Daniella Kistemaker is a Guelph, Ontario-based harpist who specializes in both Classical and contemporary music. She is well-versed in typical classical harp compositions, and her original compositions are influenced by composers such as Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass, and Ravel.
She has been playing the harp for fifteen and a half years, a large majority with Marie Lorcini and Sharlene Wallace, and has been professionally active for ten of those years, soloistically, as one half of a harp and violin duo, The Kistemakers, and as an orchestral harpist, starting with the K-W Youth Orchestra. In honing her harp abilities, she became a two-time winner of the ORMTA provincials for harp; once for Grade 10 harp in 2014, and then for diploma harp in 2016, and performed with the K-W Youth Orchestra at the Centre in the Square after winning the 2016 K-W Youth Orchestra concerto competition. She obtained her ARCT in harp performance in August 2017. Currently she is going into her final year of her Bachelors in Music, studying harp performance with Lori Gemmell at WLU, where she is currently the harpist in their symphony orchestra and wind orchestra and will be performing the Concertino for Harp and Orchestra as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in early 2023.
Before the pandemic, she often performed at weddings, receptions and other corporate events all over Ontario, sometimes as a solo harpist, but often with The Kistemakers. Their album from 2016, Popular Selections, with more classical offerings such as O Mio Babbino Caro and Ave Maria, and more recent songs such as Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, is a representation of some of their most performed repertoire at these events, although they are always learning new repertoire together to fit the needs of their clients.
More recently, she has been cultivating a solo career as a more contemporary harpist, composer and improviser. As a member of the Canadian Musicians’ Co-operative, formerly called the Ontario Musicians’ Co-operative, she has performed some community-engaged performances in Simcoe County, as well as livestreams during the pandemic, including being a part of the organization’s Live at Fives. She also holds livestream concerts once a month on her official Instagram, with combinations of classical, jazz standards, pop song covers, and original songs, performing with her sister when she has the chance. She particularly enjoys performing with musical fusion as she feels that musical expression does not need to be confined to a specific genre.