Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizary Rodriguez Rios.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lizary. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My love for music started at a very early age. My older sister has an autistic condition and it was recommended to my parents to sign her up to dance classes and music lessons to help develop her motor skills. That’s how all of us (I also have a brother) started in piano and violin lessons. I saw a harp for the first time when my parents took us to the Puerto Rico Symphony concert series. I thought that it was a gorgeous instrument, but a little too big for me. It was my sister who got interested in taking harp lessons. Because of her condition, my mom then asked me to accompany her for support and this way I ended up learning to play the harp as well. My father was kind enough to buy us a small lever harp, but at one point, I really needed to purchase a concert grand harp to be able to progress on the instrument. My goal was to be able to buy the instrument without the help of my parents, so I began to find opportunities to play for events to raise the necessary funds. I was so fortunate to meet wonderful people who were interested in my services and helped me to achieve my goal. Then I won a scholarship to study harp at the University of Arizona (Masters and Doctorate) and then at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, Spain (PostGrad Degree).
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There are always challenges along the way, but those are necessary to learn how to overcome them. One of the struggles I had was to start from zero every time I had to move for different reasons. My husband and I lived in Spain, Arizona, Colorado, Arizona again, and then finally moved to Massachusetts. I have reinvented myself several times, but at the end, it was good for me. Now I live in a state that appreciates musicians, and I feel that I am doing exactly what makes me happy, and that is to keep providing beautiful harp music and bring the joy of music to others.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Boston Harpist Lizary Rodriguez story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a full-time professional musician with more than 20 years of performance experience, who enjoys collaborating with different orchestras, performing solo recitals, recording, playing at many events and teaching the harp to my great students.
Solo harp music is a beautiful addition to wedding ceremonies, cocktail hour, engagement parties, corporate events and more. I am a classically trained harpist with a wide range of repertoire from classical to pop, therapeutic music, Latin American, Celtic, and hymns. I can also provide harp and flute, cello, violin & trumpet duos/trios combinations for clients who are interested.
It means a lot to me that I was the first harpist in the history of the University of Arizona to receive the prestigious “Centennial Achievement Award”. My recordings have received great reviews from prestigious music magazines. My first CD “Harp Voyage” was pre-nominated for a Grammy and my latest “Arpa con Alma Latina”, was named as one of the 20 best recordings by “Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular” in Puerto Rico a few years ago. Currently, my CD’s “Christmas Arpeggios” and “Arpa con Alma Latina” are nominated for the world’s largest independent music awards, “JPF Music Award 2017” after 18 months of screening over 17,400 albums and 240,000 songs around the globe. In addition, I am the only harpist in Massachusetts to win the annual WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ seven times is a row and I also received “The Knot Best of Weddings Award” for 2017. But most of all I am proud of my great students. I think that they like coming to their lessons and I see great progress in all of them. Two of them have recently received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music.
A special trademark for my services is a personal meeting with each of my wedding couples. We meet about 2 months prior to the wedding date at my house, where I play a number of music samples for them and they get to choose their favorites for their ceremony. That way each wedding ceremony is unique. I am also very flexible in learning almost any kind of music in a very short period of time and provide all the equipment necessary to provide a worry-free experience for the wedding couples. I always bring with me two amplifiers, two music stands, extra cables, extra batteries (to mention a few) to all my events. As I mentioned, playing harp is my full-time job, whether it’s teaching, playing in the orchestra, solo recital or at the wedding, each holds the same importance to me.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
In my life, many things happened just by coincidence or by luck. Most of the time because I had the opportunity to perform and someone became interested in me. My beloved harp teacher from Puerto Rico Maria Rosa Vidal met me after a performance and offered me everything she was able to teach me. She injected me the love and passion for the harp. Then, at the end of my studies in piano at the Puerto Rican Conservatory of Music (they did not offer harp by the time), I realized that I wanted to do something else. During that time, I was invited to perform at the First Harp Festival in Puerto Rico when one of the harpists decided not to participate. It happened that the principal guest harpist, Dr. Carrol McLaughlin was in the audience, and after the concert, she offered me a scholarship to study with her at the University of Arizona. Those years during college were very crucial for me. I learned about how to make recordings, teaching, voluntary work, arranging music, how to do my own programs, stage presence, explore music from other cultures, networking, but most of all discipline, how to be responsible and how to overcome any kind of adversities. These tools are still so valuable for my business. There were other mentors and friends as well who helped me through all those years to whom I shall be forever grateful. I also had the opportunity to perform internationally with the harp ensemble “Harp Fusion”. In one those trips, I met Dr. Maria Rosa Calvo-Manzano, a world-renowned harpist and former harp professor at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid. And again, I was fortunate to win a scholarship to study with her in Spain. I would say that my professional success was a combination of luck and hard work. In conclusion, I have been incredibly blessed to have my family’s love and support, great teachers and mentors, students, friends and fans that believe in me.
- Website: www.lizary.net
- Phone: 781-571-9775
- Email: email@example.com
Javier Santiago / F.N.C.P, Eric Boateng, Simply Mella Photography, Joshua Paul King Photography