A Sony Classical International exclusive artist, harpist Lavinia Meijer performs solo concerts in concert halls around the world, from Carnegie Hall NYC to the Berlin Philharmonie, and is one of the most important, groundbreaking and exciting musicians of our time.
Born in South Korea and adopted at the age of 2, Lavinia Meijer now lives in the Netherlands. She began playing the harp at the age of only 9. She studied at the conservatories of Utrecht (she was accepted there at the age of 11) and Amsterdam, graduating with highest honors. At the age of only 14, Lavinia Meijer was already performing with symphony orchestras. Her passion for expanding the harp's possibilities is remarkable. Ms. Meijer not only seeks out rare classical solo and orchestral repertoire, but is also always on the lookout for contemporary music opportunities, performing with Òlafur Arnalds, among others. She performs pieces by Radiohead in classical concert halls to high acclaim from artists and critics, and has enjoyed great commercial success with her albums. Ms. Meijer tours extensively worldwide in classical and rock halls and outdoor festivals. Ms. Meijer has received numerous awards, including two gold records and a certified platinum record for the album Metamorphosis / The Hours, featuring pieces by acclaimed American composer Philip Glass.
In May 2011, she had the honor of meeting Mr. Glass in person, who granted Ms. Meijer permission to transcribe his five-part Metamorphosis for harp. Since then, she has transcribed several other works by Philip Glass, including Opening Piece, various movements from The Hours, and the main theme from Koyaanisqatsi. In 2014, Lavinia again took the stage with Philip Glass at a sold-out concert in Amsterdam. Recently, she was invited to perform with Mr. Glass at his Days & Nights Festival in Big Sur, USA. Around the world, Lavinia Meijer delights audiences with her intense and groundbreaking interpretations of the Philip Glass repertoire.
In addition to standard classical repertoire for harp, Ms. Meijer experiments with electronic music, theater music, jazz, and avant-rock. Composers such as Ludwig Ellis-Leone, Garrett Byrnes, Paul Patterson, Carlos Michans, Konstantia Gourzi, and JacobTV have all written pieces for Ms. Meijer. JacobTV wrote her the suite Cities, in which he transformed the song of the birds for harp and boombox. This piece about the poorest of New York society consisted of music set to conversational samples of drug-addicted women with criminal records. It immediately caused a scandal (part of the audience walked out during the premiere) and was a sensation among international harp societies, sparking long and heated debates about the artist's right to play "this kind of music" with samples and a boombox on an instrument like the harp, traditionally considered "angelic."
Ms. Meijer has performed on international stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Carré in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the Seoul Arts Center. As a soloist, she has performed harp concertos with renowned orchestras such as the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, working with leading conductors such as Andrew Grams, Thierry Fischer, Charles Floyd, Frans Brüggen, Hannu Lintu, and Marco Boni. Ms. Meijer performed Bryce Dessner's exciting piece Aheym as a specially selected guest artist of the Kronos Quartet, and Mr. Dessner promised to write her a new composition.
Lavinia Meijer is the only classical artist to reach the top 10 of the Dutch rock album charts with three consecutive albums. In 2015, she starred in a TV commercial for Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Her albums Passaggio and Voyage were recorded in Berlin by renowned sound engineer and 15-time Grammy Award winner Andreas Neubronner. She recently released both Voyage, her seventh solo album of music by Debussy, Tiersen, Satie and Ravel, and a live recording with bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof: In Concert and The Glass Effect to mark the 80th anniversary of Philip Glass' birth in 2017.
Are You Still Somewhere?Artists Lavinia Meijer
Release Date: 04/01/2022
Four years in the making, "Are You Still Somewhere?" sees Lavinia Meijer combine original compositions with her long stated dream of interpreting modern composers and musicians for the harp. Works by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ólafur Arnalds, and Alexandra Stréliski all feature, as do collaborations with Dutch pianist Pieter de Graaf and punk legend Iggy Pop. Over the years, Lavinia Meijer experimented with electronic music, jazz, theatrical music, and avant rock. It was these experiments that led her to the ideas behind "Are You Still Somewhere?", and provided inspiration for her own compositions. “I miss certain elements in the existing repertoire of the harp,” says Meijer, “particularly with regards to bringing the instrument into the new century, making it an instrument of today and tomorrow.” "Are You Still Somewhere?" is a record that showcases Meijer’s evolution as an artist and composer, and portrays her as one that can also speaks to her past. Defiantly individual, it brings the full scope of her talent as a harpist to the fore, and carves out new possibilities with her instrument; she pushes boundaries further than ever. “I’ve played with DJs, with pop, rock artists, jazz, and world music; it’s all possible with just one harp,” she says. “I want to show that it’s not just part of ancient history, but it’s contemporary and will keep developing itself. "Are You Still Somewhere?" is my way to prove that.”