News & Reviews


Release: Mayer Hawthorne

Alison played for title track "Where does this door go" on Mayer Hawthorne's new album of the same name. Check it out here!


Review: Culture Spot LA

August 2013

Theodore Bell for Culture Spot LA: "Tenor Jon Lee Keenan and harpist Alison Bjorkedal were brilliant in their performances of Britten’s Eight Folk Song Arrangements (1976) and A Birthday Hansel (Op. 92, 1976).  Bjorkedal is among the finest harpists in Los Angeles, and her performance was superb. She and Keenan were expressive and matched perfectly to the character of the songs.


The harp was crisp, and fine nuances in timbre and touch were preserved...The songs are distinctly modern, but tuneful with a dissonance that was pleasant and reminiscent of Carl Nielsen at times, especially on Bjorkedal’s harp. Her artistry and mastery of the instrument were outstanding; the connection of musician and instrument flowed seamlessly together in her music."  Read More


News: CD Release The World Beyond

August 2013
The World Beyond was released by Akara. Alison plays harp for tracks 3, 4 and 9. Check out the album at and download or order a copy! 


News: CD Release Aroma Foliado

March 2013
Southwest Chamber Music has released a new album Aroma Foliado. A musical portrait of composer Gabriela Ortiz, five important works are represented from her colorful and diverse output ranging from 1991 to 2010. Three of the works include Alison Bjorkedal. Learn More.


​Review: LA International New Music Festival 2013

March 2013
Blogger Daniel Corral covered the final two concerts of Southwest Chamber Music's LA International New Music Festival 2013:

"The concert on 03/02 opened with Alison Bjorkedal's skilled performance of Carlos Chavez's Inventions III for solo harp..." Read More.


​​Review: LA International New Music Festival 2013

March 2013
Blogger CK Dexter Haven covered the final concert of Southwest Chamber Music's LA International New Music Festival 2013: The instrumentalists offered sensitive support, with harpist Alison Bjorkedal making some particularly noteworthy contributions...the harpist plays an utterly gorgeous melody while a long strip of paper is woven through the strings, causing a slight buzz, all while the soprano sings of her dream above it; a seemingly trivial effect, but what first seems like a simple melancholy tune becomes more eerie and uncomfortable as it continues...Alison Bjorkedal, Southwest’s always intrepid harpist, was the very capable soloist. Read More



​​​Review: SW Chamber Music Summer Festival

August 2012
Ted Ayala, for the Crescenta Valley Weekly, reviewed the August Southwest Chamber Music Concerts saying: "The performance, which included harpist Alison Bjorkedal, knew how to balance on that knife-edge, never teetering too far one way or the other. It never sweetened the acid from the work, nor did it sharpen the contours. It was a performance that trusted the score wholly, presented to the listener in all its uneasy and fascinating splendor." Read More




Review: SW Chamber Music Summer Festival

Ted Ayala, for and the Crescenta Valley Weekly, reviewed the July 14th and 15th Southwest Chamber Music Concerts saying: Augmenting the loveliness of these works was the playing of Bjorkedal. It was a masterclass in miniature; a demonstration of the wide range of tone that a world-class harpist can evoke from their instrument. The harp, despite its beauty of tone, can sound dull and monochrome in the hands of less talented players. But Bjorkedal used her masterly technique with great intelligence and sureness, conjuring a broad spectrum of colors and shades. Read More


Review: "Ten Freedom Summers" Recording

Lucid Culture Blog reviewed composer and trumpeter Wadada  Leo Smith's  4 CD set "Ten Freedom Summers", saying "The spacious, quietly fluttering meditation on Medgar Evers grows totally noir: the chilling conversation between Kaplans flute and Bjorkedal's harp is one of the albums high points". Read More


Review: SW Chamber Music LA International New Music Festival

May 2012

Theodore Bell for LA Culture Spot: Harpists Alison Bjorkedal and Allison Allport seamlessly flowed together with intricately intertwined figures that coursed under and around the melody that mostly was expressed by Vartan’s gently hammered steel drum. Read More


Review: Southwest Chamber Music Concert 1 in LA Times

May 2012

​Josef Woodward reviewed the May 9, 2012 Southwest Chamber Music Concert for the LA Times, saying "Gabriela Ortizs intriguing Rio de las Mariposas, played by dual harpists Alison Bjorkedal and Allison Allport, flanking Vartan on the dreamily metallic steel drum, is a lyrical work tinged by subtle dissonances, linking harp traditions from Europe and her native Veracruz." Read More


Reviews: PARTCH plays San Francisco Symphony's American Mavericks series

May 2012

San Francisco Chronicle: "The weekend's high point came on Sunday with a selection of short pieces by the great inventor, vagabond and all-round musical crank Harry Partch" (read more).  San Francisco Classical Voice: "part sad, part funny, and plenty crazy, it made for a fun show. Throughout the selections, Partch's mind-bending intonation gave the scenes a hazy, otherworldly feel". Read More


News: Blog on Satellite Salon

​January 2012
Dr. Lynn Vartan wrote a blog post about the January Satellite Salon series in Cedar City, UT. Pop over to for her recap and pictures of the salon.


Review: Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Oxford American, Metal Jazz

October 2011

The performance of "Ten Freedom Summers" by Wadada Leo Smith with Southwest Chamber Music received reviews in the Wall Street Journal (read article), LA Times (read article), Oxford American (read article), Metal Jazz (read article), and Jazz Times (read article). Metal Jazz said: "golden-toned harp of Alison Bjorkedal offered effective condensed commentary...Alison Bjorkedal's harp banged the Liberty Bell with strokes that rang through our heads like 500-volt shocks."


Review: Crescenta Valley Weekly

January 2011

Ted Ayala: "Harpist Alison Bjorkdahl [sic] was superb in this work that had her interrogate, harass, provoke, argue, coddle and sing along with her instrument. A vast array of harp sounds wrought through the use of unusual playing techniques." 


Review: Los Angeles Times

​August 2010
Mark Swed: "Over the weekend, Southwest Chamber Music designed the third of its four summer programs at the Huntington around the ensemble's enterprising young harpist, Alison Bjorkedal." Read More