Yolanda Kondonassis will premiere a new harp concerto by Jennifer Higdon with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on May 10 and 12, 2018. The concerto, a project that has been 10 years in the making, was a consortium commission by the orchestras in Rochester, Harrisburg, Baton Rouge, Fargo-Moorhead, Lansing, and Oklahoma City. The piece includes four movements: First Light, Joy Ride, Lullaby, and Rap Knock, which features the rhythmic colors of the harp. Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize and two-time Grammy Award winner, says she took inspiration for the music from Kondonassis; the concerto was written for and dedicated to her. Conducted by Ward Stare, the concerto will receive encore performances in Sept. 2018, where it will also be recorded for AZICA Records.
In addition to her work as a solo performer, Kondonassis has an active career as a recording artist, chamber musician, and teaching artist. She has released 20 albums, including the Grammy nominated album Air and her most recent album, Ginastera: One Hundred, a celebration of his 2016 centennial. She has been featured on CNN, PBS, and NPR’s programs All Things Consideredand Tiny Desk Concerts, and performs regularly with renowned classical guitarist Jason Vieaux. As a teacher, Kondonassis is head of the harp departments at both Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Cleveland Institute of Music.