Harpist from Beijing, China, whose mother played the
harp with the China National Symphony.
Jessica took up the instrument at nine years of age and attended the
Central Conservatory of Music where she studied under the watchful eye of
At twelve years of age, she relocated to San Diego, California. She furthered her education at the Interlochen
and Juilliard, with Joan Holland and Nancy Allen, respectively.
In 2002, she
delivered the world premiere of “Double Harp Concerto” by Haim Permont at the World
She joined the
New York City Opera Orchestra as their principal harpist in 2004, a post
she held for five years.
January 2009, she and fellow harpist Mariko Anraku
and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle performed at
Carnegie Hall. The program
comprised “Canciones populares
espanolas” by Manuel de Falla,
“Ma mere l’oye” by Maurice
Ravel, “Prelude, Fugue and Variation in B minor, Op. 18”, and “Sonatine” by Jean-Michel Damase.
The New York
City Opera Orchestra offered up a similarly eclectic concert at Alice Tully
Hall on 11th April 2009, when they performed Claude Debussy’s
“Danses sacree et
profane”, Lukas Foss’s “Time Cycle”, Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois
petite liturgies de la presence divine”, and Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.
Jessica became a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other groups with whom she has
worked include Andover Chamber Music, the Arneis
Quartet, the Azure Ensemble, the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Boston
Symphony Chamber Players, the China National Symphony, the Concord Chamber
Players, the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Hawthorne String Quartet, the
Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony
Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber
Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Northwest Sinfonietta,
the Swiss Romande Symphony Orchestra, and the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
She teamed up
with Nancy Allen and Mariko Anraku on 25th
April 2010 for a recital in the Edward M. Pickman
Concert Hall at the Longy School of Music. The harp-fest included Bela Bartok’s “Hungarian Dances”, Franck’s
“Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18”, Marcel Grandjany’s “The Colorado Trail”, Francis
Poulenc’s “Presto in C major”, Ravel’s “Ma
mere l’oye”, John Thomas’s “Grand
Duet in E flat major”, and the traditional “Sakura, Sakura”
and “Spring on the Moonlit River”.
July 2010, she participated in the Five Harp Concerti Finale at the
American Harp Society’s National Conference.
The BSO joined
forces with soprano Dawn Upshaw on 24th August 2010 for “Songs
of the Auvergne”
by Joseph Canteloube and “Three Songs for
Soprano and Orchestra” by Osvaldo Golijov.
The concert was rounded out by “Symphony No. 31 in D” (“Paris”)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and “Ma mere l’oye”
September 2010, Jessica took part in the Gala Concert at the Boston Harp
Festival, where she performed “Dances for Harp and String Quintet”
by Claude Debussy with the Arneis Quartet.
She was one of
the American Harp Society’s Distinguished Harpists on 21st
November 2010, when she performed her first solo recital in Boston.
May 2011, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players took the stage in Jordan Hall
at the New England Conservatory, where they interpreted “Introduction
and Allegro” by Ravel and “Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp”
The BSO played
a wall-to-wall Ravel concert at Tanglewood on 24th
July 2011, when they played the French master’s “Bolero”,
“Ma mere l’oye” and “Piano
Concerto in G”, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at
August 2011, Jessica and clarinetist Thomas Martin joined the Hawthorne
String Quartet for a prelude concert at Tanglewood. “Escape Routines” by Miroslav Srnka, “Rhapsodie” by Marcel Grandjany,
“String Quartet No. 3” by David L. Post and “Three
Preludes” by George Gershwin set the table for the main event,
Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Perlman conducted the BSO on 27th August 2011, when they
performed the first and fifth symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven.
August 2011, Lorin Maazel
wielded the baton as the BSO closed their season with Beethoven’s “Symphony
No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125”.
the Concord Chamber Players appeared at the Concord Academy Performing Arts
Center on 15th January 2012, where they interpreted Andre Previn’s “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano”,
Camille Saint-Saens’s “Fantasie for
Harp and Violin”, and John Williams’ “Quartet for Harp,
Clarinet, Violin and Cello”.
March 2012, Jessica gave a pre-concert talk about all things harp before
the BSO launched into the overture from Benvenuto Cellini and Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz and “Piano
Concerto in G” by Ravel, with soloist Cedric Tiberghien.
which she can be heard include Chen
Yi/Karen Tanaka: Invisible
Curve with the Azure Ensemble, Eric
Bass Hits, and Profanes et
20th-Century French Chamber Music with the Boston
Symphony Chamber Players.
In the field
of music education, she has taught at Boston
University, the New England
Conservatory of Music, and Tanglewood Music