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Kirsten is not only one of the greatest virtuoso harpists in the world, but also one of the most versatile performers of this complex musical instrument...
— El Comercio, Lima, Peru
 

ABout

 
 

 KIRSTEN AGRESTA COPELY has charmed audiences internationally since she began study of the harp at the age of five. By the time she was fourteen, she was soloist on a full tour of the British Isles and has since performed extensively as a luminous solo artist throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Israel, Japan, and the South Pacific. Known for her unique blend of passionate performances and versatility, Kirsten commands a wide range of genres from classical to hip hop. She has been awarded top international and national honors, including the Bronze Medal in the prestigious 1989 USA International Harp Competition. Kirsten debuted as concerto soloist at Lincoln Center (David Geffen Hall) and Carnegie Hall, where she has also performed numerous solo recitals. She has soloed internationally in esteemed venues including: National Concert Hall in Dublin, Auditorio Santa Úrsula in Lima, Peru, and MuziekGebouwaan'tij Concert Hall in Amsterdam. Kirsten performs as Principal Harpist with The New York Pops, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and regularly with the Nashville Symphony.

Following a feature in People Magazine, she was presented on segments of NBC, CBS, and ABC-TV and later made appearances on MTV, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly & Michael, The CBS Early Show, and The Today Show. In Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Hollywood Bowl, Ryman Auditorium, and the outdoor concert venues of Live8 and Lollapalooza, Kirsten has played alongside Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Enya, The Who, Rick Ross, Michael Bublé, k.d. Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Declan O'Rourke, Adam Levine, John Legend, and The Roots. Kirsten is also seen on the 2014 and 2015 CMA Country Christmas shows on ABC-TV, playing the Grand Ole Opry with LeAnn Rimes, Idina Menzel, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Dan & Shay, Kelsey Ballerini, and host Jennifer Nettles. She has played harp and keyboards in numerous NY Broadway productions, including Beauty and the Beast, The King and I, On A Clear Day, Follies, Cinderella, The Pirate Queen, Wonderland, and the 2018 revival of Carousel. 

In the studio, Kirsten was featured on Erykah Badu's album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh ("Incense") and can be heard on numerous albums with artists such as Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Bonobo, Norwegian soprano Sissel, and Jamie Lidell. She has played on video game, TV and movie soundtracks, including Outlander (Season 3), Star Wars: The Old RepublicNight at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianThe Tempest, Sex and the City 2, Disney's The Music of Pixar Live!, My Little Pony: The Movie and the JD Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye. Most recently, she played on the new Evanescence album, Synthesis, reuniting with her former harp student, lead singer Amy Lee. Kirsten is featured in the video documentary Behind Synthesis, Episode 3.

Kirsten has also privately performed for notable officials and dignitaries including: Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Vice President Al Gore. In 2010, Kirsten had the great privilege of performing with Beyoncé for President & Mrs. Obama at the second official White House State Dinner, honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón. 

Performance highlights include the World Premiere of Constantinides: Concerto for Flute & Harp at Lincoln Center (David Geffen Hall), the MET Gala with musical guest Frank Ocean, "4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé" at New York's Roseland Ballroom, with Jay Z at Carnegie Hall, benefiting United Way of NYC and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, and performing with multiple artists for Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come at Radio City Music Hall, which aired on NBC.

KIRSTEN AGRESTA COPELY studied with Nancy Allen at The Juilliard School and Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald at Indiana University. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University, where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for outstanding musical performance and also served as Associate Instructor of the Harp Department from 1991-93. She is Associate Professor of Harp at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, a former Affiliated Artist at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, and teaches private harp & piano lessons from her studio in Nashville, TN and NYC. Kirsten is a member of the World Harp Congress Board of Directors, Vice President of the American Harp Society Nashville Chapter, a Voting Member of the Grammy Recording Academy (NARAS), and a member of ASCAP. 

Photo credit: Michael Rizza Photography

Photo credit: Michael Rizza Photography

weddings & Special events

With vast experience performing for hundreds of weddings, private parties, corporate events and galas, Kirsten will craft music selections to create the perfect ambiance for your event.

 

Kirsten performs acoustically or amplified with solo harp, a duo, trio, or other ensembles including violin, cello, flute or voice. Classically trained, yet extremely versatile, Kirsten offers a wide variety of genres - everything from Bach to The Beatles and Beyoncé! Feel free to request a song.

 

Kirsten has performed for celebrity weddings (Carmelo Anthony & La La Vasquez, The Today Show Throws A Wedding), dignitaries and notable guests including President Barack Obama, and has been a featured performer at the US Open Tennis Championships, The MET Gala, events sponsored by Vogue, Victoria's Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Kiki di Montparnasse and many more.

 

Kirsten is a fantastic musician. Extremely versatile, with a very open mind, I’ve had the privilege to work with her on stage (Jay-Z) as well as in the studio (Erykah Badu). She’s an absolute pleasure to work with!
— James Poyser, The Roots (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)

lessons

Beyond being a teacher, Kirsten is an inspiration both professionally and personally.
— Alison, Sarah Lawrence College

Private Teaching Studio

Harp & Piano Lessons

 

Kirsten Agresta Copely is Associate Professor of Harp at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music in Nashville, TN and has been teaching privately for over 30 years. She was formerly an Affiliated Artist at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. Kirsten also maintains a private teaching studio in Nashville and New York City, offering both harp and piano lessons. Skype lessons are also available.

Kirsten offers competition and audition coaching for students preparing regional, national, and international competition or orchestral repertoire.

...Kirsten manages a productive balance of encouraging and challenging pedagogy. It is a delight to study with her!
— Rebecca, Private Student

SCHEDULE Highlights

 

Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble
Saturday, October 5th, 7:30pm, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN
Sarah Kirkland Snider: Mass for the Endangered (2018)

Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis New York
2 E. 55th Street, New York, NY

Friday, October 18th, 3-5pm
Saturday, October 19th, 3-5pm
Sunday, October 20th, 3-5pm

Friday, November 15th, 3-5pm
Saturday, November 16th, 3-5pm
Sunday, November 17th, 3-5pm

Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) - Private Event
Wednesday, October 23rd, 6:30-7:30pm
Woodmont Hills Church, Nashville, TN

Main Stage at Plaza Mariachi
3955 Nolensville Rd, Nashville, TN
Friday, October 25th, 12-1pm

Fauré Requiem & Cantique de Jean Racine
Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, Turner Hall
Saturday, November 24th, 2:30pm

Phil Barfoot
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN
Sunday, December 15th, 5pm & 7:30pm