Visions (2009)

Britten, Patterson, Byrnes, Yun, Takemitsu

Lavinia Meijer

I am sometimes asked to name my favorite stylistic period. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as we’re talking about good compositions and I can give them my own personal interpretation.

It’s true that even as a young performer I discovered that I had an affinity for modern music. I am particularly interested by the technical and interpretative possibilities. It gives the performer a sense of freedom. I also enjoy the challenge of making modern music, which is experienced by so many people as “difficult”, into something not only approachable but exciting.

Personal contact with the composer is a priceless advantage here. I would never have been able to perform the works which were written especially for me by Garret Byrnes, Carlos Michans, and Jacob TV (Jacob ter Veldhuis) with such conviction if the composers hadn’t been around. Music for the harp has been composed in every imaginable style over the centuries, and in the process, certain structures and “rules” have come into being which were largely obeyed by every self-respecting composer.

But in the last century things changed. The limits were extended. A few composers, such as Carlos Salzedo, deliberately departed from the beaten path, even though it was sometimes a struggle before they could ultimately realise their personal visions. My experience has been similar. I have more or less demanded the right to experiment with new music in order to establish my own place on the concert platform.

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Lavinia Meijer

Lavinia Meijer (born in South-Korea, 1983 and adopted into a Dutch family) started to play the harp at the age of 9. Within two years she was admissioned to study at the young talent class of the conservatory of Utrecht (Bachelor) and later at the conservatory of Amsterdam (Master). At both conservatories she graduated with Honours. Erika Waardenburg has been Lavinia’s principal teacher.

Her success at the conservatory of Amsterdam was a prelude on Lavinia’s career to come. She performed only contemporary compositions at her graduation concert, making a firm statement already: Lavinia is here to add new chapters to the history of music.

Besides performing the classic harp repertoire, Lavinia also experiments with electronic music, theatrical music, contemporary music, modern classics, jazz and pop. Several composers e.g. Paul Patterson (UK), Garrett Byrnes, and Jacob TV (Netherlands) have dedicated new compositions to her.

Already at a young age, Lavinia competed in several international harp competitions, winning prizes in the USA, France, Switserland, Israel, and Austria. Soon after her graduation Lavinia received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship (London, 2006). In 2007 Lavinia was heralded as the “Rising Star” musician of her generation. She performed solo-recitals at concert halls like Musikverein (Vienna), Carnegie Hall (New York), Philharmonie (Köln), Jerusalem Theater, Seoul Arts Center, Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Cité-de-la-Musique (Paris), Konzerthus (Stockholm), and Symphony Hall (Birmingham, UK).

In 2009, at the young age of 26, Lavinia received the highest distinction for a classical musician in the Netherlands: the Dutch Music Prize. In 2011 she was the recipient of an Edison Award for her album Fantasies & Impromptus

As a featured soloist, Lavinia performed harp concertos with renowned orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra Amsterdam, Israel Philharmonics, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She performed with conductors such as Thierry Fischer, Frans Brüggen, Hannu Lintu, Thomas Ades and Marco Boni.

Her broad interest to find new sounds on and new compositions for the harp has let her to meet the American composer Philip Glass in 2011. He invited her to his concert in Amsterdam where she performed his Metamorphosis I-V on the harp. “You are the special effect of this evening”, he told Lavinia after the show, and he supported Lavinia to record a full album of Glass’ compostions. The result was overwhelming. Metamorphosis/The Hours received mostly 5 star reviews (not just in the Dutch press), and reached the certified Platinum status within half a year.

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Visions (2009)

Britten, Patterson, Byrnes, Yun, Takemitsu

Lavinia Meijer

    Musical Pointers

one of the best of all harp recordings now available. (…) needle-sharp precision in realizing every moment in each of these pieces. Never popular generally, it receives an account of great refinement. (…)

    Music Web

This recital offers an inspired programme of 20th- and 21st-century pieces recorded in a gorgeous acoustic by Jared Sacks, one of the industry’s foremost producers and engineers. So, very high expectations, but does this disc deliver? Oh yes, yes and yes again. Brittens’ Toccata (from Suite, op. 83) is a miraculous miniature, with some lovely arpeggios, the Nocturne a moody little number, distinctly Satie-esque in its unquiet ramblings. But it’s in the short Fugue that Meijer produces some of the most liquid tones imaginable, the closing Hymn a discreet set of variations on a Welsh tune. Rarely have I heard harp playing of such delicacy and poise, the crisp upper register counterbalanced by a dark, woody bass that beguiles the mind and caresses the ear. But make no mistake, this is muscular, trustful music, and Meijer delivers it with plenty of passion and power. I was so taken with this disc that I promptly went out and bought Meijer’s earlier recording, Divertissements (CCS SA 28908). That, too, is a pleasure from start to finish, but really Visions is in another league entirely. Channel’s solid production values – reflected in the high standard of its artwork, liner-notes and general presentation – would be sorely missed if downloads and DIY documentation become the norm. A must-have for harp aficionados and audio buffs alike.


Wonderschone Suite van Britten (...) (…) Fascinerende ‘Bugs’ van Paul Patterson uit 2006. Met technische souplesse gaat Lavinia de muziek te lijf maar bovenal weet zij fantastische, zeer diverse sferen op te roepen. Wie dacht dat harpmuziek saai of tuttig was luisteren naar deze geweldige cd !! Meijeris een visionair topmusicus.


Zij verovert de wereld in snel tempo met haar passie voor de harp en houdt op deze cd een gloedvol en uitdagend betoog voor eigentijdse harpcomponisten. Fascinerend spel!!


Meijer’s brilliance is undeniable throughout this quirky repertoire. (…) Her brilliance as a harpist is amply demonstrates in all of the pieces making up this recital (…) (…) Spectacular in glissandos and chordal effects in Britten’s Suite (...)

    Opus Haute Définition (English)

Without doubt, here is one of the most magnificent recordings devoted to the harp of the past ten years. This monument – for that is what it is – is dedicated to contemporary composers or those from the last century. (…) Lavinia Meijer once again performs with communicative passion. Each instant of her brilliant playing, colorful and inspired from beginning to end, is absolute magic. Her fingers glide on the chords with both grace and virtuosity. Time then seems to stop its forward advance, leaving the silence of these poetic resonances melt into our most intimate thoughts. This, quite simply, is a masterpiece.

    Opus Haute Définition

Voici bel et bien un des plus beaux enregistrements consacrés à la Harpe de ces dix dernières années. Ce monument, car il s’agit d’une révélation, est dédié à des compositeurs contemporains ou appartenant au siècle passé. (…) (…) La jeune harpiste Lavinia Meijer récidive avec une passion communicative. Chaque instant de son jeu brillant, coloré et inspiré de bout en bout, est un enchantement absolu. Ses doigts courent sur les cordes avec grâce et virtuosité à la fois. Et le temps semble alors suspendre son avancée, laissant le silence de ces résonnances poétiques se fondre dans nos pensées les plus intimes. Un chef-d’œuvre tout simplement.


excellente verrichtingen uitgekomen op cd, met grote resultaten. Behorend tot een van de beste producties van dit jaar. De harpiste blinkt uit in naoorlogswerken van oa Britten. (...) (...) De met de Nederlandse Muziekprijs gelauwerde harpiste brengt ook haar unieke gave in stelling, expressief tumultueus harpspel, dat tegelijk tot in de puntjes is gearticuleerd (...)

Visions (2009)

Britten, Patterson, Byrnes, Yun, Takemitsu

Lavinia Meijer

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Grimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Doopgezinde Kerk Deventer Holland, 2009
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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29709: Visions
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Suite, Op. 83 - Overture
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Suite, Op. 83 - Toccata
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Suite, Op. 83 - Nocturne
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Suite, Op. 83 - Fugue
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Suite, Op. 83 - Hymn, St. Denio
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Spiders, Op. 48 - The Dancing White lady
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Spiders, Op. 48 - The Red-backed Spider
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Spiders, Op. 48 - The Black Widow
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Spiders, Op. 48 - Tarantula
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Bugs, Op. 93 - Late Night ANT-ics!
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Bugs, Op. 93 - The Lost Locust
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Bugs, Op. 93 - Mosquito Massacre
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Visions in Twilight
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In Balance
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Stanza II for harp and tape
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