Book Irantzu on Encore Musicians

  Contemporary Music and Multidisciplinary Art Practice 

Since arriving into the UK in 2018, Irantzu has been immersing herself in the vivid environment of contemporary music and multidisciplinary performances of England. 

An advocator of new music, Irantzu is part of the Olyver New Music Collective,  a new music ensemble and concert series founded by Matthew Olyver that presents an eclectic tapestry of music in beautiful and unconventional concert venues in five special events a year. Last September, Irantzu and the collective premiered Pastorale Dream, a harp trio for Harp, Viola and Cello.  A new chamber music piece for harp is being written by Matthew and Irantzu will take part in its premiere at the end of 2020-beginning of 2021. 

Pastorale Dream by Matthew Olyver: Varinia Oyola Rebaza, Viola; Sara Gait, Cello and Irantzu Agirre Arrizubieta, Harp

In the past years, Irantzu has worked with young professional composers in NYC and Spain to enrich the harp repertoire, among them Cynthia Lee Wong, who composed Songs of Gernika for Soprano, Harp and String Quartet after a poem by Irantzu in Basque based on Bernardo Atxaga's Markak (2008), Angelica Negron, who wrote Technicolor for Harp & Electronics (2008) and J.P. Berná, whose solo piece Elegía was premiered by Irantzu in 2011. A recording of Berna’s piece came out in 2018 and Irantzu can often be heard at the WQXR radio of NYC performing A. Negrón’s Technicolor for Harp and Electronics. As a chamber musician she has premiered the Septet by the Spanish composer A. Lara and Celosias by J.Perez Berna. She has given workshops for composition students at the Nafarroa and A Coruna Superior Music Conservatories. Collaborations with composers  include feedback on the writing of the harp part of Cynthia Lee Wong’s Shoreline for Oboe, Viola and Harp. In the Summer of 2018, Irantzu premiered P. Burnell's Robot Picking Blackb'ries, a piece written for her. 

Irantzu has performed John Adams's orchestra pieces under his own baton. She  was selected to take part in the premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar at the Tanglewood Music Festival and the American premiere of Gloria, A pig's Tale by HK Gruber conducted by D. Masson at the Aspen Music Festival and School. As a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble for six years, Irantzu premiered more than thirty pieces, among them a piece especially written for the ensemble by Yanov-Yanovsky.

At NYU, Irantzu was the harpist at the collaborative arts performance class with composer, educator and multimedia artist Dr. John V. Gilbert. As a final project, she took part as an improvising harpist at the Voices of Thalassus multimedia performance. Since then, the combination of the arts have played an important role in Irantzu’s performances. Notes on Words, her NYC Debut recital at Weill Hall- Carnegie Hall, was a program of pieces written after literary works: J. Guridi’s La del Alba Seria, written after “Don Quijote”,    C. Lee Wong’s Song of Gernika based on Irantzu’s own poem after B. Atxaga’s “Markak” and the final piece’s performance included a representation of E. Allan Poe’s “The Tale- tell heart”. In 2018, she was the producer, curator and principal harpist of After Thougths, a chamber music program of works with harp accompanied by literature (in Basque, Spanish, Galician, Valencian, French and English) and visual effects presented in Spain. On the Summer of 2018, Irantzu was one of the four  Artists in Residence at Skimstone Arts in Newcastle. As part of her residency,  she performed contemporary music for solo harp and she took part in a collaborative performance with painter M. Dinis. The main project of the residency was Merriment, a multidisciplinary arts performance combining literature, music from the 20th and 21st centuries for solo and chamber music settings performed by the Professional Ensemble as well as improvisations created by the Young Artist Collective and the people at the St. Anthony's Day Care Center in Walker. In the same project, Irantzu premiered Robot Picking Blackb'ries, a solo harp piece written for her by composer Paul Burnell and G. Robson, actor and Skimstone Arts board member,  read the literary texts. In February 2019, Irantzu presented  "Illusions", a performance about the concept of reality, combining literature and chamber music for Violin and Harp  at High Wycombe with London based, long time friend and Juilliard Alumna Dr. Sabina Rakcheyeva. In June of that same year, Irantzu presented Dawn of Shadows and Scintillation at the Old Theatre Royal as part of the Bath Fringe Festival. This performance was based on a person’s journey in the time of a life change and it combines solo harp repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries, literature, images and light effects. 

During her studies at the New York University, Irantzu was often the harpist of the Film Scoring recording sessions’ orchestra in which not only she gave harp composition feedback to the composition students but also, Irantzu experienced at first hand the creative process of film scoring by watching the accompanied films and making live recordings on set conducted by the composers themselves. Familiarized with silence films, she performed an 80 minutes score written by NYU students and produced by Award Winning composer Ron Sadoff for Rene Clair’s 1928 Des Deaux Timides at the NYC Tribeca Film Festival, conducted by G.B. Anderson and narrated by Tribeca’s Artistic Director P. Scarlet. In Spain, she  joined the Real Filarmonia of Galicia  in 'Nosferatu. Eine Symphonie des Grauens', 1922’s film by Murnau and music by J.M. Sánchez-Verdú under the baton of Nacho de Paz. Since July 2019, Irantzu is the Principal Harpist of the London Video Game Orchestra, an ensemble that plays only video game music along with video experts from the games. After their last concert, Irantzu was mentioned on Britt Roberts review: “From the moment that harpist Irantzu Agirre Arrizubieta began plucking those falling notes and the string section came achingly into the fold, I was completely ensconced in the melancholic fog”.

Last November, Irantzu was the Principal Harpist with the Guernsey Symphony at the Our Fragile Planet concert. In this multidisciplinary performance to raise awareness on the state of our oceans, the orchestra played music about the sea along with footage images from an expedition to the Antarctica. 

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