Next Event: October 23 - 3pm
Meeting of the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Harp Society
Dr. Jaymee Haefner presents a special Multimedia Presentation
Virtuoso, Composer and Teacher - Compositions and Transcriptions for Harp.
Books and CD's by Dr. Haefner will be available during and after the meeting
event location: 5131 Glenmeadow Drive, Houston, TX 77096
Abstract of the Presentation
"Do you love the harp?" The French harpist Henriette Renié (1875-1956) asked this question of each student, and it remained her life ideal. Although the amount of literature about Renié’s life and work is disproportionate to the deep imprint she made upon the harp’s history and repertoire, her passion continues with her teaching practices which her dedicated students passed to the current generation.
My research began at Indiana University with Susann McDonald, one of Renié’s students. While preparing The Legend of Henriette Renié for publication (originally written in French by Odette de Montesquiou), I began to uncover the depth of Renié’s devotion toward the deepest passions in her life: family, faith, music, and especially her cherished students. This presentation explores the sources of Renié’s compositions and shares photographs and sound recordings of Renié’s own performances. The circumstances surrounding several of her well-known compositions, such as her Concerto in C Minor and Légende, will be discussed alongside lesser-known works such as her Deux Promenades Matinales and her Scherzo-Fantaisie for harp and violin.
Renié’s celebrated performances, particularly those including her programmatic compositions, furthered her acclaim as a virtuosic performer and composer. In the wake of her success, several new harp masterpieces by respected composers such as Pierné and Ravel appeared. This presentation celebrates the successes of a petite harpist who left a sizable imprint in the establishment of the harp as a solo instrument.
about Dr. Haefner
Jaymee Haefner’s performances have been described by Daniel Buckley as possessing “an air of dreamy lyricism… interlocking melody lines with the deftness of a dancer’s footwork.” Joseph Gold wrote that her “subtlety of touch reminded [him] of the immortal Nicanor Zabaleta.” Jaymee has taught at the University of North Texas (UNT) since 2006 and was appointed as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the College of Music in 2010. An avid supporter of new compositions for harp, Jaymee Haefner has commissioned and premiered several new works, including In Arkadia for horn and harp by Gary Schocker (Los Angeles, 2015), Better than One and Snow for harp duet by Gary Schocker (New Orleans, 2015), Et Descendit for flute, viola and harp by Sungji Hong, and Music for Violin and Harp by Patricio Da Silva (Atlanta, 2016). She was featured at the 50th Anniversary American Harp Society (AHS) National Conference in New York City, the 2014 AHS National Conference in New Orleans, and the 2016 AHS National Conference in Atlanta, premiering a new work for violin and harp which was commissioned by an American Harp Society, Inc. grant. She has also performed throughout the Dallas‐Fort Worth area, Los Angeles, Colorado, in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. Jaymee has performed under the direction of several notable conductors, including Jaap van Zweden (Dallas Symphony Orchestra), Roger Nierenberg (Music Paradigm), David Syrus (Royal Opera), and David Stern (Crested Butte Music Festival). Her recordings include features with the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, Daniel Narducci, Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, and James Boldin; she has joined several notable musicians on stage, including Johnny Mathis, Ben Folds, The Canadian Tenors, and The Texas Tenors. Jaymee regularly writes for The Harp Column and published a biography entitled The Legend of Henriette Renié and presented lectures at the 2014 World Harp Congress (WHC) in Sydney, the 2008 WHC in Amsterdam and the 2009 AHS Institute in Salt Lake City. Jaymee was Chairman of the 2011 AHS Institute and has served as the Treasurer for the World Harp Congress (WHC) and the National Harp Associations Liaison for the WHC Review publication. Dr. Haefner’s current projects include her “Better than One” duo with harpist Emily Mitchell, her “Beyond Debussy” trio with flutist Elizabeth McNutt and violist Daphne Gerling, and her “Crimson” duo with violinist Matt Milewski; both duos released CD recordings in 2015. She obtained her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Arizona and her Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. When she isn’t on stage, Dr. Haefner trains in karate with her son, and earned her first degree black belt in 2015.
Jaymee Haefner, DM, MM, BM
Assistant Professor of Harp and Director of Undergraduate Studies: University of North Texas College of Music
Co-Chair, University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Treasurer, World Harp Congress
American Harp Society Foundation Board of Directors
American Harp Journal Editorial Review Board