American Rapture, a recording featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Ward Stare with soloist Yolanda Kondonassis, was nominated for two Grammy awards on Wednesday. This album includes the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto, written for and dedicated to Yolanda Kondonassis.
The recording received the following nominations:
Best Classical Instrumental Solo - HIGDON: HARP CONCERTO--Yolanda Kondonassis; Ward Stare, conductor (The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)
Best Classical Contemporary Composition - HIGDON: HARP CONCERTO
Jennifer Higdon, composer (Yolanda Kondonassis, Ward Stare & The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)
The RPO was one of several orchestras that commissioned the piece from composer Jennifer Higdon, with the world premiere at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre last year, a performance featuring Kondonassis –an Oklahoma native who is perhaps the most-recorded harpist on the scene today – and the RPO.
Stare says he knew they were being considered, but the nomination still comes as a surprise.
"It’s thrilling, it’s a great honor, the Recording Academy is a very prestigious group and it’s a group of colleagues so it always feels really great to be acknowledged by your peers for work alongside so many fantastic artists, it’s really incredible," Stare told WXXI News.
Stare says the nominations are something that a lot of people at the RPO are buzzing about, remembering the recording they did at the Eastman Theatre last year.
"The fact that we put so much work in last year, we all remember that very well and to sort of relive that a little bit and smile with pride that our work is being recognized is certainly a great thing for everyone," Stare said.
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony is Jan. 26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Rapper Lizzo led the nominations with eight, with Billie Eillish and Lil Nas X with six nominations each.