Bridget Kibbey & Alexi Kenney

harp and violin

February 2, 2020, 4 PM

Music Room

Friends and musical collaborators Bridget Kibbey and Alexi Kenney make their return to the Phillips for an intimate and virtuosic collaboration. From adaptations of the music of John Dowland and J. S. Bach, to original masterworks by Camille Saint-Saëns and Sebastian Currier, their performance traverses three generations of musical counterpoint coupled with the rich harmonies of Romantic-era colorists. Kibbey, a longtime Phillips Music favorite, has brought new energy to the harp repertoire, premiering concertos by composers João Luiz Rezende and Vivian Fung, and making lively arrangements of the keyboard concerti by J. S. Bach, which she tours this season with the acclaimed Dover Quartet. Violinist Alexi Kenney is a musician on the rise who was named a “talent to watch” by The New York Times. Kenney has made chamber music a major focus in his career, regularly touring as a member of the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

This performance is made possible by generous support from Martha Johnston and Robert Coonrod.

Program to be announced. 

Called the “Yo-Yo Ma of the harp,” by Vogue’s Senior Editor Corey Seymour, Bridget Kibbey is a winner of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Salon de Virtuosi SONY Recording Grant, an artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and winner of Premiere Prix at the Journées de les Harpes Competition in Arles, France. Kibbey has fast gained a reputation for her diverse, energetic programming that spans the baroque, French Masterworks, and rhythmic migration in South America.

Upcoming highlights include: Multiple tours of her own adaptations of J.S. Bach’s keyboard concerti alongside the Dover Quartet, a 10-city duo collaboration with mandolinist Avi Avital, and various solo recitals around the US. 

She premieres a new harp concerto with four American Orchestras—written by composer João Luiz Rezende—exploring the evolution of Brazilian popular dance forms on the harp, alongside her own Bach transcriptions with string orchestra, starting with the Orlando Philharmonic, paired with Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in F Minor. She returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner, presenting French Masterworks by Debussy, Ravel, and Caplet.

Kibbey has toured and recorded with luminaries Placido Domingo, Dawn Upshaw, and Gustavo Santaollalo for SONY Records and Deutsche Grammaphon; and, her own debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of the Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York.

Kibbey’s solo performances have been broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today, New York’s WQXR, WNYC’s Soundcheck, WETA’s Front Row Washington, WRTI’s Crossover, and on television in A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts. Most recently she was named “Best in Studio 2018” by WQXR for her performance of her own adaptation of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, live on air.

Kibbey appears frequently as soloist and chamber musician at festivals and series across the globe, including Schloss Elmau, Pelotas Festival, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Bravo!Vail, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Big Ears Knoxville, Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber, Savannah Music Festival, and Music@Menlo.

The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” His win at the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition at the age of 19 led to a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall.

Highlights of Alexi’s 2018/19 season included debuts with the Omaha Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Asheville Symphony, Bay Atlantic Symphony, and Wheeling Symphony, and his return to the Indianapolis Symphony. His recital engagements include the University of Florida, Union College (NY), and University of Southern Maine. Abroad, he appeared in recital with Orion Weiss at Wigmore Hall (London, UK) and debuts with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland). Alexi has appeared as soloist with the Detroit, Columbus, California, Amarillo, Jacksonville, Portland, Riverside, Santa Fe, and Tulare County symphonies, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Staatstheater Orchestra of Cottbus, Germany, and A Far Cry. He has appeared in recital on Carnegie Hall’s “Distinctive Debuts” series and at Caramoor, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University (CA), and Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. He has been profiled by Strings Magazine and The New York Times, written for The Strad, and has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s From the Top.

Chamber music continues to be a main focus of Kenney’s life—he became new member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) beginning in the 2018/19 season. He tours with Musicians from Marlboro and musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute and regularly performs at festivals including ChamberFest Cleveland, Festival Napa Valley, the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK), Ravinia, and Yellow Barn. He has collaborated with artists including Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Steven Isserlis, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, and Christian Tetzlaff.

Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi holds a Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong.