The Miami Herald

The Miami Herald
By James Roos

“Adagio for Strings’ apt tribute by New World to attack victims”

It was hard to listen to music last weekend without supplying your own overtones of tragedy. But the New World Symphony went ahead anyway with its first concerts of the season as a tribute to the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center.

When Elizabeth Hainen, a New World alumnus now principal harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, couldn’t get a flight out, she loaded her harp into her car and drove here in time to appear as soloist at Saturday night’s concert in the Lincoln Theatre.

This special emotional aura touched virtually every piece on the program, though there was appropriately more restraint in the French masterworks for harp, which Hainen played to perfection. Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro are works that share a sensuous, glinting beauty, and Hainen achieved extraordinary clarity, without sacrificing an iota of their impressionistic quality.

She is a complete harpist who knows and uses her instrument’s strength and brilliance and strikes its fire. She loves its elegance, dexterity, fragile filigree, fine-spun embroideries and its way of making a friend of silence. You miss nothing she wants you to hear.