Christina Brier and Kathryn Sloat
of Lilac 94 aren’t your grandmother’s harpists.
Kathryn Sloat, “whose harp playing evoked the angels" (Brooklyn Discovery), is known for her work in opera and contemporary chamber music in New York City and throughout the United States. She is a member of the contemporary harp duo Lilac 94 with whom she has had the honor of performing at the American Harp Society’s 2105 National Conference in Logan, Utah, the Fresh Inc Festival in Wisconsin and Chicago, as well as various chamber music series along the East coast. Kathryn has also worked with a number of composers in bringing their music alive through initial readings and concert performances for the New York Composers Circle and Secret Opera. As an orchestral harpist, Kathryn has performed in a variety of festivals with conductors such as Keith Lockhart, JoAnn Falletta, Leon Botstein, Larry Rachleff, and a notable performance with conductor Krešimir Batinić and the Zabreb Philharmonic in their Carnegie Hall debut for the premiere of Malek Jandali’s Luminosity, a four-movement sinfonietta for chamber orchestra inspired by and dedicated to the Syrian children.
With a passion for performing in musical theatre and opera, Kathryn has played in pit orchestras for Off-Broadway and regional theater productions of Once Upon a Mattress, The Fantasticks, A Light in the Piazza, Peter Pan, and others. As a member of the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, she performed works from this repertory including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, Cole Porter’s Silk Stockings, and Johann Strauss II’s The Gypsy Baron. Kathryn has worked with various small opera companies in New York City for performances such as Carmen (Venture Opera), Manon Lescaut (Regina Opera), and Tosca (Loft Opera).
Kathryn takes a special delight in performing the works of composer Benjamin Britten. First hooked in college when she played her first Britten opera, Albert Herring, and then again with her first performance of The Ceremony of Carols, she has since played numerous Britten operas and put on her own production of his chamber works for harp entitled “A Birthday Hansel for Benjamin Britten.” Kathryn pursues as many opportunities as possible to play this great composer’s music.
In addition to her performance work, Kathryn is a dedicated harp teacher maintaining private teaching studios in New York City and her hometown in New York’s Greater Capital Region.
Although it took her a year to convince her parents that she really wanted to play the harp, Kathryn Sloat now holds a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from the Crane School of Music, received her Master of Music in Harp Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and procured a Professional Studies Diploma in Harp Performance from the Mannes College of Music, the New School University. She currently lives in Manhattan with a vegan roommate and will someday own a cat. While she maintains a rigorous schedule of performance and travel, she does manage to fit in some free time to knit, read, and hike the Adirondack mountains.
A virtuosic harp performer, Christina Brier creates enlightening and inspiring musical experiences. As noted by Star News, she "loves to do outreach for her instrument," which she does as a chamber musician, orchestral player, soloist, and music educator. As a member of the contemporary harp duo Lilac 94, Christina has had the honor of performing at the American Harp Society’s 2105 National Conference in Logan, Utah, the Fresh Inc Festival in Wisconsin and Chicago, as well as various chamber music series along the East coast.
In addition to her work as a with Lilac 94, Christina is principal harpist of the Carolina Philharmonic and Wilmington Symphony and has served as principal harp at the Pierre Monteux Summer Festival (ME). She has also performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Fayetteville Symphony, Sound Exchange Orchestra, Orchard Park Symphony, Genesee Valley Symphony as well as the Apotheosis Opera Orchestra.
Christina spent six months touring India performing as a solo harpist and with Bulgarian flutist Petya Vasileva in concert, corporate events, and a number of Indian wedding receptions. Based in Mumbai, the duo performed Bollywood music throughout India, including the major cities of Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore as well as Muscat, Oman.
In the United States Christina has given recitals at Hatch Hall (NY), Burkhart Hall (WI), and the Euterpe Music Club (WI). Christina's orchestral concerto appearances include the Wilmington Symphony, Tallis Chamber Orchestra, Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Maranatha Symphony.
When not performing and touring, Christina keeps busy with her private teaching studio in Wilmington, North Carolina and as president of the Coastal Carolina Chapter of the American Harp Society, which she co-founded.
Christina studied with Jeanne Henderson and Kersin Allvin and received her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from Maranatha Baptist University (WI). She received her Masters degree in Harp Performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Kathleen Bride. At Eastman, she earned a certification in Community Music Teaching and was awarded the Willow Hall Press Award for Harp.
Visit Christina's website.