“The inflection and phrasing and bent pitches are not often heard from the harp,” Kibbey said by phone from Valencia, Spain, where she was recording an album featuring Placido Domingo. “It’s referencing one of the oldest predecessors of the harp as we know it today. What’s so special about the concerto is that she’s exploring not just one folk element, but many, so it’s a bit of a cultural array, from one personality to another.”
“Working with a living composer is the best kind of challenge because it changes you as a player and really helps change your own perception of your instrument,” said Kibbey. “What’s special for the Alabama audience is that they get to hear the fresh, completely new, first performance of this piece.”
Following the premiere, the work will be performed by the Badische Staatskappelle Karlsruhe in Germany, the Metropolis Ensemble in New York, the Phillips Camerata in Washington, D.C., and the San Jose (Calif.) Chamber Orchestra.
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