Bridget Kibbey Performs World Premiere of Vivian Fung’s Harp Concerto with Alabama Symphony

Bridget Kibbey Performs World Premiere of Vivian Fung’s Harp Concerto with Alabama Symphony February 13, 2014

*Harp Marvel takes Concerto to NYC, Washington, San Jose in 2014*

January 31, 2014 (New York, NY)  Harpist Bridget Kibbey, known for bringing adventurous programming to her instrument, will perform the world premiere of composer Vivian Fung’s  Harp Concerto with the Alabama Symphony in Birmingham on February 13, 2014.

Singled out as “one of today’s most eclectic composers” (NPR) and a writer of music of “dramatic urgency and depth” (The San Francisco Chronicle), recent Juno winner Vivian Fung enters the rarefied universe of harp composition with her latest concerto for Kibbey, a harp virtuoso passionate about new music who has been praised for her “blazing power and finesse” (The New York Times) and for “singlehandedly spring-boarding a new repertoire for her instrument” (Lucid Culture).

Following the premiere, led by intrepid conductor laureate Justin Brown, Kibbey performs the work again in six other concerts in Germany and the US over the course of 2014. “Working so closely with soloists who are passionate about delving into my sound world is a very powerful experience that feeds me with inspiration,” says Ms. Fung. “Bridget has a wonderful rhythmic and virtuosic way of playing, and I really wanted to highlight that.”

Fung’s Harp Concerto was commissioned by a consortia of ensembles comprised of the Alabama Symphony, Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe in Germany, Metropolis Ensemble in NYC, the Phillips Collection in DC, and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Consisting of an introduction and three continuous movements and scored for harp, strings, and percussion, the work begins with a rhythmic melody that is bent and twisted over mixed meters, coaxing unexpected colors and groove from an instrument that has for too long been relegated to glissandi and arpeggios. From this initial movement, which takes cues from traditional music for jakhe, a crocodile-shaped zither from Thailand, the concerto goes on to upend other preconceived notions of the harp with a dizzying, unpredictable cadenza that showcases Kibbey’s technique; macabre and disjointed dances; and a preparation of the instrument using card stock that underscores its bass register.

See below for a complete tour schedule. For more details about the tour and Bridget Kibbey’s upcoming season, please visit ( .

Harp Concerto World Premiere and Tour Dates

Birmingham, Alabama – Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8pm Alys Stephens Center - Tickets: $15–$35 With the Alabama Symphony conducted by Justin Brown [World Premiere]

Karlsruhe, Germany – Sunday, March 30 at 11am & Monday, March 31, 2014 at 8pm Badisches Staatstheater – Tickets: EUR 12–42 With the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe conducted by Johannes Willig [European Premiere]

New York, NY – Sunday, April 6 & Monday, April 7, 2014 Le Poisson Rouge With Metropolis Ensemble

Washington, DC – Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 4pm The Phillips Collection – Tickets: $30, $15 for students, children and members With The Phillips Camerata

San Jose, CA – Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 7pm Le Petit Trianon Theatre With the San Jose Chamber Orchestra conducted by Barbara Day Turner

Bridget Kibbey

Lauded for her artistry and ability to captivate audiences, harpist Bridget Kibbey "makes it seem as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the gorgeous colors and energetic figures she was getting from it.” (New York Times) She won the Classical Recording Foundation's 2012 Young Artist Award, Concert Artist Guild's 2007 International Competition, and Astral Artist Auditions, and received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Her debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of 2007's Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York. Fast gaining a reputation for taking the harp to new musical places, Ms. Kibbey has collaborated with Grammy-Award winning producers Robert Sadin and Adam Abeshouse; and her cross-genre collaborators include the Brooklyn Rider Quartet, Ellie Goulding, The National, David Krakauer and Avi Avital.  Ms. Kibbey is a graduated of the The Juilliard School, where she studied with Nancy Allen. She is on the harp faculties of Bard Conservatory, New York University, and the Juilliard Pre-College program.

Vivian Fung

With music described as “evocative” by The New York Times, Vivian Fung has distinguished herself as a composer with a powerful compositional voice, whose music often merges Western forms with non-Western influences such as Balinese and Javanese gamelan and folk songs from minority regions of China. Fung is a 2013 JUNO Award winner for her Violin Concerto, commissioned and recorded by Metropolis Ensemble and violinist Kristin Lee on Naxos.  Fung is also the recipient of a 2012 Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship as well as awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She has been composer-in-residence of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Loft (Chicago), San José Chamber Orchestra, and Billings Symphony. Fung received her doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York, where her mentors included David Diamond and Robert Beaser.  She was a faculty member at Juilliard from 2002 to 2010, and currently divides her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.