Harpy Hour

Harpy Hour

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm

WXXI, Classical 91.5, and the Virtual Little Cafe Present... Harpy Hour!

Join Classical 91.5's Julia Figueras and Grace Browning, RPO Principal Harpist, at the Vitual Little Cafe on Friday, April 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for the first in a series of Harpy Happy Hours! This new online, virtual series presents live musical performances, special guests, great conversation, trivia, and a featured ROC establishment/ local beverage! 

In this first Harpy Hour, Julia and Grace are joined by harpist and vocalist Mikaela Davis, RPO's Principal Second Violinist Robert Simonds, and Teddy Abrams, Music Director of Louisville Orchestra, protégé of Michael Tilson Thomas, and a New World Symphony Alum. We won’t HARP on you, but you should REALLY join us at the Virtual Little Cafe. 

WATCH HARPY HOUR FRIDAY AT 4:30PM BY CLICKING HERE!

More about the artists:


Mikaela Davis (pictured above) is the kind of songwriter who routinely defies expectations. The 28 year-old artist is a composer of striking maturity. Davis’ instrument of choice is the harp, which she has played since she was eight years old, right about the time she could actually get her hands around the instrument. A native of Rochester, New York, she spent her formative years in youth orchestras rather than in garage bands and later earned a performance degree from the Crane School of Music. Though Davis is clearly well-versed in the classical canon and is accustomed to performing in a recital setting, her approach to the harp is an unorthodox one. She often employs her instrument as a pulse, a rhythm or as texture as muscular as a guitar’s. 

Robert Simonds (pictured above) is American violinist who has a multifaceted career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, and solo recitalist. This year, Rob begins his first season as principal second violin of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and his eighth as a member of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. Interested in contemporary music for as long as he can remember, Rob performs, commissions, and records dynamic new music by living composers and explores the connections between traditions. 

Teddy Abrams (pictured above) is the widely-acclaimed Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Orchestra, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, and composer. A tireless advocate for the power of music, Abrams continues to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with organizations including the Louisville Ballet, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Speed Art Museum, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

More about your co-hosts for this Harpy Hour:

Julia Figueras (pictured above) is the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI-FM. She is also the producer and host for the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass. Currently, Figueras sits on the Board of Directors for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra with her husband, Peter Iglinski, and holds an honorary seat on the Amadeus Children's Choraleboard. Previously, she spent 10 years on the Board of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Grace Browning (pictured above) is RPO Principal Harpist. An avid opera harpist, Grace performed four seasons as Principal Harpist with the Dallas Opera and continues to perform with the Santa Fe Opera for their summer season. She has also performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and, most notably, with the Houston Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal Harpist during their 2017-2018 season and European tour. Grace attended the Eastman School of Music from 2005 to 2007, received her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in 2009, and finished her education at The Juilliard School, where she received her masters degree in 2011. She is also a New World Symphony Alum. To learn more about Grace visit her website by clicking here.

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