The harp was the voice of the marginalized peoples of the British Isles – Irish, Welsh, and Scots. Ireland’s legendary blind harper, Turlough O’Carolan, was one of several great harpers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Today’s young virtuoso harpist, Parker Ramsay, weaves their stories and their music into an evening of intimate artistry. Six Apollo’s Fire musicians on violins, flute, cello, hammered dulcimer, and plucked instruments join in the sparkling music of O’Carolan, Purcell, William Lawes, and Handel.
Pre-Concert ZOOM Talks
Don’t miss the lively discussion with 2 AF musicians. Choose Thursday 2/18 or Saturday 2/20 at 1:00pm. A ZOOM link will be sent to all ticket holders for these concerts.
Post-Concert VIRTUAL LOBBY
Meet 2-3 of the featured the artists in our new Q&A ZOOM discussions – Sunday 2/21 (for patrons who attend the live concert) and Tuesday 3/2 at 7:30pm (for patrons who watch the video at home). Sit down with a glass of wine for 30 minutes and toast the musicians on their performance!
Parker Ramsay’s career is distinguished by its breadth and crossing of instrumental boundaries and genres at the harp, organ and harpsichord. At age seventeen, Parker was awarded the organ scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge where he served under the direction of Stephen Cleobury. His tenure with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge included performing for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in 2012, as well as six international tours and four recordings. In 2014, he was awarded First Prize at the Amsterdam International Organ Competition. Parker has performed at the Concertgebouw in (Amsterdam), the Royal Albert Hall (London), the Musée d’Orsay (Paris), the National Center for the Performing Arts in (Beijing), Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (Seoul), Verizon Hall in (Philadelphia), Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall (New York City).
As a harpist, Parker specializes in repertoire for early harps and new music for the modern pedal harp. In March 2018, he led the University of Louisville Harp Project, premiering nine works written for solo harp. In 2019, he will record his own transcription of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the pedal harp at the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. As a continuo player, he has worked with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Academy of Sacred Drama, and the Shanghai Camerata. In 2020, he will commence the Kithara series in New York, in which he will premiere six new chamber works for harp and other instruments during the 2020-21 season. Parker has worked closely with composers such as Marc Satterwhite, David Fulmer, Tom Morrison and Saad Haddad.
Parker holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a master’s degree and artist diploma in historical keyboards from Oberlin Conservatory. He also holds a master’s degree in harp performance from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Nancy Allen, principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic. His prior teachers were Isabelle Perrin (Head of Strings, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo), Sivan Magen (Principal Harp, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki) and Skaila Kanga (Head of Harp Emerita, Royal Academy of Music, London). In addition to his work as a performer, he works as a staff writer for VAN Magazine (Berlin) and maintains his blog, Harping On: Thoughts from a Recovering Organist.
has been praised as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A highly versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart to Ravel, and has toured internationally as soloist in baroque opera, oratorio, and crossover folk programs. Her tour performances with GRAMMY-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire (Jeannette Sorrell) include such venues as the National Concert Hall of Ireland in Dublin, the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, and Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, among others. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with the Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.”
As a recording artist, Ms Powell has been featured on several Apollo’s Fire albums including Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, and Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, all of which received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and debuted in the top ten on the BILLBOARD Classical Chart. Her 2015 solo debut album, Beyond Boundaries, is an intimate program of folk, jazz, and global music. She is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Sheila Jordan.