Alison Bjorkedal

  • Expertise


    Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as an "excellent player" and "a force field unto her own, yet joined in something bigger, " Alison Bjorkedal is a passionate ambassador for the harp, with a focus on new music.

    In the studio and stage, Bjorkedal has performed for artists including Sia, Madonna, Nate Ruess, Kid Cudi, Il Divo, Idina Menzel, Salaam Remi, Mary J. Blige, Adrian Younge, and Ali Shaheed Muhammed. She records for the motion picture and television industry (Penny Dreadful, Empire, Luke Cage, Finding Dory, Love, Simon, Independence Day: Resurgence, If I Stay, Lucy in the Sky, Annabelle Comes Home, IT 2 ) and appeared in two PBS Specials for David Foster and Andrea Bocelli; "My Christmas" and "Cinema" and the Pentatonix's "A Very Pentatonix Christmas".

    She is a member of Southwest Chamber Music, Golden State Pops Orchestra and MUSE/IQUE. Bjorkedal has performed with the San Diego Symphony, Pasadena Symphony/Pops Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and wildUP.

    As an advocate for contemporary music, Bjorkedal’s notable chamber music performances include the world premieres of William Kraft's Encounters XII for harp and percussion; Anne LeBaron's HSING for solo harp and LeBaron's "Some Things Should Not Move" for soprano, flute, harp and double bass; and Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers, a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

    U.S. premieres include Gabriela Ortiz's Rio de las Mariposas for two harps and steel drum; Ton That Thiet's Les Jardins De Autre Monde for solo harp and mixed ensemble; Nguyen Thien Daos' Au Dessus de Vent for solo harp and strings; and Unsuk Chin's Cosmigimmicks. She was featured as soloist with the Pasadena Symphony and Downey Symphony Orchestra and performed Lei Liang's "Harp Concerto" with UC San Diego New Music Ensemble "Palimpsest".

    In addition to the harp, Bjorkedal also plays the Kithara with LA-based ensemble Partch, an ensemble dedicated to the wildly unique instruments and ground-breaking music of Harry Partch.

    Her chamber recordings include Grammy-winning Harry Partch "Plectra and Percussion Dances", Southwest Chamber Music's "Complete Chamber Music of Carlos Chávez, Volume 4" and William Kraft's "Encounters", both Latin Grammy-nominated. As part of Just Strings, she released "Harrison: Works for harp, guitar and percussion".

  • Work


    Select Classical Recordings

    Robert Carl: “Splectra” for Cold Blue Records, 2019

    Partch: Sonata Dementia, 2019

    James Tenney: Changes for 6 harps, 2019

    wildUP: Chris Cerrone The Pieces that Fall to Earth, 2019

    James Newton: Dos Danzas for Solo Harp on The Manual of Light, 2018

    Color Theory: Prism Saxophone Quartet, So Percussion, Partch, 2017

    Just Strings: Works For Harp, Guitar & Percussion, 2017

    Harry Partch: Plectra and Percussion Dances, 2014

    Gabriela Ortiz: Southwest Chamber Music’s Aroma Foliado, 2013

    Wadada Leo Smith: 10 Freedom Summers, 2012

    Southwest Chamber Music: William Kraft’s ENCOUNTERS, 2011

    Southwest Chamber Music: Complete Chamber Works of Carlos Chavez, Volume 4, 2009

    Featured Soloist: Orchestra and Small Ensemble

    Pasadena Symphony, May 2021. Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro and Claude Debussy: Danse Sacré et Profane

    Jacaranda Chamber Music, March 2019
. William Grant Still: Ennanga for Harp and Small Ensemble

    American Harp Society National Conference Recital, June 2019. 
Bruce Broughton: Toccata for Two Harps and Percussion

    California Chamber Orchestra, April 2018

    Downey Orchestra, January 2015.
 Claude Debussy: Danse Sacré et Profane

    UC San Diego Palimpsest Ensemble, November 2014. Lei Liang: Harp Concerto

    American Contemporary Ballet, August 2013.
 Claude Debussy: Danse Sacré et Profane

    Southwest Chamber Music, Ascending Dragon Festival, Vietnam, 2009. Ton That Tiet: Les jardins d’autre monde for harp and ensemble
 Nguyen Thien Dao: Au dessus du vent for harp and ensemble

    “Tuesdays at Eight”, Music Academy of the West , August 2003
 World Premiere, William Kraft: Encounters XII for harp and percussion.

  • Education


    D.M.A., University of Southern California

    M.M., University of Southern California

    B.M., University of Oregon, Eugene

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    2019 Grammy nominee, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
    WildUP, Chris Cerrone: The Pieces That Fall To Earth

    2014 Grammy nominee, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
    Partch: Castor and Pollux

    2014 Grammy winner, Best Classical Compendium
    Partch: Plectra and Percussion Dances


    OC Artist of the Year, Semi-finalist judge , 2021

    American Harp Society Music Education Auditions, adjudicator, 2011

    Valeria Finzi Scholarship, judge 2009