VICTORIA DRAKE, harpist, is a multi-faceted artist with a career that stretches the boundaries of music for the harp. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she now lives in New York City where she works as a freelance musician. She has performed as concerto soloist with over a dozen notable orchestras in the New York area, many with repeat appearances, including the American Classical Orchestra, the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Concordia Orchestra, the Westfield Symphony, the Connecticut Orchestra at Harkness, and at the Vermont Mozart Festival. As recital soloist, she has appeared in series across the country, as well as in Israel and France.
She performs in several New York orchestras, including the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, and plays regularly with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. She has worked with Orpheus, the New York City Opera, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. She spends most summers at the Bard Music Festival and has performed at the Aspen, Banff, Cabrillo, Caramoor, Fontainebleau, Waterloo, Cape May, and Vermont Mozart Festivals. She has played with Summer Music in Connecticut, the Berkshire Opera Company and was featured soloist at L’Association des Rencontres Culturelles d’Orbec in France. She performed and recorded Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti on London/Decca. She has recorded chamber music for the ESS.A.Y, CRI, Spectrum, Well-Tempered, Arabesque, MSR Classics and Koch International labels. Recent performances and recordings in contemporary chamber music includes works of Osvaldo Golijov, Susan Botti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lowell Liebermann, Michael Kamen, Harvey Burgett, Michael Cohen, Laurence Rosenthal, Jeffrey Mumford, Bun-Ching Lam, Zhou Long, and Chou Wen-Chung.
Ms. Drake’s interest in expanding the harp repertoire has led to four solo recordings: Harping on Bach (keyboard and lute works of J.S. Bach); the critically acclaimed Scarlatti’s Harp (keyboard works of Domenico Scarlatti); Spanish Gold (harp works and piano and guitar transcriptions of Spanish composers); and her latest recording: From the Bach Notebook of Harpist Victoria Drake: the complete cello suites BWV 1007-1012 transcribed. She has recorded Frank Martin’s Petite Symphonie Concertante with Anthony Newman and Philharmonia Virtuosi, and the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp on period instruments with Sandra Miller and the American Classical Orchestra.
Victoria has performed and recorded for many artists such as Tony Bennett, Luciano Pavarotti, Kathleen Battle, Dave Brubeck, Branford Marsalis, Paquito d’Rivera, Victoria Clark, Audra McDonald, Dawn Upshaw, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin, and has toured Japan repeatedly with the New York Pops Orchestra. She played in the orchestra for the Tony-winning Broadway show The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center. She was also in the Tony Award-winning revivals of 42nd Street and The King and I, as well as many performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, The Music Man, Ragtime, Peter Pan, and 1776. She can be heard on many film soundtracks, including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Moonrise Kingdom, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, True Grit, Julie & Julia, and Doubt, as well as Mildred Pierce and the upcoming Olive Kitteridge for HBO.
Her edition of the Bach Cello Suites has recently been published by Gotham Harp Press. She performed some of her editions at the American Harp Society 50th Anniversary Harp Conference in New York City and at the 12th World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia.