Gloria Agostini. Harpist, teacher, b Montreal 30 May 1923, naturalized U.S. 1949, d 26 Jul 2004. After receiving a harp at 12 as a Christmas gift from Senator Lawrence Wilson, Gloria Agostini studied the instrument with Mother Saint Roméo at the Villa-Maria Convent in Montreal. On a scholarship from the Quebec government she went to New York at 15 for studies with Marcel Grandjany. She joined the ABC (radio) Symphony Orchestra in New York at 16. She returned to Canada in the early 1940s to perform on her brother Lucio Agostini
's radio shows, was harpist 1941-2 with Les Concerts symphoniques de Montréal (Montreal Symphony Orchestra
), and in 1942 was the soloist with that orchestra in Ravel's Introduction and Allegro
. She made her career in New York, however, playing in studio (radio and recording) and chamber orchestras, and in recital. Specializing in contemporary music, she participated in the premieres of Pierre Boulez's Explosante Fixe
(1973), Alberto Ginastera's Serenata
(1974), and Barbara Kolb's Soundings
(1973) with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and also in the first performances of works by Henry Cowell (Triple Rondo
for flute and harp 1965; Concerto
for flute and harp 1965?), Paul Creston (Symphonic Poem
for harp and orchestra 1945), Igor Stravinsky (Epitaphium
, North American premiere, 1959), and Charles Wuorinen (Harp Variations
1971). She also played on jazz recordings by Paul Desmond, Gunther Schuller, and others, and on pop recordings by performers as varied as Hall and Oates, Tony Bennett, and Britney Spears.
In 1977 Gloria Agostini began teaching at Yale University; she also taught at the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. Among her pupils were Gretchen van Hoesen and the composer Paul Carey. For Lyra Music, she edited editions of chamber works for harp.
See also Giuseppe Agostini (her father).
Maria Corvin, Helen McNamara
Berlioz "Premiers transports que nul n'oublié" - Hahn "Si mes vers avaient des ailes." Greenhouse violoncello, Swarthout mezzo. 1953. RCA Victor LM-1793
Hovhaness Firdausi. Sobol clarinet, Boyar percussion. (1978). Grenadilla GS-1008
Martin Petite symphonie concertante. Fuller harpsichord, Andrews piano, Stokowski conductor. (1960). Capitol SP-8507
Menotti The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore. Chor, instr ensemble, Schippers conductor. (1957). Angel S-35437
Other Folks Music. Rahsaan Roland Kirk saxophone and other instr, instr ensemble. (1976). Atlantic SD-1686
The Romantic Songs of Martha Lou Harp. Perazzo organ. (1957). Harmony HL-7049
Saint-Saëns Fantasy for Violin and Harp. Ricci violin. (1970). Decca DL-710177
Silhouettes in Jazz. Michael Coldin Septet. (1959). Everest SDBR-1038
Soft Guitars. Arnone guitar, Carroll bass. (1962). Time 52052