Artistic Director, Harpist, Vocalist
Founder and director, Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia, is a nationally recognized educator. She has taught the harp, voice, and piano and directed harp ensembles and children's choirs for over 20 years. In 1999 she founded the American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE). The AYHE continues to dazzle audiences around the world as America’s premier youth harp ensemble. The Ensemble has brought world-class music to enthusiastic audiences in the U.S. and abroad through hundreds of performances, recordings, television and radio features on CNN, NBC, PBS and NPR affiliate stations. Since 1999, the Ensemble has made 15 national and international tours, performing in the Maastricht Music Festival (Netherlands), Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), the Paris Music Festival (France), Salla Puccini (Milan), Salle Gaveau (Paris), the United Nations (NY), the Kennedy Center (DC), the 34th and 38th American Harp Society National Conferences, AHS 9th Summer Institute, the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio National Conference, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall three times. Most recently, the Ensemble performed at the London Festival of Music (England), on the “State of the Arts” Concert Series at the U.S. Department of State, at the White House (DC), in the Advent Music Festival in Vienna and Salzburg (Austria), for the Prince and Princess of Belgium, and for the 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors performing for such musical luminaries John Williams, Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and Denise Graves. Their performances have reached an audience of more than 300,000 viewers and listeners through television and radio broadcasts and live performances. The AYHE has been featured in two television specials: “The American Youth Harp Ensemble: Defying the Limits” and “The Community Idea Stations Present: Christmas with the American Youth Harp Ensemble.”
The Virginia Choristers has also grown into a nationally acclaimed program since its inception in 2007. The choir has expanded from a single choir to three levels of choirs and through satellite choirs via multiple partnerships with youth organizations throughout the region. The Virginia Choristers have performed in national and international venues including choral festivals in Puerto Rico, Vienna and Salzburg (Austria) and the International Festival of Choirs in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently the choir toured the East Coast with a culminating feature performance in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center (New York). The Virginia Choristers provides singers in elementary through high school the opportunity to grow, learn and excel through quality instruction and experiences that emphasize the development of musical skills and understanding. The Virginia Choristers also collaborate with other ensembles including symphony choruses, community choirs, and other youth music ensembles.
The Summer Music Institutes, now in the 18th year, attracts students from around the world for intensive summer music study. The Summer Music Institutes has expanded to include six weeks of programming with focus areas including harp, choral music, guitar, piano, musical theater, music exploration, and chamber music. A European Institute was added to the offerings in 2012.
Mrs. Ediger-Kordzaia has been an invited presenter/performer at the World Harp Conference, American Harp Society National Conferences, the International Folk Harp Conference and the International Harp Therapy Conferences. She is a recipient of the Governor’s Citation for Excellence in the Arts and has twice been named a “Top Forty Under Forty” by arts and business publications in Virginia. Most recently she was honored with the American Alliance for Performing Arts Educators 5th Annual Del Keiffner Award for Outstanding Arts Educator at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Teresa Pollak Prize for “Excellence in the Arts” from Richmond Magazine, and was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She holds an undergraduate degree in harp performance and a graduate degree in music education from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Alice Chalifoux. She also holds a masters degree in arts administration from Goucher College. Along with her husband, orchestral conductor Alexander Kordzaia, she owns the Academy of Music, a Central Virginia's leading classical music school.