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Trinity Laban Harpist joins Berliner Philharmoniker Karajan Academy

Thu 25 April 2019

Third-year undergraduate student Noelia Cotuna has been selected for the prestigious Karajan Academy 2019-21.

Founded 40 years ago by celebrated conductor Herbert von Karajan and funded by private donors, the Academy is an exclusive training programme which helps talented young instrumentalists prepare for a professional career.

Noelia, who is studying for her Bachelor of Music at Trinity Laban with Head of Harp Studies Gabriella Dall’Olio, was made aware of and encouraged to apply for the scheme in 2018 when she participated in a masterclass at the Conservatoire with the Orchestra’s principal harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet. The renowned French musician frequently visits Trinity Laban to work with the Harp Department.

As a Karajan Academy student, Noelia will be mentored by Marie-Pierre over the next two years, receiving two hours of one-to-one tuition every week, as well as benefiting from chamber music, audition preparation and orchestral work.

Most excitingly, Noelia will also get the opportunity to play with the Berliner Philharmoniker whenever the repertoire demands a second harpist.

On being selected, the young harpist comments, “I am honoured to be joining the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Karajan Academy. It’s an incredible opportunity.” 

Earlier this year, Noelia was named the winner of Trinity Laban Soloists’ Competition 2019, one of the most popular and prestigious competitions in the Conservatoire’s musical calendar.

“Trinity Laban is such a supportive environment,” the 19-year-old undergraduate explains. “They don’t impose who you have to be. The teachers do everything they can to help you thrive.”

As the competition’s winner, Noelia will reprise her performance of Harp Concerto in C minora work composed in 1901 by early 20th-century French virtuoso harpist Henriette Renié – with Polish conductor Ewa Strusińska and the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra at Cadogan Hall on 28 June.

Noelia comments, “Renié is my favourite composer, and this is my favourite concerto. It is rarely performed so I hope to help people discover more about her, what she contributed to the harp. It’s important to remember her as a composer as well as performer.”

As part of Venus Blazing, Trinity Laban’s year-long commitment to programming work by women, the concert also includes two intense and complex works by Lili Boulanger, whilst Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique rounds off the evening’s spectacular feast of French music.

To book tickets, visit the Cadogan Hall website.

Image credit: JK Photography