Grammy-nominated artists, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and guitarist Jason Vieaux, will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 11, in Oberlin Conservatory's Warner Concert Hall. The program features works from their new recording, Together, on the Azica label, just released on January 27. Kondonassis, assistant professor of harp at Oberlin Conservatory, has been performing with Jason Vieaux since 2012.
The inspiration behind this concert and the recording evolved from the duo's 2012 performance of Hovhaness’ Spirit of Trees for harp and guitar. The immediate ease of their collaboration has proven fruitful. Kondonassis and Vieaux are fixed on the concept of performing as much original music for the duo as possible. To this end, their duo has become a vehicle for new compositions. Two pieces on the program and the recording—Fitch's Knock on Wood and Shocker's Hypnosis—were written for and premiered by them.
Kondonassis explained that a common thread in works written for harp and guitar is the infusion of world music cultures such as Latin, Asian, and Middle Eastern. She said, "With two instruments of such ancient and folk-inspired traditions, rich global influence was hardly a surprise, and the result is a sonic space unlike most chamber music territories.”
"The harp and guitar share so many musical, physical, and acoustical similarities. There are times when our sounds are so interwoven that it’s difficult to tell which one of us is playing.” Indeed, their work together has been noted for its "intuitive synchronicity" (Buffalo News).
Kondonassis and Vieaux have several performances coming up this season including the duo's New York debut concert at the 92nd Street Y on February 28.
February 11 program details
Máximo Diego Pujol Suite Magica for guitar and harp
Alan Hovhaness Sonata, Op. 374: Spirit of Trees for guitar and harp
Gary Schocker Hypnosis for guitar and harp
Keith Fitch Knock on Wood for guitar and harp
Xavier Montsalvatge Fantasia for guitar and harp
Antonio Carlos Jobim A Felicidade for guitar
Carlos Salzedo Chanson dans la nuit for harp
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