SOLO RECITALS • CONCERTS WITH ORCHESTRA • EDUCATIONAL ASSEMBLIES & WORKSHOPS
Above: Addressing the audience before his performance of his "South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra" with the Mission Chamber Orchestra, San Jose, California.
alfredo rolando ortiz biography
Internationally acclaimed by the critics, soloist of the "arpa paraguaya" (Paraguayan harp), a composer, author, educator and recording artist, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz considers his "most important concerts" PLAYING THE HARP IN THE DELIVERY ROOM during the birth of his second daughter, New Year's Eve, 1980, and also for the birth of a grandson from each one of his two daughters in 2013.
Alfredo was born in Cuba. When he was eleven years old he immigrated with his family to Venezuela. Four years later he began studying the Venezuelan folk harp with his school friend Fernando Guerrero. A year later he became a pupil of Alberto Romero on the Paraguayan harp. Just two years after his first harp lesson, he began medical school at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia, began performing professionally and recorded his first album. Music supported his medical studies until graduation. Five years later he moved to the United States to continue studies of Music Therapy. Two years later he married Luz Marina Otero. For eight years from the time of his graduation from medical school, he worked in the medical field as well as a harpist and recording artist, until his wife became pregnant. In order to have time for his growing family, he then decided to dedicate his life only to them and to his first love: the harp.
With a multicultural repertoire that covers folk, classical and popular music from many countries, as well as his original compositions, Alfredo has performed for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He has recorded many albums and is the winner of a GOLD RECORD in South America. He has lectured on a variety of subjects at universities, colleges and schools, is the author of several harp music books and articles and his compositions have been performed and recorded by classical and folk harpists in many countries. His“Venezolana for Five Pedal Harps” has become a favorite of harp ensembles around the world.
His acclaimed “South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra” premiered March 3, 1996. Dr Ortiz was invited to perform his Suite at the World Harp Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1999, with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, having as audience over one thousand classical harpists from around the world. He has also performed his Suite in Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, Turkey, New Zealand, Israel and with several orchestras in the United States, among them the New Mexico Symphony, Corona Symphony Orchestra, and the El Paso Symphony. With this last orchestra he recorded his Suite, available in CD. (See Concerts with Orchestra for more information)
In 2007, Dr. Alfredo Rolando Ortiz was commissioned a piece to be premiered on July 22, 2008, during the Tenth World Harp Congress in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Originally composed for four harps or harp ensemble, CUMBIA VERDE was performed by 232 harpists, the largest harp ensemble to date.*
*(Note: On October 26, 2013, in Paraguay,"land of the harp," an ensemble of 420 harps broke the Guinness World Record one more time. As a performer of the "Paraguayan Harp" Alfredo was very happy to see this accomplishment in that country. He had just performed there during the Seventh World Harp Festival a few days before, but due to previous commitments he had to travel before that memorable occasion.)
On July 19, 2009, twelve 5th grade harp students of Lou Anne Neill (harpist of the Los Angeles Phlharmonic), from Moffett Elementary School, performed Alfredo’s composition PAISAJE, during the Opening Night Gala of the Hollywood Bowl, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Symphony, for an audience of over seventeen thousand.
Among his solo recitals and concerts with orchestra are:
• Opening Concert of the First World Harp Congress, The Netherlands, 1983
• Third World Harp Congress, Vienna, Austria, 1987
• Rochas Festival of the Harp, Paraguay, 1988
• Edinburgh International Harp Festival, Scotland, 1987, 1991 & 2005
• World Harp Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1992
• World Harp Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, 1999, where he performed his
"South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra" with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
• Soka International Harp Festival, Japan, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2013
• World Harp Congress, Dublin, Ireland, 2005
• Latin American Harps Encounter, Venezuela - 1998, Mexico - 2000 & 2004, Brazil - 2006
• World Harp Congress, The Netherlands, 2008, when 232 harpists, including Alfredo, performed the
World Premiere of his composition Cumbia Verde.
• International Folk Harp Conference, 1984, 86, 88, 90, 92, 94, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2010
• Somerset Folk Harp Festival, 2013, 2014, 2015 (Also multiple recitals and
educational workshops and lectures for the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in previous years)
• Seventh World harp Festival (Séptimo Festival Mundial del Arpa), Paraguay, 2013
• 25th Anniversary of the Soka International Harp Festival, Japan, 2013
• Workshops on Latin American harps music and techniques in Sidney, Australia, World Harp Congress - 2014
• Concert with orchestra, performing his South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra with
the Israel Stage Orchestra, during the Second Israeli Harp Festival, 2014.
• First Casanare World Harp Encounter (Primer Encuentro Mundial de Arpas de Casanare), Colombia, 2015.
• Performances and workshop for harpists during the "Third World Encounter Masters of the Harp,"
(Encuentro Mundial Maestros del Arpa), Bogotá, Colombia, 2016.
• Recital and workshop for harpists at the American Harp Society Conference, Atlanta, 2016.
• Recital and workshop for harpists at the Camac Harp Festival, Marseille, France, October-2016
• Master Class for Harpists, World Harp Congress, Hong Kong, July -2107
• Solo Recital and educational audiovisual presentation about the Latin American Harps at the American Harp Society Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1976. The first time ever a non-pedal harp was presented in recital at an American Harp Society Conference.