Bio (340 words)
Ariel Sol “Ari” Bertulfo Schwartz (2000) is at the cutting edge of musical arts as a composer, producer, and harpist. In his music, Ari aims to create community through person-oriented performance experiences. He thoroughly enjoys interdisciplinary work, drawing inspiration from modern media, storytelling, linguistics, sociology, and current events. In all musical facets, Ari strives to dismantle traditional accessibility barriers and diversify both the stage and audience. Ari studies at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana with professors Jeremy Podgursky (composition) and Elzbieta Szmyt (harp).
He composed his first piece, Shadows, at eight years old and was selected to perform it at Lyon & Healy on Harp Day 2009. Since then, Ari has won numerous scholarships and awards for his performances and compositions. His compositions and commissioned pieces, which include solo, chamber, and orchestral works in addition to incidental music for theatre and dance productions, have been performed in such places as the Peoria Civic Center, the Grant Park Music Festival’s Music in the Parks Series, St. Olaf College, and Dominican University’s Lund Auditorium. Ari was selected in 2017 as a Featured Young Composer of the American Harp Society, where he premiered his harp solo Starlight Variations. Additionally, his compositions have been recognized multiple times by the Illinois Music Education Association, including being awarded two 1st prizes in their 2018-2019 Composition Contest. Ari is also at home as a performer, being selected several times through the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Harp Society’s Scholarship Competition to perform as a soloist at Lyon & Healy. He has performed as the principal harpist with such ensembles as the Americas Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta Bel Canto, and the Schaumburg Youth Symphony Orchestra. For his commitment to and passion for music, Ari is the recipient of several scholarship awards, including the National School Orchestra Award, Carlos Baldoceda Memorial Music Award, and Oak Park Area Arts Council Fine Arts Scholarship. Ari is also an active community organizer and arts administrator. He has served as financial officer for such organizations as the IU Performing Arts Council, Student Composers Association, and New Voices Opera. Ari is currently the undergraduate co-chair of the Jacobs School of Music Student Representative Committee. He served as the Lotus Foundation’s Artist Liaison for the 2021 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, IN. Through his synthesis of experiences and identities, Ari brings a genre-defying, multimedia approach to contemporary performance practices.