New York native Caroline Bembia is the new principal harp with the Filharmonica de Jalisco, following a recent closed audition.
“The story with me and the orchestra is very interesting,” Bembia told Harp Column. “Late one night this past July, I received a message from a friend of mine who went to Juilliard with me. He asked if I could fly down to Guadalajara, Mexico, the next day to play in the live performance round of Placido Domingo’s vocal competition Operalia with the orchestra. I said, ‘Hey actually I’m free tomorrow, so why not?’ I then received a call from the orchestra saying that they needed me to fly out that night. Two hours later, I was boarding a plane at JFK airport, heading to Mexico for the first time. The concert was a ton of fun and a huge success, and I got to play with the orchestra again in early September for a recording project consisting of an all-Wagner program, which is my absolute favorite repertoire to play.”
Bembia was invited to submit a video audition recording for the principal harp audition. “I pretty much had to record every major harp orchestral excerpt there is—without stopping!” she said. Now that she has won the position, Bembia will relocate to Guadaljara in summer, 2017. “It’s a wonderful city with the most beautiful, sunny weather year round, and the friendliest people. And the food! The tacos are to die for. I’m really excited!”
Caroline Bembia was a student of Emily Oppenheimer and Bridget Kibbey at Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. She studied with Judy Loman at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto, and received her Music and M.M. at Juilliard with Nancy Allen. Read more about her at www.carolinebembia.com, and find out more about the Filharmonica de Jalisco at en.ofj.com.mx.