Sprezzatura was an eloquent concept of the Italian Renaissance that meant, very simply, "the art of making something difficult look effortless." Today, The Sprezzatura Duo, featuring the talents of classically-trained harpists Kate Loughrey and Anastasia Pike, demonstrates the art of sprezzatura in their fun, creative, and entertaining concert programs that appeal to audiences of all ages. Concerts feature a variety of musical styles from around the world, as well as original arrangements and compositions; some past performances have included concerts at Salvi Harps USA, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and the Hermitage Museum.
Kate and Anna met as graduate students at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. They soon became friends and realized that having the opportunity to play together was much more enjoyable than simply playing alone. They founded the Sprezzatura Duo in 2009, and three years later started the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization Harps For Kids to provide lessons and community outreach programs to local youth.
The Sprezzatura Duo gave the world premiere of their second commission, Peyi-a Chanje (Our Country is Changing) at the 2016 American Harp Society's National Conference in Atlanta. The work is inspired by Hatian dances and the traditional Haitian folk tune "Yellow Bird," and features two harps, cello, and percussion; it was written by fellow Peabody graduate Caleb Vaughn-Jones (www.calebvaughnjones.com).
The Duo is honored to have been the recipients of a Faculty Development Grant from their alma mater, the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (www.peabody.jhu.edu) to fund their long-awaited debut album; it is scheduled for release later in the year.