“Serenade for Violoncello and Harp” was composed in the spring of 2013 as a small gift of beauty for my wife, Crystal Kurek. I am grateful to my long-time collaborator, renowned harpist Mario Falcao, for commissioning another new work from me and to the great cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, whose extraordinarily lyrical playing inspired me to keep the cello part focused on the pure line as much as possible. The work was premiered by them on October 28, 2013 at Vanderbilt University and featured in 2014 at both the World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia and the National Conference of the American Harp Society, in addition to the Soka International Harp Festival (Tokyo), the FEMUSC festival in Brazil, and other important venues.
The work is a true collaboration of equals as chamber music, showcasing the harp far more extensively than a mere “accompaniment” for the cello. Thus, the harp part is at the advanced professional level but could be divided and shared by two harpists, making it a trio for two harps and cello. I am grateful to renowned professional harpists Mario Falcao and Rita Costanzi for editorial comments to improve the harp part, in the course of both of their performances of the work.
– Michael Kurek