Biography

Daniela Lorenz, Harp

Life and work

Daniela grew up in a Swiss mountain village in Grisons. She first encountered South American music in early on in her life. In childhood she played the charango (a small, ten-stringed plucked instrument from the Andes) and the quena (an Andean flute). Her first performances were with Andean musical ensembles.

Daniela studied rhythm and piano at the Zürich Conservatory, before going on to train in the Paraguayan harp under a number of different harpists Switzerland, Paraguay and Madrid. Among her most prominent teachers were Marcelino Benitez, an old master of the Paraguayan harp, and the world-renown harpist Nicolás Caballero.
During this time Daniela Lorenz began her pioneering work in bringing Latin American harp music to a European and international public.

As well as performing and touring in Europe and Latin America, Daniela arranges and composes pieces for the diatonic Paraguayan harp. Her own pieces and arrangements of traditional music from Paraguay and other South American countries testify to her sensitivity and instinct for her instrument and to the diversity and emotional depth of the music of this continent. Not only a solo artist, Daniela also works with numerous international ensembles and projects, including Latin American singers, guitarists and string ensembles, choruses and Andean music projects, as well as the wind ensemble of the Swiss Guard in the Vatican.

She is also a trained and experiences music educator. Daniela has recorded and self-produced 8 CDs since 1992. Additionally, she has cooperated with other musicians on various recordings for their albums. In total, her publications number over sixteen phonograms. As well as recordings and live concerts, she has also contributed to televised and radio performances in both South America and Europe.

Daniela currently splits her time between Berlin and Zürich.

Projects

Daniela’s 2005 Christmas collaboration with Swiss Radio SRF attracted particular attention. She arranged Latin American Christmas songs for the choir and a harp and wrote a harp accompaniment for European Christmas carols for the radio station DRS 1, which resulted in a music booklet and CD. The high-level limited production, now out of print, was a gift to Swiss Radio SRF listeners in the 2005 advent season.

In 2012, Daniela led the overall design for a Christmas CD of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in the Vatican. The CD is a unique combination of the wind quintet of the Swiss Guard with the Paraguayan harp. A stylish booklet gives some insight into the history and life of the Pontifical Swiss Guard as well as explanations of the international Christmas melodies.

Daniela first released an album of her own compositions in 2014. Eterno merges a Western soundscape and South American harp music as the charm and character of the latter meets European sensibilities. Both are essential features of Daniela’s musical identity.

Her 2017 CD release, Orfeu, set a milestone in the development and diffusion of Latin American harp music. By combining string instruments and the diatonic harp, she became the first artist in this field to create chromatic pieces that also modulate their key. [Durch die Verbindung von Streichinstrumenten mit der diatonischen Harfe konnte sie als erste Künstlerin auf diesem Gebiet auch chromatische und in ihrer Tonart modulierende Stücke realisieren].  The arrangements of famous South American songs, such as Anahí, Orfeu Negro or Alfonsina y el mar for two violins, the violoncello and Paraguayan harp uniquely combine South American melodies with classical, chamber music vocal leads. In Latin America too, Daniela’s concertante reinterpretation and rediscovery of its musical heritage has attracted great interest.