About the Piece

My music is often an emotional reaction to personal experience. I composed Prayer shortly after finding out that a close family member was seriously ill. The piece is a prayer for hope and healing through the powerful language of music.

Prayer begins with the viola rising gently out of simple harp arpeggios. The piece flows seamlessly from beginning to end, with two main arcs, in which the melody works its way up to its highest registers in pleading gestures, and falls back down to a place of peaceful resolution.

Originally, Prayer was composed as the second movement to my Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. I arranged it as a stand-alone piece for orchestra in 2014 for the New Jersey Youth Symphony with artistic director Jeffrey Grogan. The piece also exists in an arrangement for piano and viola.

[Program note by the composer]


2(2nd dbl. Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. Harp. Strings

About the Composer

Amanda Harberg is a composer and pianist whose work communicates on emotional, spiritual and intellectual levels. With music described by the New York Times as “a sultry excursion into lyricism”, Harberg weaves her deep admiration for the classical tradition together with contemporary influences to create a distinctively personal style. The Flutist Quarterly has called her music “heartfelt, expressive, powerful and beautiful”, and composer John Corigliano says that her music “invigorates the brain and touches the soul”.

Dr. Harberg’s works have been presented at leading institutions including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Bargemusic, and at annual conventions of the National Flute Association and International Clarinet Association. Her music has been recognized by awards such as a Fulbright Hays fellowship, Juilliard’s Peter Menin prize, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, a New York State Council on the Arts Grant, a MacDowell Colony summer residency, and her flute music has been recognized multiple times by the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Awards. In Winter 2020, the Ars Vitalis Music Series and the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention will both present concerts dedicated exclusively to her music.

Recent commissions include works for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Sound All Around series, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Bay Atlantic Symphony, the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, the Juilliard School, the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music Program, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the Dorian Wind Quintet, and for the Harmonium Choral Society. Harberg is currently at work on her upcoming Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra for Erica Peel (piccoloist of the Philadelphia Orchestra), which will be the featured world premiere at the 2020 Dallas National Flute Convention’s Gala Concerto Concert. Her orchestral works have been performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Round Top Festival Orchestra, the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, the Interlochen Philharmonic, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the Thuringer Symphonker, the Susquehanna Symphony, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, and by many other orchestras worldwide.

Harberg has also received a number of consortium commissions, including Court Dances: Suite for Flute and Piano (2017) which was commissioned by a consortium of 57 flutists, led by Cobus du Toit, and Sonata for Piccolo and Piano (2018) which was commissioned by a consortium of 24 piccolo players, led by Regina Helcher Yost. Several of her works have been used as required competition pieces, including Court Dances (for the Wm. S. Haynes Texas Flute Allstar Competition), and Feathers and Wax (for the Donald Peck International Flute Competition).

Harberg’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra was commissioned by violist Brett Deubner. It was premiered with the National Symphony of Ecuador, and has gone on to be performed by over ten orchestras worldwide with Mr. Deubner as soloist. The concerto can be heard on Naxos American Classics with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.

Also active as a concert level pianist, Dr. Harberg has recently performed with Erica Peel (piccoloist of the Philadelphia Orchestra), Robert Langevin (principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic), Martin Chalifour (concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Dennis Kim (concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony), YaoGuang Zhai (principal clarinetist of the Baltimore Symphony), Matthew Roitstein (associate principal flutist of the Houston Symphony), and with her composer/performer colleague Valerie Coleman.

As the in-house composer for Common Good Productions, Harberg has composed scores for The Abominable Crime, an award winning feature documentary, and Beyond Borders: Undocumented Mexican Americans which aired over 2,000 times on PBS stations across the country, as well as a number of shorter films for Common Good Productions.

Dr. Harberg is a dedicated educator with more than two decades of experience teaching composition, piano, music theory, aural skills, and 20th/21st century music history. She is in her fourth year of teaching composition at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, and in the summers she is on the composition faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Harberg began teaching through the Morse Fellowship program, which sends Juilliard students into New York City public schools. She also served on the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, which is dedicated to educating students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Harberg has also taught composition at the the Luzerne Music Center, the Rocky Ridge Music Center, and the ASTA Chamber Music Institute. Harberg is a frequent guest at schools and universities where she particularly enjoys speaking to students about how to live an artistically vital and authentic life in today’s society.

Furthering her goal of creating bridges between audiences and performers, Harberg has directed and co-directed several music series dedicated to bringing American music to her community, including the Music in Montclair series in Montclair, NJ, and the Music and More series in Glen Ridge, NJ.

Harberg’s exclusive publisher, Theodore Presser Company, sells hundreds of copies of her music every year, and her music has been recorded on Naxos, Koch International, American Modern Recordings, Albany and Centaur Records.

Harberg earned her PhD from Rutgers University School of Graduate Studies where she studied with Robert Aldridge, and completed her undergraduate and masters degrees at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Beaser, Stephen Albert, David Diamond. She received a Fulbright/Hays fellowship to study for a year with composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski, and her early studies in music composition were with Andrew Rudin.

Performance Materials

Performance materials are available through Presser:


Perusal Score: