Harpist Lavinia Meijer is an exclusive Sony Classical International Artist who has performed in some of the leading concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall New York, Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Musikverein Vienna, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, Bronfman Auditorium Tel Aviv and Seoul Arts Center.
She was born in South Korea, adopted at the age of two and is based in the Netherlands. She studied at the conservatories of Utrecht, where she was admitted to the conservatory at the age of 11, and Amsterdam, where she graduated with the highest honors.
Lavinia is passionate about broadening the possibilities of the harp. In addition to performing the classical harp repertoire, she experiments with electronic music, theatrical music, jazz and avant garde work by composers like Ellis Ludwig-Leone, Garrett Byrnes, Paul Patterson, Carlos Michans and Konstantia Gourzi. She has collaborated with artists such as Philip Glass, Iggy Pop, Sufijan Stevens and Ludovico Einaudi.
The internationally known ‘avant pop’ composer, Jacob T.V., has written her a suite for harp, samples and boombox. The piece, Cities Change the Songs of Birds, is set in New York and created a sensation after the premiere among international harp societies for challenging the perception of the harp as an “angelic” instrument. She has also performed her own arrangements of pieces by Radiohead and Leonard Cohen in classical venues to much artistic and critical acclaim and commercial success.
As a concerto soloist she has worked with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Israeli Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Seoul Philharmonic among others. Conductors she has collaborated with include Andrew Grams, Thierry Fischer, Charles Floyd, Franz Bruggen, Hannu Lintu and Marco Boni. She has also worked with the Kronos Quartet performing Bryce Dessner’s Aheym.
Lavinia has an affinity with the music of Philip Glass and her intense groundbreaking renditions of his music have mesmerized audiences across the world. After meeting him in 2011, he gave permission for her to transcribe his five-piece, Metamorphosis, for harp. Since then she has transcribed various other of his works, including Opening Piece, various movements from The Hours, Etudes and the main theme from Koyaanisqatsi. She is fortunate to have performed alongside Philip Glass on several occasions, both in the US and Europe, and has been a regular guest artist at his annual Days and Nights Festival in California.
Lavinia is one of few classical artists to have had an impact on European rock album charts. In addition to being awarded two gold albums, her Channel Classics recording of Metamorphosis / The Hours achieved platinum sales. Her many recordings feature music as varied as Handel, Bach, Scarlatti, Takemitsu, Dessner, Muhly, Piazzola, Ravel and Debussy. Her 2019 album, A Gentleman’s Honor, is a collaboration with French DJ Maud Geffray originally performed in Paris and subsequently broadcast on France TV's Culturebox channel. Lavinia also appears as a featured artist on Brittany Howard’s 2020 Grammy-nominated solo album Jamie, and on the 2020 Sony Classical release Peaceful Choir, in collaboration with World Choir for Peace.
Recent season highlights include a performance of Kaija Saariaho’s harp concerto Trans at the Concertgebouw with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Netherlands and Ludovic Morlot, the premiere of Shadowy Figure, a new work by San Fermin’s Ellis Ludwig-Leone with the Het Gelders Orkest in Arnhem, performances alongside Philip Glass in America and Europe, and tours in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2018 she had the honor of being invited to perform at the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival to celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. She returned to the festival at the start of 2020 to perform a new program with cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.
In April 2021, Lavinia gave the world premiere of a new harp concerto by Jaap Nico Hamburger with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. The piece was commissioned by the Government of the Netherlands and the United Nations to mark the 75th anniversary of the International Court of Justice.
Lavinia is an Ambassador for Save a Child’s Heart.