Sunita Staneslow is equally at home performing the works of great composers under the baton of conductors such as Phillipe Brunelle and Claudio Abbado, or improvising on her blue electric harp with folk and rock ensembles. She can adapt her performance style to a broad spectrum of music and settings, such as the Israeli Philharmonic, The Minnesota Opera, the Celtic/Rock band Kahol, or the crossover ensemble VIDA. Her career includes performances with great orchestras in the elegant concert halls of Jerusalem and New York, evenings of improvisational rock, Celtic and Jewish music in the night clubs and festivals of Tel Aviv, Edinburgh, and Minneapolis.
Sunita's training on the flute, piano and harp began at eight years old. She studied with some of the finest harpists of the late twentieth century including Lucille Lawrence in Boston, Lily Laskin in Paris and Judith Liber in Tel Aviv.
Her emergance from twenty years of classical training began after graduate school when her husband bought her a Clarsach (Scottish folk harp) in 1989, and the two of them took off on a year-long adventure of busking (street performing) around the world. Imagine a beautiful woman, dressed in a flowing white gown with wings (yes real wings), seated on a small Persian carpet playing the harp at a virtuosic level - on the street! They loved her from Norway to New Zealand.
However more important than the fun and freedom that came from street performing was the rediscovery of the instrument by Sunita. These experiences, and her years as part of the dynamic Jerusalem music scene helped to develop her ability to arrange and improvise music at an advanced level which led to her acclaimed series of books for harpists, and a long string of recordings. Her published works are the product of a rare combination of virtuosity, a flair for improvisation rarely found in a harpist, and a relaxed, intimate performance style that has blossomed over the years.
Sunita's recent work includes tours to Europe and the USA, and has been featured at the World Harp Congress, The Edinburgh Harp Festival and the International Folk Harp Convention. She has also been providing music in medical settings such as neo-natal clinics and has participated in studies to measure the effect of music on new born babies. This type of music is by definition improvisational, and has become a recognized musical art. Sunita also trains and supervises other harpists in this work and is a founding member of the Jerusalem Harp Foundation.
Sunita's career has spanned the modern renaissance of the harp. Over the past twenty years there has been an explosive growth in the use of the harp, the genres of music to which it is being applied, and the available repertoire. Together with a handful of colleagues Sunita has played a significant role in this phenomenon. Her career has become a role model for many aspiring musicians and her books of harp arrangements have brought new music within the reach of harpists. Her 20+ recordings and compilations of classical, Rock, New Age, Celtic and Jewish music have demonstrated both the emancipation of the harp and Sunita's amazing breadth of talent.
Check out the artist's website:
1. And They Shall Be Heard
2. In Jerusalem
3. Our Song
4. Pilgramage to Jerusalem
5. If I forget Thee O Jerusalem
6. Jerusalem of Gold
7. On the Rivers of Babylon
8. In the City of Jerusalem
9. Your Jerusalem
11. Jerusalem of Earth and Sky
12. Theme from Shindler's List