Meet the world-class artist faculty for the Summer Harp Institutes.
Artistic Director and Founder, Harp Faculty
Founder and director of the Summer Harp Institutes, Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia, a nationally recognized educator, is also the founder and director of the American Youth Harp Ensemble. She has taught the harp and directed harp ensembles for 20 years. The American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE) continues to dazzle audiences around the world as America’s premier youth harp ensemble. The Ensemble has brought world-class music to enthusiastic audiences in the U.S. and abroad through hundreds of performances, recordings, television and radio features on CNN, NBC, PBS and NPR affiliate stations. Since 1999, the Ensemble has made 15 national and international tours, performing in the Maastricht Music Festival (Netherlands), Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), the Paris Music Festival (France), Salla Puccini (Milan), Salle Gaveau (Paris), the United Nations (NY), the Kennedy Center (DC), the 34th and 38th American Harp Society National Conferences, AHS 9th Summer Institute, the Association for Music Personnel in Public Radio National Conference, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall twice. Most recently, the Ensemble performed in the London Festival of Music (England), on the “State of the Arts” Concert Series at the U.S. Department of State, at the White House (DC), in the Advent Music Festival in Vienna and Salzburg (Austria), for the Prince and Princess of Belgium, and for the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors performing for such musical luminaries John Williams, Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and Denise Graves. Their performances have reached an audience of more than 300,000 viewers and listeners through television and radio broadcasts and live performances. The AYHE has been featured in two television specials: “The American Youth Harp Ensemble: Defying the Limits” and “The Community Idea Stations Present: Christmas with the American Youth Harp Ensemble.”
Mrs. Ediger-Kordzaia has been an invited presenter/performer at the World Harp Conference, American Harp Society National Conferences, the International Folk Harp Conference and the International Harp Therapy Conferences. She is a recipient of the Governor’s Citation for Excellence in the Arts and has twice been named a “Top Forty Under Forty” by arts and business publications in Virginia. Most recently she was honored with the American Alliance for Performing Arts Educators 5th Annual Del Keiffner Award for Outstanding Arts Educator at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Teresa Pollak prize for “Excellence in the Arts” from Richmond Magazine, and was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She holds an undergraduate degree in harp performance and a graduate degree in music education from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Alice Chalifoux. She also holds a masters degree in arts administration from Goucher College and is pursuing a doctorate in music education from Boston University. Along with her husband, orchestral conductor Alexander Kordzaia, she owns the Academy of Music, a Central Virginia's leading classical music school.
Guest Artist: Richmond Week 2
Elizabeth Richter has enjoyed a distinguished career as both a performer and teacher. Formerly principal harpist with the Kansas City Philharmonic and the Kansas City Lyric Opera, she has performed as concerto soloist with many orchestras, including the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra in a performance of her edition of Carlos Salzedo’s previously unpublished concerto, The Enchanted Isle. Conductors with whom she has worked include Sir Colin Davis, Maurice Abravanel, Gerard Schwarz, Maxim Shostakovich, Joseph Silverstein, Christof Perick, Yoel Levi, and Raymond Leppard. She has performed with world-renowned artists including Dimitri Sitkovetsky, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Walter Trampler, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Pinchas Zukerman, with whom she played a duet encore following a performance with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Her critically acclaimed CD of solo harp music, Looking Glass River, was released on the Beneficence label in 2006, and includes the premiere CD recordings of the harp transcription of the Bach Chaconne and the Dello Joio Bagatelles. Montage: Four Centuries of Music for Flute and Harp, with flutist Sandra Lunte, was released on the Centaur label in the fall of 2007 and includes the premiere recording of Chimera, which the duo commissioned from renowned flutist and composer Gary Schocker. Ms. Richter can also be heard on recordings with cellist Mihai Tetel and with Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jackie Allen.
An enthusiastic player of chamber music, she was a founding member of the Aeolian Trio, the resident flute, viola and harp trio at Ball State University. Ms. Richter has appeared in recital in the United States and Europe and has been heard on National Public Radio's Performance Today. She has performed at many regional and national harp conferences, and was a featured concerto soloist at the 2004 American Harp Society National Conference. She is a past winner of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission.
Ms. Richter began her musical studies at the age of six and received a diploma in piano from the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department. She earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in harp performance from Boston University College of Fine Arts, where she was a student of legendary teacher Lucile Lawrence. She pursued further musical studies at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, and the Salzedo Harp School in Camden, Maine.
Professor of Harp at Ball State University since 1982, in 2001 she received the Ball State University College of Fine Arts Dean's Teaching Award, given "in recognition of her superior teaching and dedication to student development." Her students have been prize-winners in numerous national, regional and local competitions and auditions, and have established successful careers as soloists, orchestral harpists, and teachers in the United States, Europe, and South America. She has conducted master classes at Tanglewood, the Royal Academy of Music in London and at many American universities and harp festivals, and is a frequent judge at competitions, including the American Harp Society Young Professional Competition. She served for several years on the National Screening Committee for Fulbright awards in the area of string instruments. In the summer she performs at the Midwest Harp Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she also teaches the College and Career-Bound seminar for advanced-level students.
Festivals which she has organized at Ball State University include the 1985 Salzedo Centennial Harp Festival, the 1997 Lucile Lawrence 90th Birthday Tribute and the 2007 Lucile Lawrence Centennial Celebration. She has published many articles in the American Harp Journal, the American Harp Society Teacher's Forum and The Harp Column. She formerly served as First Vice-President of the American Harp Society and as director of the Society's Concert Artist Program and is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Vice-President of the American Harp Society Foundation.
Grace Bauson, who joined the faculty of the American Youth Harp Ensemble in 2010, received her Master of Music degree in 2007 from the University of Toronto, where she held a Fellowship during her studies with renowned harpist Judy Loman. She also studied in Austria with Adelheid Blovsky-Miller at the University of Vienna and with the legendary Lucile Lawrence at Tanglewood. Bauson began harp study at the age of nine under Elizabeth Richter, with whom she continued her undergraduate education at Ball State. The recipient of a National Merit Scholarship and a Young Artist Award, she graduated magna cum laude from Ball State with a Bachelor in Music in harp performance in 2005.
Bauson won fourth place in the 2004 Anne Adams National Harp Competition and was a national finalist for a Fulbright Award in 2005. In 2008 she was a semi-finalist in the William C. Byrd International String Competition and a winner of the Ball State University Graduate Concerto Competition. She has performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center, as well as with summer festival orchestras including the Tanglewood Young Artist Orchestra, the Sewanee Festival Orchestra and the Chautauqua Music Festival, where she was a featured soloist performing the Ravel Introduction and Allegro. As principal harp she has performed with the Scarborough Philharmonic in Canada, the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, and with the Muncie Symphony, Kokomo Symphony, Anderson Symphony and Marion Philharmonic orchestras in Indiana.
As a teacher, Bauson has taught a variety of students of all levels, from beginners to university harp majors. In addition to serving on the faculty of the Summer Harp Institutes, Bauson has been invited to teach at the Rocky Mountain Springs Harp Program in 2011. Bauson is currently pursuing a Doctor of Arts in harp performance.
Aponi Brunson, Assistant Artistic Director, is a graduate of the American Youth Harp Ensemble and of University of Mary Washington with degrees in both harp performance and music education. At Mary Washington, Ms. Brunson studied with Jeanne Chalifoux. Ms. Brunson has extensive teaching experience and is currently the Director of the AYHE Harp Therapy Programs and Director of the American Youth Harp Ensemble Concert Ensemble. As a harpist, Ms. Brunson performs regularly with orchestra,chamber music ensembles and choirs. Equally at home performing classical and jazz, Ms. Brunson brings a wealth of experience and versatility to her teaching. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Paris Music Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, and in Milan and Rome, Italy.
Meghan Gomen began her harp studies at the age of ten after studying piano for a few years. She studied with various teachers including Naoko Nakamura, Laurie Nielson, Marian Shaffer and Paula Page. From the time she started her private studies, she was performing in orchestras and bands and attending summer music camps and festivals. As a high school student, she was selected as a Woodlands Symphony young artist and at the age of seventeen, she performed the first movement of Handel’s Concerto in Bb Major in Carnegie Hall.
Gomen received her Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from James Madison University where she studied conducting with Dr. Robert McCashin and harp with Bridgett Stuckey. At JMU, she had the privilege of performing with the Symphony, conducting the Chamber Orchestra, and singing with the Chorale. She also performed on numerous recitals and has been involved in the premiere performance of several new pieces. Since moving to Virginia, Gomen has performed with the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, Charlottesville Symphony and Waynesboro Symphony. Some of her favorite performances include accompanying baritone Kevin McMillan and performing in a backup orchestra with the band Kansas.
Conducting and Core Faculty
Alexander Kordzaia, a native of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia was, at the age of 24, the youngest conductor appointed to music director of the Georgia State Cappella and assistant conductor of the National Opera, the two most prestigious posts in the nation. Conducting engagements have taken him around the world including appearances throughout the former Soviet Union (Bolshoi Theater, Moscow and Philharmonic Halls, Odessa and St. Petersburg), Europe, Asia and the United States. Since moving to the United States in 1991 and furthering his graduate studies at the Juilliard School of Music and Mannes College of Music, he has served as the music director of several orchestras, presently the University of Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and is in demand as a guest conductor.