Kirsten Agresta Copely

Paul Landry

KIRSTEN AGRESTA COPELY is a harpist, composer, and arranger based in New York City. Known for her unusual command of genres like hip-hop in addition to classical music, her prolific career has taken her throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Israel, Japan, and the South Pacific; she has performed for heads of state, in blockbuster movie soundtracks, alongside Billboard 100 artists, on late night television, and with the most recognized symphony orchestras in the world. Composition marks Copely’s latest addition to her career: she released her first album as composer, Around the Sun, in January 2020. The album, a collection of new age/ambient works, is a collaboration with her husband Marc Copely, credited as producer, engineer, and mixer. It has been hailed as “one of 2020’s finest New Age music releases” (New Age Music Guide) and “a stunning recording of some of the most gorgeous and engaging harp music one could ever imagine.” (New Age Music Reviews), winning a Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards and Listeners’ Top Album in the New Age Music Guide Top 10 Albums of 2020.

Steeped in rigorous classical training, Copely’s performance career began at an early age: by fourteen, she performed a full solo tour of the British Isles, and continued to gain attention in the classical world by winning Bronze Medal in the 1st USA International Harp Competition, debuting as concerto soloist at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center soon after. This busy period in Copely’s career marks the start of a long tenure of classical performances, including solo performances in Dublin, Peru, and Amsterdam, among others. Currently, she serves as Principal Harpist with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center and regularly performs with the Nashville Symphony, while she previously served as Principal Harpist of the New York Pops.

While she maintains a heavy schedule in performing classical repertoire, she has also found an uncanny connection with mainstream audiences. Following a feature in PEOPLE Magazine’s “Up & Coming” column, her performances grew increasingly illustrious, culminating in a performance with Beyoncé at the second official White House State Dinner for President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Other performance highlights include the MET Gala with musical guest Frank Ocean, a benefit concert with Jay Z at Carnegie Hall, and Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come at Radio City Music Hall, which aired on NBC.

Copely’s charismatic, telegenic presence on stage has also allowed her to share a prominent spotlight in a variety of pop-culture settings: she has performed on a full slate of late night and morning show television programming, including Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, and The Today Show.

Performing live, she has played a gamut of the world’s biggest stages, from Madison Square Garden to Lollapalooza, alongside Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Enya, Michael Bublé, k.d. Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Declan O’Rourke, Adam Levine, John Legend, and The Roots.