February 9, 2017 – 6:00 pm

Music at the Frist: Harpist Kirsten Agresta Copely

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  • Harpist Kirsten Agresta Copely

  • Kirsten Agresta Copely

  • Kirsten Agresta Copely

  • Kirsten Agresta Copely

KIRSTEN AGRESTA COPELY has charmed audiences since she began study of the harp at the age of five. By the time she was fourteen, she was on a full tour of the British Isles and has since performed extensively as a solo artist throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Israel, Japan, and the South Pacific. Known for her passionate performances and versatility, Kirsten commands a wide range of genres, from classical to hip-hop. She has been awarded top honors, including the bronze medal in the prestigious 1989 USA International Harp Competition. She has performed at Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Center; the National Concert Hall in Dublin; Auditorio Santa Úrsula in Lima; Peru, and Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ  in Amsterdam; and other esteemed venues.

Kirsten studied with Nancy Allen at The Juilliard School and Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald at Indiana University. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University, where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for outstanding musical performance and also served as Associate Instructor of the Harp Department from 1991-93. She is a member of the Music Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and teaches private harp & piano lessons from her studio in Nashville, TN and NYC. 

Following a feature in People Magazine, she was presented on segments of NBC, CBS, and ABC-TV and later made appearances on MTV, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly & Michael, The CBS Early Show, and the Today Show. Kirsten is also seen on the 2014 & 2015 CMA Country Christmas shows on ABC-TV, playing with LeAnn Rimes, Idina Menzel, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Dan & Shay, Lindsey Stirling, and host Jennifer Nettles. In Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Hollywood Bowl, and the outdoor concert venues of Live8 and Lollapalooza, Kirsten has played alongside artists such as: Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Enya, Michael Bublé, k.d. Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Adam Levine, John Legend, and The Roots. She is featured on Erykah Badu's album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh and can be heard on albums with Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Bonobo, and numerous movie soundtracks, including "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" and "Sex and the City 2."

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Kirsten has also privately performed for notable officials and dignitaries, such as: Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Vice President Al Gore.

Performance highlights include the 2014 MET Gala with Frank Ocean, "4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé" at New York's Roseland Ballroom , and with Jay Z at Carnegie Hall, benefiting United Way of NYC and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. In 2010, Kirsten had the great privilege of performing with Beyoncé for President & Mrs. Obama at the second official White House State Dinner, honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

Recent notable performances include the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and performing for Tony Bennett's 90th Birthday Celebration at Radio City Music Hall which will air on NBC in December, 2016.

Kirsten is a core member of the INTERSECTION contemporary music ensemble, a member of the World Harp Congress Board of Directors, Vice President of the American Harp Society Nashville Chapter, a Voting Member of the Grammy Recording Academy (NARAS), and a member of ASCAP. Kirsten currently splits her time between NYC and Nashville.

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