Vesna [ˈvɛsna] / - a goddess associated with youth and springtime in early Slavic mythology
Vesna Piano/Percussion Duo devotes its passion to bringing new and reimagined works to life. Their performances span a fiery new arrangement of The Rite of Spring, to premiering works by trailblazing international composers, to re-envisioning pieces by Avishai Cohen and Astor Piazzolla. Their performance and album Vesna Duo Presents: The Rite of Spring (arranged for marimba and piano) garnered rave reviews at the 2022 Chamber Music America Conference, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference 2022, as well as on their tour across New York, Texas, Alabama, and Indiana.
Tim Page (The Wall Street Journal) said of the album "As a fresh perspective on a masterpiece, the Vesna Duo’s performance is smashingly effective." Kira Grunenberg (Throw the Dice and Play Nice, NPR) described it as "A masterclass in performative focus, as well as an exquisite demonstration of musician chemistry to the most natural and audibly entrancing of results... Unto itself, Vesna Duo’s take on the Rite of Spring, is impressive, unexpected, whimsical, and beautifully captured."
Hailing from The Republic of Georgia and Serbia, Dr. Liana Pailodze Harron (piano) and Dr. Ksenija Komljenović (percussion), embrace their dynamic backgrounds while exploring a diverse blend of musical traditions, cultures, and styles. Beyond arranging existing works, the ensemble seeks to transform the boundaries of what it means to be a pianist/percussionist, interpolating theatrical percussion works in their already vibrant repertoire. Between them, Dr. Harron and Dr. Komljenović share multiple international solo and chamber music awards.
LIANA PAILODZE HARRON
Dr. Liana Pailodze Harron’s musical accomplishments span classical and contemporary styles. A versatile pianist and seasoned educator, Liana first emerged as a soloist at the age of eight. She has performed as a featured soloist with the Shilakadze Chamber Orchestra, the Georgian Television Orchestra, the Georgian Symphonic Orchestra, the Frost Symphony Orchestra, and the Frost Wind Ensemble. As an ensemblist, Liana has played in chamber music settings at leading venues across the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall, Arsht Center, Lincoln Center, the New World Center, and the United Nations. Musical Collaborations include Maestro Zubin Mehta, Maestro Leon Botstein, as well as Joshua Bell, Julian Rachlin, Sting, and Steven Tyler.
Born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Liana first studied piano at the Paliashvili Music School for Gifted Children. She went on to receive her Doctoral degree in piano performance at the University of Miami. As a student she received several scholarships and awards, including the Bertha Foster Scholarship Award, the Lillian Brown Scholarship award, the Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship Award, and the Vansteinberg Scholarship Award.
Currently residing in New York City, Liana holds a faculty position at the world-class 92nd Street Y School of Music. In addition, she continues to tour and record as a solo and chamber musician in the States and abroad.
Dr. Ksenija Komljenović (Belgrade, Serbia) is an award-winning percussionist, educator, and composer. Throughout her versatile career, she has studied, performed, and taught across Europe, the United States, and Asia. Ksenija is the first woman from Serbia with a Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Degree. She holds the Assistant Professor of Percussion position at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, serves as a producer/host on the At Percussion Podcast, and is on the organizational committee of the new Tierras Percussion Competition.
Ksenija’s devotion to percussion is shaped through her advocacy for contemporary and chamber music, as well as intercultural collaboration. Her three chamber ensembles (Vesna Duo, PNEUMA, Balkan Percussion Duo) unite some of the finest young performers from across the world. Ksenija's initiative resulted in several pioneering cultural-exchange projects between the U.S. and her home country, including the first drumline camp and contemporary percussion workshop in Serbia.
As a co-founder of the Balkan Percussion Duo, she won the Second Prize at the International Percussion Competition Luxembourg in 2018. In 2019, Ksenija was selected to be a co-principal for the World Percussion Group with whom she toured around England, Spain, and Portugal. In Fall 2021, she appeared at the XXI International Conservatory Week Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia) and the 31st International Young Laureate Music Competitions Festival (Katowice, Poland). Ksenija has performed and collaborated with some of the preeminent musicians of her time including James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight, Snow White and the Huntsman), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), The New York Voices, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Grusin, Martin Bresnick, Andy Akiho, Ben Folds, and Joan Tower.
Ksenija holds degrees from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Illinois State University, and the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, Serbia. Her compositions and arrangements are published by Bachovich Music Publications. Ksenija is a Marimba One artist.