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Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto, featured on PRX - Radio Purdue 'What's New'

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Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto is featured prominently on the new Azica Records album - American Rapture featuring; Yolanda Kondonassis with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Ward Stare, Music Director. Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize-winner and one of the greatest musical voices of our time, wrote and dedicated the Concerto to Kondonassis; She says, "I love writing concerti because it gives me a chance to not only explore the different instruments' qualities, but also because I get to experience the joy of the performer in displaying those qualities. Yolanda Kondonassis' enthusiasm for her instrument is infectious." Kondonassis echoes, "The journey of bringing Jennifer Higdon's Harp Concerto to life has been an amazing ride. We agreed on many aspects of what a new harp concerto should be – strong, agile, lyrical, feisty, energetic and even heroic when necessary; it should be challenging, but really fun to play, and it should have a groove that allows the harpist to catch a musical wave with the orchestra once in a while. Jennifer managed all this and more, delivering a work that is all at once powerful, heart-wrenching, whimsical, and original."

The Higdon Harp Concerto is a consortium commission from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra. Of the world premiere performance, Rochester's CITY Newspaper notes, "Higdon was keen to showcase the harp's naturally rich harmonic colors, and there was something prayerful about Kondonassis' playing, particularly in the quieter moments," and, "Sonically, the presence of Kondonassis' harp seemed to signify magic at work, in the throes of a hectic and sobering reality, as played by the orchestra . . . The vibraphone and bells reinforced the divine character of Kondonassis' tone, and something akin to Renaissance song in Higdon's melodies only heightened the mystery." In the final movement, the critic observes, "The previously conventional concerto acquired a welcome avant-garde, dance-like quality." 

Radio Purdue - WBAA 'What's New' producer John Clare has included the concerto in his new PRX segment titled; Heavenly Harp. LISTEN TO THE PROGRAM