Featuring original compositions and interpretations of works by the likes of Max Richter, Philip Glass, and Nils Frahm, the album is the culmination of a year long project dissecting the seasons
Sony Classical is proud to announce the release of a brand-new album from LAVINIA MEIJER, a
pioneering and exciting musician and composer, and one of the most important harpists of her
generation. Winter is the culmination of a year-long project taking inspiration from the changing of
the seasons, and the effect climate change is having on them. The album, to be released on February 2, 2024, features two new compositions by MEIJER alongside interpretations of works by, among others, Max Richter, Philip Glass, and Nils Frahm, and collaborations with violinist Nadia Sirota, the Wishful Singing ensemble, and Alma Quartet.
The idea for Winter crystallised over a year ago, with a piece of music left over from MEIJER’S last
record Are You Still Somewhere? Titled ‘Open Window’ and written during the pandemic, it
provided, she says, fresh inspiration; about winter, coldness, and those special days you spend with
your family. “I wrote it hoping I could ‘travel’ myself, but also so that listeners could travel in their
own minds to other places. Places they could not physically be. It became very symbolic of that
The “coldness” of pandemic lockdowns, and the winters they occurred in, became a theme; so did
the idea of people being physically separated, and the “suffocating” nature of alienation on society.
Linking this to changing of the seasons, and the effect of climate change, was a natural extension,
and so MEIJER began intuitively researching and gathering works. Some, she’d never heard before;
others, she’d struggled to adapt for the harp. Connecting the titles and moods with a season, the
result was a neat, conceptual, full circle of releases: two “winter” singles a year ago, followed by
three four-track EPs for spring, summer, and fall. And now Winter, a full-length record of 18 works.
“Winter for me isn’t just about the cold – it’s also about long stretches of endurance. So the songs I
composed for this record have long lines, and go deeper down into this season,” she says. They’re
also deeply personal; the second movement of ‘Open Window’ is based on a well-known folk song
from Korea, the country of her birth. Elsewhere, works by other famous composers proved a great
fit: Philip Glass’ ‘Freezing’, wonderfully augmented by the acapella singing ensemble Wishful Singing
and ‘Amethyst’ by Dutch composer Reyer Zwart and featuring Alma Quartet, concerning a
metaphorical transformation into the precious stone; Even with the tone and subject matter of the featured works and compositions – and with the way MEIJER wanted to open up “the dark tones of the harp, because without them, you cannot hear the lighter ones as clearly” – Winter is not sad or melancholic. In fact, quite the opposite. “I want the listener to feel alive, and that the music triggers more awareness of everything around them and the beauty that exists in the world,” she says. “I want them to feel inspired.”