Ensemble 20/21: Harpistically Yours, Curtis

Harpist Coline Marie Orliac (’10) performs new solo works commissioned by fellow Curtis alumnae.



KAT SOUPONETSKY      Introspection
RENE ORTH  A Mother’s Lullaby
DAI WEI  Pitter-Patter

All commissions are supported by the Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman Venture Fund for Music.


Notes from the composers

Kat Souponetsky (Composition ’12)

Introspection is my first piece for solo harp. I wanted to create music that is evocative, gentle, atmospheric, intimate and groovy. It was also very important for me to craft it in a way that is authentic and natural for the instrument. With Coline-Marie’s help and active involvement in the process, this goal was accomplished. Overall, her very playing as well as my personal musings were my inspiration in creating this work. I would like to thank Coline-Marie Orliac, David Ludwig, and the Curtis Institute of Music for commissioning this piece. 


Rene Orth (Composition ’16)

While composing A Mother’s Lullaby, I spent a lot of my time rocking my baby to sleep. She insists on my humming Brahms’s “Wiegenlied” during this time and will do so by singing the first three notes of the melody. Babies never fall asleep as fast as one might wish, and I often found my mind wandering about all sorts of things while humming to her. From compiling mental to-do lists, to dreaming about being on a beach, to thinking about writing this piece, and much more, my mental journeys were never completed, as I was often forcefully reminded by my baby’s sudden 3-note interruption that she was still not yet asleep. This piece is a reflection and musical description of my current experiences with lullabies.


Dai Wei (Composition ’19)

This piece largely utilizes the enharmonic spelling of the harp to explore a propelling and rhythmic sound image. It was inspired while on a rainy day I was sitting in the yard of Pilu Buddhist Temple in Nanjing. I found that the combination of these seemingly contradictory elements was very interesting: Since the temple was located in the heart of the city where the heavy traffic and the car horns rise and fall, the pitter-patter sound of the rain blended with the occasional echo of the ringing temple bell and all became an escape adventure in this little corner of the city.

Generous support for Ensemble 20/21 is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation.