at 2pm
Hereford Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library
16940 York Road, Hereford, MD
Admission to the release party is free. Refreshments will be served and
CD's will be available for $10 each.
Baltimore Harp Camp
Every summer I have the pleasure of spending a week with a group of young harpists through the Baltimore Harp Camp, a day camp for students interested in spending a week intensively focusing on their harp skills. Below are a few photos showing students playing duets and working on thier harp history project. I've also included a beautiful portrait drawn for me by one of the campers!
Blue Lake Public Radio
On Saturday, August 11, I'll be featured on Blue Lake Public Radio, in a broadcast of Maurice Ravel's Introduction et Allegro from my recital at Blue Lake on July 2nd. Below is a video from the recital, a performance of La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin by Claude Debussy.
Artist Residency in the Blue Ridge Mountains
I'm thrilled to have arrived at my summer artist residency in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I have a cabin to live and work in, surrounded by the forest. It's refreshing to be in such a beautiful setting with only my work to focus on. Here's a video I made of myself in my cabin playing Maurice Ravel's short Prelude in a minor.
Impressionist Recital at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
In a few days I'll be heading to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. In addition to working with high school harpists from around the country, I'm going looking forward to collaborating with fellow faculty members on a solo and chamber recital of impressionist works for the harp:
Danses: Sacrée et Profane Claude Debussy
En Bateau Claude Debussy, trans. H. Renié
La Fille aux Cheveaux de Lin Claude Debussy, trans. M. Grandjany
Clair de Lune Claude Debussy, trans. M. Grandjany
Trio Elegiac Arnold Bax
Le Tombeau de Couperin Maurice Ravel, trans. J. Pollauf
Introduction et Allegro Maurice Ravel
Make Music Day at the Baltimore County Public Library
The Baltimore County Public Library system has declared June 21 Make Music Day and all of the branches will feature live music of some form or another. I performed at the Essex Branch in the afternoon and the Pikesville Branch in the evening, and so many patrons told me how very much they enjoyed the chance to experience some live music. Thanks to Julie Presley for the great photo!
Harp and Cello Recording with Dariusz Skoraczeski
Dariusz Skoraczewski, the principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and I just finished up the last of several recording sessions, so our forthcoming album is now completed recorded. Of course, there's still a lot to be done before we can release it, but we're getting closer!
Summer Artist Residency
I'm honored to be the recipient of an artists residency through the Wildacres Residency Program, in Little Switzerland, North Carolina. This July I'll spend two weeks in the beautiful and inspiring wilderness working on new compositions.
Performances with Trio Sirènes
Trio Sirènes (Marcia Kämper, flute; Karin Brown, viola; Jacqueline Pollauf, harp) has several performances coming up this spring. All will feature music by a variety of composers, including J. S. Bach, Maurice Ravel, Ladislas Rohozinski, Arnold Bax, and Sungji Hong.
• April 22, 5:30pm, Music in the Valley, Reisterstown, Maryland
• May 6, 7:30pm, Chamber Music by Candlelight, Baltimore, Maryland
• May 25, 8pm, All Saints Concert Series, Manassas, Virginia
More information is available on my calendar page. Below photos by Lawrence Siegel.
Performance with Dariusz Skoraczewski
Dariusz Skoraczewski, the principal cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and I had the pleasure of performing at the Light Street Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. We were set up in the children's section, as you can see from the below photos, and library patrons were free to set and listen or wander around looking for books. We had a great time and an enthusiastic audience! Thanks to Lawrence Siegel for the amazing photos:
Sing into Spring Concert
Tomorrow I'll be performing on the Columbia Pro Cantare's Sing into Spring concert. I'll be performing Handel's Concerto for Harp in B flat, as well as solo harp piece, Nocturne by Alan Hovhaness, and also joining the choir for two pieces by Stephen Paulus.
Click below to continue reading the preview article of the concert in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper.
Photos from Goucher Recital with Laura Whittenberger
Thanks to photographer Lawrence Siegel for taking the beautiful photos below at last month's voice and harp recital with soprano Laura Whittenberger at Goucher College.
Thoughts on Bach
Recently the Concert Artists of Baltimore, an organization I have the pleasure of performing with from time to time, asked me to write a blog post about a piece of music of my choosing. Bach has always held a special place in my heart, so I decided to write about the Andante from Violin Sonata no. 2. Click here to read the post.
Le Bon Petit Roi d'Yvetôt Arrangement Available
A recent arrangement I did of the French folk song, Le Bon Petit Roi d'Yvetôt, is now available on HarpColumnMusic.com. I've always liked this folk song, and there are several different solo arrangements of it in the harp literature. In this arrangement, layers are continuously added through the different sections. Click here for more information.
New Position at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
For the past few years, I've been spending a few weeks in the summer at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, teaching harp for high school campers from around the country. I have now accepted a position as harp department coordinator at Blue Lake, overseeing various aspects of the harp department. I'm particularly excited about working with the various ensembles at Blue Lake to include harp students more frequently.
Baker Artist Portfolio
The Baker Artist Awards are a program designed to recognize outstanding artists in a variety of disciplines within the Baltimore area. Any eligible artist can make a public profile, which then serves as their application for the awards. I recently put together a portfolio and found the process of gathering so much of my work into one place quite rewarding. Click below to browse through the portfolio or watch any of the forty videos included:
Photos from Concerto Performance
Below are a couple of photos from last weekend's performance of François-Adrien Boildieu's Harp Concerto with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. Despite snowy weather, everything went beautifully!
Upcoming Concerto Performance
This weekend I'll be performing François-Adrien Boieldieu's Harp Concerto with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra in Salisbury, Maryland. I'm really looking forward to this!
Performance with Dariusz Skoraczewksi
This fall I've had the pleasure of performing with Dariusz Skoraczewski, the principal cellist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, several times. We really enjoyed playing together and have been making plans for more to come! Here's a photo from a recent performance:
My new recording is coming along really well. Below is the beautiful cover that my sister, graphic designer Aleona Pollauf, created for me. This album will feature some lighter music, including arrangements of Over the Rainbow and Scarborough Fair, as well as a couple of Gershwin transcriptions. More info coming soon!
New Vanderbilt Music Publication
Vanderbilt Music has just released my arrangement of five songs by Gabriel Fauré for harp and voice, originally written for voice and piano. The arrangement is now available as both a print version and digital download.
Video of a New Composition
Sunrise is one of my new pieces from my recent artist residency. It's based on the folk song You Are My Sunshine and a song from the 1960's called Colours by the British singer-songwriter Donovan. I was initially working on an arrangement of Colours and somehow You Are My Sunshine found it's way in too. Here's a video I just made of the piece:
New Recording Project
I'm excited to announce that I'll be recording a new solo album in October, featuring several pieces that I composed at my recent artist residency, based off of folk songs and other well-known tunes. As the project progresses and I figure out a release date, I'll share more.
Artist Residency Begins
I've just completed my first week as Artist in Residence at the Hereford Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. It was both enjoyable and productive! I'll be in residence at the library three days a week until the middle of September, practicing and working on some new compositions and arrangements. I'll also give a program for preschoolers and a family program. Patrons are encouraged to interact however they would like. Some come up close and check out the harp and ask lots of questions. Some find a book and a chair nearby, and some just enjoy the music while browsing the library.
If you'd like to stop by, click here to view the full schedule on my calendar.
Profile of The Baltimore Harp Camp
The Towson Times, owned by the Baltimore Sun, has published an article about the Baltimore Harp Camp, a week-long day camp that I run each summer. They devoted a lot of time to the article, including interviews with a few of the campers, an interview with me, and a photo and video shoot. I was especially touched by the lovely quotes from the campers.
To read the full article or watch the video, click here.
Review of Pedal Exercises for Harp
The Harp Column Magazine included a review of my book, Pedal Exercises for Harp, in their July/August 2017 issue. If you have a subscription to this popular harp magazine, click here to log in and read the full review, including more about how "this excellent tome will help students get comfortable with pedaling."
For more information about Pedal Exercises for Harp, click here.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
I recently had the chance to spend some time in an area of Michigan filled with pine trees, little lakes, and much cooler temperatures than the muggy summers of Baltimore. The beautiful setting is home to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and was also filled with music. My couple of weeks were packed full of working with high school aged harpists, performing with various faculty ensembles, and watching sunsets on the lake.
Photos from Chamber Music by Candlelight Performance
Recently Trio Sirènes (Marcia Kämper, flute; Karin Brown, viola) performed on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Chamber Music by Candlelight Series at the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. We were so grateful to talented photographer Lawrence Siegel for these gorgeous photos from the concert:
Artist Residency at the Hereford Library
I had the pleasure of performing at the Hereford Branch of the Baltimore County Public library for their birthday celebration early in June.
Later this summer I will be an artist-in-residence at this library branch, so I was delighted to get to spend some time there. For the residency, I'll take my harp (and my laptop) to the library a few times a week and compose and practice there. Library patrons will be able to watch me work or stop and chat about what I'm doing. I'll also give a couple of performances for the public, featuring the new compositions from the residency, and a musical story time for children. The library branch has a strong commitment to the arts, as you can see by the artwork behind my harp.
Trio Sirènes Website
Trio Sirènes, the flute, viola and harp trio that I'm honored to play in with Marcia Kämper and Karin Brown, has just launched an official website! We based the whole thing off of the lovely photos that Baltimore photographer Roy Cox took of us, and it includes a schedule of performances, videos of us live performances, and biographical information.
When I was young and dreamed about being a professional musician, I never realized how many other skills musicians use constantly. I find myself writing bios, building websites, shooting videos, keeping books, and sending staggering amounts of email. We did the entire website ourselves, and are really proud of it! Take a look: triosirenes.com
Three harps with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Many orchestral pieces include a part for one harpist, if harp is included at all. A much smaller set of pieces are written for two harpists, and it's always fun to play with another harpist on pieces like Debussy's La Mer, Holst's The Planet, or most of Mahler Symphonies. However, as a first for me, this month I played on the original version of Stravinsky's The Firebird from 1910 (rather than the much more common Firebird Suite from a few years later), written for not one, not two, but three harps.
Performance for Babies and Toddlers
I had so much fun playing for an audience of babies and toddlers (and their parents) with Trio Sirènes (with flutist Marcia Kämper and violist Karin Brown) on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Music Box Series. We played children's songs and excerpts of longer pieces. I've never looked out at an audience before and seen so many big eyes, just trying to take it all in.
Radio Program on WWFM Classical Network
The Post Classical Ensemble has recently released CD of works by Lou Harrison on the Naxos Label. As part of the launch, the Post Classical Ensemble held an event at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D. C., as Harrison was heavily influenced by Indonesian music. The program featured several works by the composer that were not included on the CD, and I had the pleasure of performing Harrison's Suite for Cello and Harp with cellist Ben Capps.
Executive director of the Post Classical Ensemble, Joe Horowitz, discusses the entire project on his blog here. You can hear a few of the tracks from the CD, live performances from the event at the Indonesian Embassy, and thoughts from Horowitz and music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez in two radio specials on WWFM, the Classical Network, here. My performance of the Suite for Cello and Harp can be found at 42:00 on Part 2.
Maryland State Arts Council Grant
I'm excited to announce that I've been honored with an Individual Artist Award! Based on artistic merit, the Maryland State Arts Council seeks to recognize outstanding arts contributions and further each individual's artistic goals.
Florida State University Solo Recital and Masterclass
I've just returned from giving a solo recital and masterclass at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. It was great to spend time with professor of harp, Mary Roman, and meet all of the students!
(Photos from the top left: just before the solo recital in Dohnanyi Recital Hall, enjoying the Florida weather by a picturesque fountain, with students after the masterclass.)
Richard Lake Orchestra
Last spring I got to pretend I was playing with Ella Fitzgerald! Baltimore-based composer Richard Lake arranged a couple of old standards for vocalist Janna Critz, accompanied by jazz band with strings and harp. Below are videos from the recording session.
My One and Only Love by Guy Wood
The Nearness of You by Hoagy Carmichael.
Columbia Pro Cantare Concert
At their most recent concert in Ellicott City, I performed Liebstraume no. 3 by Franz Liszt, transcribed for harp by Heriette Renié, and my own transcription of Antonin Dvorak's Songs My Mother Taught Me for harp and voice, with soprano Laura Whittenberger.
I love this photo that photographer Lawrence Siegel took during the concert:
Solo Recital at Goucher College
I've been teaching at Goucher College for a few years now, and I just gave a solo recital as part of their faculty series. It was an enjoyable way to spend a rainy evening! Below are videos of a few of the pieces that I played.
Fernando Benadon Album Release
Washington D. C. based composer Fernando Benadon has just released an album of his music called delight/delirium on the New Focus Recordings label. I am happy to be playing on the first track, Cotxes, along with Noah Getz (saxophone), Nobue Matsuoka (vibes), and Jeffrey Chappell (piano).
Click here to view on amazon.
New Arrangement Published
I've just published a new arrangement, a medley of Greensleeves and O'Carolan's Air for four harps, intended for a student ensemble. It's available to purchase as a pdf through Harp Column Music.
Click here to view and listen to an mp3.
For almost a year now I've been trying to post one video a week to my youtube channel. Some of these videos are solo or chamber music performances, and I've also been doing a series of inspirational videos for students. I've made a couple of informational videos too, and recently I had the opportunity do one about a very specific harp repair, replacing a broken pedal rod. A friend of mine brought his harp to me to fix and I filmed the whole process, which meant that my living room turned into a repair shop/film studio for two days. (See the below photo, followed by the finished video.)
Since the beginning of the school year, I've been working with a high school harp and violin duo through the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra program. They just gave a beautiful performance of Meditation from Thaïs by Jules Massenet, arranged by Carlos Salzedo, at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Lullaby on I Wonder as I Wander
There is so much beautiful Christmas music. This year I found the time to compose a piece based on the Appalachian melody, I Wonder as I Wander. As I was working with it, I found a way to intertwine The Coventry Carol with it. Here it is:
I had the honor of premiering a new work for voice and harp by Emmanuel Dubois at Carnegie Hall. The program featured soprano Yulia Petrachuk in various songs and opera arias, along with a few guests artists. Photos from the performance are below.
Premiere by Christian Humcke
Last week I got to premiere a new piece for choir and harp, Evening Quiescence by a young composer, Christian Humcke. The performance took place at First and Franklin Church in Baltimore, with the First and Franklin Choir under the direction of Jason Kissel. Christian not only wrote the music and the text, but conducted as well.
The piece was so beautiful, and lingered in the space. Here's a recording of the premiere.
John Cage for the harp
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County began holding a new music festival every fall several years ago. Each year they choose a theme, and this year they chose: "The New York School and Beyond" focusing on American composers John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff. I had the opportunity to play In a Landscape by John Cage at the festival. It's not in the typical experimental style that most people associate with Cage, but instead is much more reminiscent of Erik Satie. Here's the performance:
Trio Sirènes Performance
Claude Debussy wrote a Sonata for harp, flute, and viola at the beginning of the 20th century. It's a beautiful piece and single-handedly transformed harp, flute and viola into a standard trio of instruments. Since then, many composers have written music for this combination.
Last week, my trio with Marcia Kämper, flute and Karin Brown, viola, performed a entire program of music written in the last twenty years for harp, flute and viola at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Photos below:
Baltimore Boom Bap Society
Five years ago, I was asked to play on a show at Baltimore's Windup Space - an improvised combination of hiphop and instrumentalists from other genres. Obviously, I fell into the "other genres" category. Since I'm always interested in broadening my musical horizons (at least in theory, sometimes I find myself with a few qualms on stage, like the first time I played an all improvised show), I said yes. Now I'm excited to say that I'll be playing on the Baltimore Boom Bap Society's Fifth Anniversary Show on November 2nd.
There's a great preview in the City Paper about it all. (Incidentally, I think this also the only time I've been called a "fucking harp" in print. It's meant positively, you know, in an excited sort of way.) And, for the article, everyone met up for a photo at dawn, taken by Wendel Patrick.
New Video Series
I started a new video series on my youtube channel, called Inspirational Videos for Young Harpists, that I'm really excited about. In each video I give a short spoken introduction and then play a beginning or intermediate level piece. Below are a couple of my favorites or click here to see all of the videos.
Spangler Family Album
Baltimore-based composer and electronic musician Erik Spangler has produced a new album, Introducing the Spangler Family: Intergenerational Electronics, featuring music and sounds created by himself, his wife, and his three young children. I am honored to be a guest artist on the track Selkie, playing harp alongside my young student, Mila Spangler.
Pedal Exercises for Harp
When students begin playing the harp, they usually start on a lever harp, which is a smaller, simpler instrument than what you see if you go to an orchestra concert. At some point, if they chose to, students make a switch to the large, complex pedal harp. Naturally, this involves learning to move the seven pedals around the base of the harp. The first time I found myself teaching a student who was making the switch, I thought to myself, "It would be really helpful to have a few exercises specifically for learning to move the pedals." So I sat down and wrote six. It turns out that wasn't enough. So I wrote another six. And then I revised the twelve, and wrote more, and rearranged them, and tried them with some new students, and then expanded them and revised them further and wrote more, and on and on.
It took quite some time, but eventually the whole project was finished and it's just been published. I can't begin to describe how proud I am.
For more information about the exercises, click here.