Tabernash: Harp provides harmony, flute provides melody |

Tabernash: Harp provides harmony, flute provides melody

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Emerging artists Lizary Rodriguez and Gina Vega make their Grand County debut (as a duo) tonight as the next featured classical musicians to perform as part of the Grand County Concert Series.

The duo’s Latin-American roots inspire them to intertwine music from the Western world, along with the standard repertoire for flute and harp, to create an evocative acoustic experience rarely composed for this type of ensemble.

Harpist Rodriguez, of Puerto Rico, has performed before a wide variety of audiences.

Her programs showcase not only classic pieces, well-known jazz arrangements and ethnic folk music, but demonstrate the harp’s range and versatility. The musician, who also learned to play piano and violin, said it didn’t take her long to realize that being a musician was what she wanted to be “because it was the main element that was fulfilling my life … and still is.”

She earned her doctorate in music from the University of Arizona, as well as postgraduate degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, Spain and studied under Puerto Rican harpist Maria Rosa Vidal. She’s also toured with the internationally renowned harp ensemble HarpFusion, with whom she’s also recorded three CDs as a soloist and composer. The latest album was nominated for a Grammy and recently Rodriguez released debut solo CD “Harp Voyage.”

She said she likes the sensual experience of playing the harp, and that, like the guitar, “it is an instrument that you hold close to you, making it possible to really feel the sound you produce.”

Vega, a CU graduate student originally from Venezuela, joins Rodriguez on flute for the concert.

“It’s a great blend,” she said about playing with Rodriguez, adding that “the harp brings the harmonic dimension” that the flute lacks because it is a melodic instrument.

At age 10, Vega began playing the flute with the Puerto La Cruz Youth Symphony Orchestra and she realized that was what she wanted to do in her life. She moved to Caracas to pursue a degree in flute performance and studied under Jose Garcia. In 2003, she moved to the United States to earn a master’s degree and studied with renowned flutist Robert Dick at the University of Iowa.

As an experienced musician, Vega has had the opportunity to perform with a variety of ensembles, including the Arundo Winds Quintet, Jose Antonio Anzoategui Symphony Orchestra, Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Symphony and Simon Bolivar Symphony orchestras, and Mahler Festival Orchestra in Boulder. She has also won a myriad of awards, is a founding member of the Venezuelan National Flute Orchestra and offers private lessons and master classes, as well as performances.

Vega thinks all traditional and folk music has “a very deep and inspiring energy” that people can feel even if they don’t know where it’s coming from. What inspires her most, she said, is being able to give an audience “a nice and pleasant experience. That is the most important thing for me as a flutist – to be able to give through the music.”

Rodriguez said she and Vega have a lot of fun playing together and that she thinks “Spanish and Latin-American music has a special direct emotional appeal due to exciting rhythm and melody.” The duo has prepared a “very nice program” with pieces from countries like Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Venezuela and Puerto Rico – ranging from classical to popular music.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is preceded by a free demonstration and workshop especially open to local students (elementary through high school) starting at 6 p.m. The concert series, which takes pride in offering outreach programs for students and which couldn’t run without the help of many selfless volunteers, also hosts complimentary receptions at the church after each concert.

Individual tickets are available at the door for $15 for adults, and $8 for students; and season tickets are available. For more information on the Grand County Concert Series, call (970) 726-9669, (970) 726-5015, (970) 887-3005, or visit

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