Zeena Parkins

Updated
30 Nov 2016

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Zeena Parkins. Photo by Peter B. Kaars.

Zeena Parkins is a pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance. She has built one-of-a-kind electric harps and has extended the language of the acoustic harp with unusual playing techniques, preparations, and layers of electronic processing. Parkins’ compositions have been commissioned by Ne(x)tworks Ensemble, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Roulette Intermedium, the Eclipse Quartet, William Winant, Bang on a Can, the Whitney Museum, Tate Modern, and Montalvo Arts Center, among others. Her collaborations are extensive and cross-disciplinary, with choreographers Jennifer Monson, DD Dorvillier, Neil Greenberg, and Jennifer Lacey; filmmakers Cynthia Madansky and Daria Martin; and musicians Björk, Fred Frith, Yoko Ono, Butch Morris, Christian Marclay, and Maja Ratkje. She has received grants from National Performance Network Creation Fund (2012), MAP Fund (2011, 2005, 2004), the French-American Jazz Exchange (2010), and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (1997). She served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2016 and a LOI panelist in Performance in 2014 and 2018.