Maestro David Amado and guest artist and harpist, Bridget Kibbey, met over Zoom to discuss the upcoming Masterworks IV Concert and the specially composed harp concerto “Recife”. A special note of thanks to long-time ACO supporter Michael Bickford, who sponsored this Concerto.
In this interview, Amado and Kibbey discuss a special harp concerto written by guitarist and composer, João Luiz Rezende. They discuss the inspirations behind the piece and what concertgoers can expect hearing it in next weeks concert.
Called the “Yo-Yo Ma of the harp,” by Vogue’s Senior Editor Corey Seymour, harpist Bridget Kibbey “…makes it seems as though the instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the energetic figures and gorgeous colors she was getting from it [The New York Times].” With the harp as her muse, Kibbey is in demand for her virtuosic and soulful performances —excavating centuries of music as a soloist and alongside today’s top performing artists — from the French Belle Époque, to the Baroque, to Persian Modes, to Latin Jazz traditions and beyond.
Amado begins the interview by expressing his excitement to perform with Kibbey in the last concert of the ACO’s 33rd season, and touches on how the pandemic put a halt on the ACO performing this piece back in 2020.
Amado and Kibbey continue on to discuss the relationship Kibbey has with the composer of the harp concerto, João Luiz Rezende. Kibbey, who has now worked with João for years, describes their early collaborations “I found myself loving the groove of working with in in that duo capacity” and that when it came time to commission a conductor for a new harp concerto, he was at the top of her mind.
They touch on João’s inspiration for this concerto, and the inspirations he drew from Brazilian dance forms and traditional music. Amado discusses the uniqueness of the composition, discussing how the harp is not “an instrument people consider to be driven by rhythm – that’s what I find compelling about this piece, it’s fundamentally based on Brazilian rhythms [and] it’s really interesting.”
Amado further touches on how the strings are utilized as an acoustical tool to help identify and profile ideas that could otherwise be lost if left to the harp alone. Describing how it ads another dimension and edge to the harp.
Kibbey strongly expresses her excitement to be playing with David Amado and with the ACO this season and provides insight on what to expect from this piece and how to better understand and appreciate the unique “building blocks”, layers, and styles of the piece. When concerning the composer’s personal style, Kibbey muses that “João’s harmonic language is very unique. He’s not afraid to push the boundaries [of] harmony and chords that he uses within his rhythmic framework.”
Listen to the full interview below!
The Masterworks IV concert is the final concert of the 33rd season for Atlantic Classical Orchestra, and features Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5. This concert will take place April 12 in Palm Beach Gardens at 7:30 P.M., April 13 in Vero Beach at 7:30 P.M., and Downtown Stuart at 4:00 & 8:00 P.M. Please join the ACO as we wrap up our 33rd season of providing professional classical music to Florida’s Treasure Coast.