Alison Bjorkedal, harp, is a freelance GRAMMY award-winning musician who teaches and performs in the Los Angeles area. She is a member of Southwest Chamber Music, Golden State Pops Orchestra and MUSE/IQUE. She has performed with the San Diego Symphony, Pasadena Symphony/Pops Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and wildUP. Alison is harp faculty at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Named "excellent player" and "enterprising young harpist" by the Los Angeles Times, Alison's notable chamber music performances include the world premieres of William Kraft's Encounters XII for harp and percussion; Anne LeBaron's HSING for solo harp and LeBaron's "Some Things Should Not Move" for soprano, flute, harp and double bass; and Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers, a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Her chamber recordings include Grammy winning Harry Partch "Plectra and Percussion Dances", Southwest Chamber Music's "Complete Chamber Music of Carlos Chávez, Volume 4" and William Kraft's "Encounters", both Latin-Grammy nominated. As part of Just Strings, she released "Harrison: Works for harp, guitar and percussion"
Her US premieres include Gabriela Ortiz's Rio de las Mariposas for two harps and steel drum; Ton That Thiet's Les Jardins De Autre Monde for solo harp and mixed ensemble; Nguyen Thien Daos' Au Dessus de Vent for solo harp and strings; and Unsuk Chin's Cosmigimmicks. She was featured as soloist with the Downey Symphony Orchestra and performed Lei Liang's "Harp Concerto" with UC San Diego New Music Ensemble "Palimpsest".
In the studio and stage, Alison has performed for artists including Sia ("Salted Wound", "Jesus Wept," "Unforgettable" from "Finding Dory), Madonna (Rebel Heart), Nate Ruess (Grand Romantic), Kid Cudi (Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'), and Salaam Remi with Akon (Tonight Show Appearance). She records for the motion picture and television industry (Penny Dreadful, Empire, Independence Day: Resurgence) and accompanied singer Andrea Bocelli in two PBS Specials for David Foster and Andrea Bocelli; "My Christmas" and "Cinema."
Alison was born and raised in Kennewick, WA. She earned her Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in harp performance from the USC Thornton School of Music. While at the Thornton School, Alison studied with JoAnn Turovsky and was a teaching assistant for the beginning harp class. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Oregon (magna cum laude) where she studied harp with Sally Maxwell and Laura Zaerr.
In addition to teaching at CalArts, Alison teaches Music Appreciation at Pasadena City College and maintains a private harp studio.
Alison also plays the Kithara (an instrument created for the music of Harry Partch) with LA-based ensemble Partch. Partch's 2014 recording "Plectra and Percussion Dances" took home the 2014 GRAMMY for Best Classical Compendium. Learn more about the instruments of Harry Partch here.
Having worked in disparate fields from management consulting to higher education, award-winning flutist Boglárka Kiss cherishes music the most. She has had the good fortune to be a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and a recording artist. Her musical journey has taken her to many unexpected places: from opera in Montana, recital appearances in Europe, to recording on many kinds of flutes for film and album projects in LA’s studio scene.
As an orchestral musician, she has collaborated with luminaries such as Alan Silvestri, Joel McNeely, John Debney, and Jorge Mester, and has performed in many of LA’s most prestigious venues. As a soloist, she gave the first U.S. performance of Endre Szervánszky’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. She and pianist Robert Thies gave the first European performance of Billy Childs’ Sonata for Flute and Piano shortly after completing the premier recording of the work. She is also a dedicated chamber musician, appearing in various ensembles on LA’s chamber music circuit, and she also enjoys working in the recording studio.
Aside from her performing career, Boglárka teaches music at a college, and is in demand as a master class teacher, music coach, and adjudicator, and is an internationally published author in the field of music education history. To read her full professional portfolio, please visit www.boglarka.strikingly.com.
Educated in Europe, at Whittier College, the University of California, Boston University, and Stanford University, her mentors include Anne Zentner, Julius Baker, James Newton, and Kei Akagi, all of whom have had a profound influence on her values and career path.
Away from her professional commitments, she enjoys a quiet life with her husband, pianist Robert Thies, and their dog-beach loving canine, Simon.