Amelia Romano and Guests
New Directions for Lever Harp in Chamber Music
Date(s) & Time(s): Sat, Jun 10, 3:00 PM
Duration: 60 mins w/out intermission
Location: 2781 24th St, SF, CA, 94110
Venue: BRAVA Cabaret
Early Bird: $20, Advance: $25, Door: $30
Audience members and participants are encouraged to wear a mask to protect against COVID-19. We ask people who have a temperature or feel unwell to not attend.
Production DetailsNew Directions for Lever Harp in Chamber Music
Taking what is known of conventional harp, Amelia surpasses each time. Joined by an all-female cast, Amelia Romano and guests present an innovative program of original works. Included are "Serendipity" inspired by her year living in South Africa in 2010, and "Down Yonder," composed during lockdown. Having recently completed a masters in classical lever harp performance, she includes "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens and Piazzolla's "Oblivion" as well as premiering works written and or revised during her masters degree at San Francisco State University. Composer William Grant Still was a man of many firsts -- first African American to compose a symphony performed by a major orchestra, first to conduct an orchestra etc. His most famous work, "Afro-American Symphony," placed jazz and classical melodies side-by-side, something unheard of in the symphonic realm of the 1950's. Composed by Still, the closing number, "Ennanga," is a rare chamber work for quartet, piano and harp. Written for harp, and in celebration of the African harp, Ennanga, honors his roots as a man of color, and celebrates the symphonic instrument he came to adore.Amelia Romano and Guests
An eclectic blend of austere serenity and kinetic vibrancy, Amelia Romano takes what is known about conventional harp and surpasses every time. Pulling from her roots in the cultural hotbed of San Francisco, Amelia not only plays music from the repertoire but reprises them and creates originals. Latin American music, jazz and classical are all genres that she touches but her music defines its own path. From her desire to merge folk and classical traditions, Amelia partnered with a classical trumpeter to form the group Luminance. When the pandemic upended the music industry, she returned to school to pursue a classical performance degree in lever harp at San Francisco State University. Amelia is an active soloist in addition to offering workshops and virtual seminars from classical to folk, jazz to Latin. This Fall she will release an album containing audio recordings of all 5 recital programs performed as part of her masters. Her book, "Classical works for Modern Levers," will also be available containing select recital works she adapted for the lever harp. She is equally at home composing classical and Latin American inspired works for solo harp and chamber groups.
After earning degrees from New England Conservatory, Yale School of Music, and most recently San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Alexandra Simpson has established a multi-faceted career in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She serves as the Assistant Principal Violist of the California Symphony and regularly appears as a guest Principal with orchestras, most notably with San Antonio Opera and Ballet. Alexandra has collaborated as a soloist with Sacramento's Camellia Symphony Orchestra, the Marin Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory’s New Music Ensemble, and the Classical Music Institute Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Alexandra travels frequently to festivals to perform, learn, and teach. Alexandra has participated in the Prussia Cove International Musicians’ Seminar, Kneisel Hall, Tanglewood, as well as many others. She has performed with legends such as Bonnie Hampton and Ian Swenson, as well as up and coming talents Jennifer Pike and Geneva Lewis. Most recently, she is a founding member of the new Wave Chamber Collective, which puts on multi-disciplinary performances once a month around the Bay Area.
Basma Edrees is a violinist based in the San Francisco Bay area. Basma has served as Associate Concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony, and has performed with the SF Ballet Orchestra, SF Opera Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Opera and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Trained in the Western Classical Musical tradition and growing up in Egypt surrounded by a rich Arab musical tradition, Basma specializes in both Western and Arab styles of violin playing. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Mannes School of Music in NY, Basma currently serves on the violin faculty at Santa Clara University.
Lizzie Jones is a versatile performer and instructor, with a deep passion for music. She has contributed her talents as a member of various orchestras, including several symphony orchestras in the Greater Boston area as a concertmaster. Additionally, her performances include her involvement in Videri String Quartet, a chamber music group that specializes in performing video game music and works closely with the composers of today’s games. Videri has contributed to a number of compilation albums as well as been featured on video game soundtracks such as The Magic Circle, Neocolonialism, and Beat Sports. Along with cross-country performances, Videri was invited to perform at the G.A.N.G. Awards at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco for two years in a row. Lizzie continues to perform in the San Francisco Bay Area in chamber music concerts and musical theater, and thanks her fiancé for his never-ending support as she also is passionate about her additional career in real estate.
Cellist, Natalie Raney is recognized for her bold and adventurous playing and has performed chamber music with world-renowned musicians such as Kim Kashkashian, Menahem Pressler, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Roberto Diaz, Norman Fischer, Ian Swensen, Jodi Levitz, and the Arianna String Quartet. She has performed chamber music around the country in venues such as the Kennedy Center & Bing Hall. A proponent of new music, Natalie seeks to highlight works by women. She currently serves on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College coaching chamber music and maintains her own private studio in SF. For more information visit www.natalieraneycello.com.
Elyse Weakley has taken part in a wide array of musical projects including Middle Eastern and Latin music and currently works with the Hurd Ensemble, recently featured at the Kennedy Center, and Redwood Tango Ensemble presenting contemporary tango music. Her recording projects include collaborations with acclaimed rapper MC Squadda B and Grammy award-winning composer Mason Bates.