Biography



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 free-lance musician. She has performed as concerto soloist with over a dozen notable orchestras in the New York area, many with repeat appearances, including Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Concordia Orchestra, the American Classical 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, New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, Orpheus, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and has worked with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. She plays regularly with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. She has performed at the Aspen, Banff, Bard, 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 Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy (now the American Classical Orchestra).

Victoria has toured Japan repeatedly with the New York Pops Orchestra and can be heard on several soundtracks and many commercials.  She 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.  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.

© Victoria Drake 2012