Paula Fagerberg is one of America’s foremost historical harpists, performing on concert series and early music festivals around the country and abroad with many of the nation’s finest early music ensembles, including The Folger Consort, Chatham Baroque, The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, The Rose Ensemble, and The American Bach Soloists, to name but a few. In January 2015, she will give a solo recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; internationally, Paula has performed at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, given a concert on antique single-action pedal harps at Oxford University, and toured South America playing colonial Latin American music on the rare Spanish arpa de dos órdenes, a cross-strung early harp.
She is a founding member of the touring and recording ensemble Armonia Celeste, which specializes in the vocal and instrumental music of the early Italian Baroque. The group was a finalist in the Naxos/Early Music America recording competition in 2011, and has just released its first recording, “Udite Amanti—Lovers, Beware! Music from the Seventeenth-Century Barberini Courts” on the Centaur label; their second album has already been recorded and is due out in the fall of 2015. Paula’s playing also appears on recordings of Baroque music from countries ranging from Germany to England to colonial Latin America.
Paula was featured in the recent PBS documentary Harp Dreams as an expert on the history of the harp, and with Armonia Celeste has provided music for another upcoming PBS documentary by Early Music Television, entitled Culture Wars of Venice and the Birth of Public Opera.
An experienced lecture-recitalist, Paula attended graduate school at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she studied the art of continuo with lutenist Nigel North and historical harps with Andrew Lawrence-King. She also holds the only known American undergraduate degree in historical harp performance, graduating magna cum laude from Clayton State University, where she was named a Spivey Scholar and The University System of Georgia Outstanding Scholar. Paula also sits on the Board of Trustees for The Historical Harp Society and serves as its publications editor, putting out a thrice-yearly journal featuring scholarly articles on historical harps. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two children.