March 21, 2019
Erich Burnett
harpist Anya Garipoli '19
Photo credit: Julie Gulenko '15

Student of Yolanda Kondonassis emerges from field of 54 performers in Chicago competition.

Anya Garipoli, a fourth-year harp performance major from West Long Branch, New Jersey, was one of three winners of the 2019 Lyon & Healy Awards, which took place March 16 in Chicago.

A student of Yolanda Kondonassis, Garipoli joined 53 other participants in performing Jacques de la Presle’s Le Jardin Mouillé and Nino Rota’s Sarabanda e Toccata for a panel of three judges. Garipoli and two co-winners each received $2,000 and a $500 Lyon & Healy gift certificate. Five additional harpists earned honorable mention.

The competition was open to all harpists under the age of 30. The jury panel consisted of Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Harpist Sarah Bullen, Houston Symphony Principal Harpist Paula Page, and Kondonassis, an acclaimed soloist and faculty member at Oberlin.

“I walked away feeling like I had played very musically,” Garipoli says. “There are so many technically proficient players out there—actually more than proficient: amazingly proficient. But I just tried to create a performance that I thought would touch someone and be memorable, especially when they are listening to the same music 54 times! I feel like if it’s captivating, people will remember that.”

In 2016, Garipoli was a winner of the American Harp Society’s Anne Adams Awards Competition.

In addition to classical repertoire, she has pursued opportunities with Oberlin’s Performance & Improvisation (PI) ensembles, which unite musicians from the worlds of classical and jazz.

harpist Anya Garipoli at Carnegie Hall
Anya Garipoli playing Debussy's La Mer at Carnegie Hall in January 2019.  Photo by Fadi Kheir 

She also found inspiration in a course on electroacoustic performance offered by the conservatory’s Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) department. It was there that she learned to use effects pedals, processors, and other equipment to coax otherworldly sounds from her instrument.

On March 20, Garipoli performed as part of a TIMARA junior recital in Oberlin’s Medieval-inspired Fairchild Chapel. She was pre-recorded in performance for a fixed-media track that also included guitar, organ, recorder, and two vocalists; at the recital, the recording was manipulated by TIMARA student Katarina Mazur while Garipoli and her fellow musicians improvised over it.

Just two months earlier, she found herself onstage at Carnegie Hall, performing Debussy’s La Mer with the Oberlin Orchestra (pictured).

“I have utilized so much of what Oberlin has to offer,” says Garipoli, who has also enjoyed environmental studies and philosophy courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Not many classical conservatories offer all of these things, and that’s really amazing.”

Garipoli will be a fellow at the Music Academy of the West’s orchestral program in summer 2019. She was a fellow of the Round Top Festival Institute in 2018 and the Texas Music Festival in 2017.

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