YOLANDA KONDONASSIS, Harpist
Yolanda Kondonassis is celebrated as one of the world’s premiere solo harpists and is widely regarded as today’s most recorded classical harpist. Hailed as “an extraordinary virtuosa” and “sheer luminescence at the harp,” 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.
Since making her debut at age 18 with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Ms. Kondonassis has appeared as soloist with numerous major orchestras in the United States and abroad such as The Cleveland Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, to name only a few. Other solo appearances include engagements at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y and Taiwan’s National Concert Hall.
Her fifteenth album on the Telarc label features the world premiere recording of Bright Sheng’s Never Far Away: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, written for and premiered by Ms. Kondonassis. With well over 100,000 albums sold worldwide, her extensive Telarc discography includes her recent Grammy-nominated release of music by Takemitsu and Debussy entitled Air, and other titles such as Salzedo’s Harp, Debussy’s Harp, The Romantic Harp, and her own (and the first-ever) harp transcription of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Orchestra of Flanders.
As an author, composer, and arranger, Ms. Kondonassis has published three books to date: On Playing the Harp, The Yolanda Kondonassis Collection, and The Yolanda Kondonassis Christmas Collection, featuring Ms. Kondonassis’ most popular arrangements from her acclaimed disc, Dream Season: The Christmas Harp. All of Ms. Kondonassis’ works are published by Carl Fischer Music.
Ms. 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 the Earth Matters was released on Earth Day, 2010.
Her long list of national and international honors includes top prizes in the Affiliate Artists National Auditions in New York and the Maria Korchinska International Harp Competition in Great Britain. The recipient of two Solo Recitalists Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Kondonassis has been featured on CNN and PBS television as well as National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, St. Paul Sunday Morning, and Performance Today. In addition to her active performing and recording schedule, Ms. Kondonassis heads the harp departments at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has presented master classes around the world.
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