Harpist, sometime credited as Sophie Bruno Labiner, who attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has gone on to mold a distinguished career as a chamber musician, educator, orchestral musician, and soloist.
On 8th December 1989, she performed music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier at a Midnight Mass for Christmas at the Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware, in tandem with The Delaware Choral Society and The Dover Early Music Consort.
She helped the Bucks County Choral Society ring in the Easter season with a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as a member of The Festive Arts Orchestra.
In 1997, she appeared on Orchestra 2001’s Night of the Four Moons, performing Gerald Levinson’s “In Dark (Three Poems of the Night)”, and celebrated Christmas with The Choristers in their rendition of Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols.
She turned her attention to the opera in April 2002, supplying colour and tone to the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s production of Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti ed it Montecchi.
In 2004, she was featured on Lois Bliss Herbine’s Take Wing, duetting with the piccolo player on Stephen Mager’s “Saltarello (The Falcon)”, and participated in the American Harp Society’s National Harp Conference, performing Alexei Haieff’s “La Nouvelle Heloise” at Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania. She ended the year as a member of The Colonial Players in a Colonial-themed Christmas concert in Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center.
On 6th November 2005, she played the harp bits in Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with The Overbrook Choir, bass James Kirk, conductor and organist Dennis Elwell, and soprano Iris Fairfax, at Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Not one to shy away from new music, she and other members of Orchestra 2001 aired “Songs and Dances” from The Tempest by James Primosch at the Trinity Center for Urban Life on 22ndApril 2006. She appeared in a pair of Christmas concerts at the end of the year entitled The Joys of Christmas, with The Music Group of Philadelphia at the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and the Trinity Center.
On 25th May 2007, she reunited with Lois Bill Herbine and they, along with soprano Janice Fiore, performed a program of medieval-flavoured dances, fairy tales, folk songs, love songs, and laments, at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Glenside, Pennsylvania. One of the song cycles, “Illumination: A Song Cycle for Soprano, Piccolo and Harp” by Stephen Mager, was included on the 2008 CD, Concerts at Carmel: Illuminations. She rounded out the year in celebration of All Saints’ Sunday on 2nd November at The Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She returned to the world of musical theatre in June 2009, accompanying the Opera Company of Philadelphia in their mounting of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Perelman Theatre. She followed this up less than a week later by playing the all-important harp parts in Tom Jones’ and Harvey Schmidt’s The Fantasticks with The Princeton Festival at McCarter Theatre in New Jersey. In November, she helped celebrate the installation of Rabbi Peter Rigler, regaling the congregation with some harp flourishes during Yizkor, at Temple Sholom in Broomall, Pennsylvania.
In 2010, she performed in the Philadelphia Heritage Concert in Irvine Auditorium, an all-Philly-harpist affair hosted by radio announcer Jill Pasternak, and adjudicated at the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Harp Society’s Student Competition.
Sophie has been the Principal Harpist with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Orchestra 2001, and teaches harp at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music. She has also performed in the chamber ensemble Fairmount Strings.
Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia recordings
Adeste Fidelis (Frederick Oakely/John Francis Wade)
RCA 6559-2-RC (Gloria! Gloria!)
Soprano – Benita Valente
The Philadelphia Singers
Conductor – Michael Korn
She plays the harp here in a performance of “Carol of the Bells”…