Verna Lee - Harp
After learning piano and violin from an early age, Verna Lee decided she would like to play a larger instrument so she took up the harp! Making her solo debut at the age of 15, Verna spent the next 10 years as principal harpist with the Australian Youth Orchestra, studying and performing in Germany, the United States, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. She was a featured soloist with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Adelaide Arts Festival in 1996 performing Ravel's Introduction and Allegro to great acclaim.
Verna has given over 45 solo concerto performances to date, premiering numerous contemporary Australian works, lesser-known harp concertos as well as performances of the ever popular Harp Concertos by Mozart and Handel. In 2017 Verna was soloist with the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Chamber Music Festival playing Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto and will feature with the Southern Highland's Symphony Orchestra in 2018.
Verna is one of Australia's key opera and ballet harpists having performed with the Kiev Ballet, the English National Ballet, the Deutche Kammerakademie Neuss, sopranos Greta Bradman and Amelia Farrugia and international entertainers such as Sumi Jo, Aled Jones, Il Divo and Tina Arena. She has worked and recorded with the Singapore Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet, Adelaide Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Despite all this, she seems to be more famous for appearing in the movie The Matrix!
In 2012, Verna was awarded a grant for her sold- out multimedia performances, The Harp In Nature, which showcased stunning images of the Australian landscape accompanied by solo harp works by Australian composers. This recital was also performed at the World Harp Congress in 2014. In 2015, Verna became fascinated with the Baroque triple harp and started exploring the role of this instrument in early music (thus giving her the perfect excuse to host Medieval banquets).
Verna is the director of the Sydney Harp Eisteddfod and organises harp workshops, presents lectures at various harp festivals and teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium High School and her private studio.
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