BEHIND THE MUSIC OF
Past. Present. Future.
As a multi-genre artist, Kari strives to promote inclusivity and diversity throughout all facets of her musical career. In hopes of serving underserved communities, she continues to envision and produce her own charity concerts and educational programs internationally. Her extensive background in classical music has aided in her journey to reach new horizons with the harp, now exploring the world of electronics and jazz.
Kari Novilla first began her musical studies with the violin at the age of four, adding the harp at age seven, studying with William Lovelace (past president of the American Harp Society). At the age of ten, Kari made her solo concert debut opening for renowned German concert pianist,
Uwe Romeike. Kari has served as Principal Harpist with the Oak Ridge Philharmonia, the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and was a winner of the KSYO Concerto Competition in 2016 - which led to a solo performance with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Kari was invited to study at the Idyllwild Arts Academy with a full scholarship, where she played under the baton of Maestro Larry Livingston, Joshua Roach, and Sey Ahn in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Other orchestral experience includes performing with the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, University of Tennessee Chamber Orchestra, Johnson City Symphony, Carson Newman University Wind Ensemble and the TMEA Honors Symphony Orchestra, performing with such conductors as Giancarlo Guerrero and James Fellenbaum.
Kari is the recipient of The Knoxville Choral Society Classical Musician's Award,
The Rose Center Council for the Arts Bravo Award, and multiple National Society of Arts and Letters awards amongst others. She was selected to participate in the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) National Trustees Summer Music Institute (SMI) both
July 2018 & 2019, in Washington, D.C. While there in 2018, she was one of two winners of the concerto competition, out of 36 entries of the finest high school and college musicians in the country. She was a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center, performing the first movement of Reinhold Gliere’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in E flat major. Kari was also selected to participate in the Bowdoin International Music Festival in summer 2020.
Kari graduated May 2021 at Indiana University with the highest of academic honors. As a full scholarship Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar, Founders Scholar, and Dean’s Scholar recipient in the Hutton Honors College, Kari studied with Elzbieta Szmyt, Chair of the Harp Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition to performing solo concerts and orchestral engagements internationally, Kari continues to perform for weddings, worship services, and other civic events around her East Tennessee home during the summer. Kari is incredibly excited to continue studying classical harp as well as pursue her interests in jazz, film, and electronic music. Starting fall 2021, Kari will be pursuing her Masters of Music in harp performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England under the tutelage of Professor Emerita of Harp, Skaila Kanga and Professor of Jazz Harp, Park Stickney.