On May 17, 2019, Azica Records released American Rapture featuring harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Ward Stare. The album includes the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto, written for and dedicated to Yolanda Kondonassis; Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1 in One Movement, Op. 9; and the world premiere recording of Patrick Harlin’s Rapture. Click here to listen.
Kondonassis has been interviewed about the album on radio stations across the country, including the nationally syndicated program Performance Today, Sirius XM's Symphony Hall, Classical Minnesota Public Radio, Interlochen Public Radio, Kansas Public Radio, WOSU (Columbus, OH), Capitol Public Radio (Sacramento, CA), WQED (Pittsburgh, PA), and many others.
Watch the album trailer:
"Anyone who still thinks the harp is a medium of the past needs to play close heed to this new album by Cleveland-based harpist Yolanda Kondonassis ... Credit Higdon for a sparkling work that makes compelling, innovative use of the harp. It’s Kondonassis, though, who brings it all to life and commands attention with seemingly limitless vibrance and color."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer (read the full review)
"characteristically multi-coloured and decked out with a dazzling array of textures and hues, the harp both blending with and, when needed, confronting the ensemble impressively. [Higdon Harp Concerto]"
"On the world premiere recording of Jennifer Higdon's mercurial Harp Concerto, the crystalline precision of Yolanda Kondonassis's harp, the rhythmic buoyancy of Stare's conducting, and the cohesion of the orchestra achieve a kind of mystical alchemy."
- Rochester City Newspaper (read the full review)
"The Higdon Harp Concerto of 2018 is a real find. Higdon has long been known as a fine orchestrator and as a composer of idiomatically written concertos for solo instruments, but she outdoes herself here. For one thing, the harpist is Yolanda Kondonassis, for whom Higdon wrote the work; she is an exceptional player, both charismatic and versatile."
- AllMusic (read the full review)
"an exciting and truly original new piece, that can certainly enjoy success with the public."
- The Classic Review (read the full review)
"Kondonassis elicits maximum tone, sparkle, energy, virtuosity and beauty(!) from her instrument; she seems to conjure up effortless power, coupling that with ravishing nuance and subtlety."
- Wisconsin Public Radio (read the full review)