Credit: Aaron Jay Young Studio
PRESS QUOTES AND REVIEWS
LOS ANGELES TIMES
LA International New Music Festival Sets Off on an Artful Tour
Josef Woodard: "Gabriela Ortiz’s 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"
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
American Mavericks featuring Partch Ensemble
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"
"Bjorkedal is among the finest harpists in Los Angeles, and her performance was superb...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"
Album Review: Ten Freedom Summers by Wadada Leo Smith
Ted Ayala: "The spacious, quietly fluttering meditation on Medgar Evers grows totally noir: the chilling conversation between Kaplan's flute and Bjorkedal's harp is one of the albums high points."
CK Dexter Haven
"The instrumentalists offered sensitive support, with harpist Alison Bjorkedal making some particularly noteworthy contributions...Alison Bjorkedal, Southwest’s always intrepid harpist, was the very capable soloist"
Review: A Harp at the Huntington
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"
CRESCENTA VALLEY WEEKLY
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.
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
Wadada Leo Smith Opening Night Roulette, NYC
Concert harpist Alison Bjorkedal punctuated the apprehensive opacity with an incisive steadiness, occasionally in tandem with the bass
CULTURE SPOT LA
Southwest Chamber Music's LA International New Music Festival
Theodore Bell: "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."
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE
Stirring a Different Crowd at the S.F. Symphony (Partch Ensemble review)
Be'eri Moalem: "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."
Live review: Wadada Leo Smith's "Ten Freedom Summers" at REDCAT
Greg Burk: "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."