Music crosses borders, reflects feelings, is therapeutic, and is part of great satisfactions, unique moments in people’s lives, like that of María Paula Loría, the 24-year-old Costa Rican harpist.
Loría collaborated with his melodies in the first song “Nadie Sabe” from the album released in October by singer Bad Bunny “Nadie sabe lo que va a pasar”, the most listened to song on the Spotify platform.
In the song, María Paula’s harp is especially appreciated, which leaves the Ticos filled with much more love and pride for the effort that the young musician has maintained even before leaving to study in the United States.
It was a chance that the artist from Tibás, San José took advantage of and enjoyed it to the fullest thanks to a friend and former classmate from the University of Miami, who did a doctorate in Conducting and also has an Imusic production company.
The producer was hired to be part of the production of Bad Bunny’s album, “they called me to collaborate on this song and they needed a harp, so I said yes. It should be noted that my friend had previously called me to record some songs for Il Divo’s Christmas album, everything happened very quickly when I realized I was already in the studio recording, it was a super cool experience, listening to the indications because everything was recorded in part, I was alone with my harp, then listen to how everything was sounding” explained Loría.
Having participated in Bad Bunny’s song, was an exception that he enjoyed, however, classical music is his area of study and competition or presentations.
Her family and her country Costa Rica
When asked about her family and the area of Costa Rica where Maria Paula grew up, in Tibás, she smilingly shared memories with her cousins and sister when they were children. “Every afternoon after school, my cousins, my sister, and I would go to my abuelita’s house, and there we would play in the backyard of the house; I remember us going to the plaza and riding our bikes,” she said.
Of her parents’ teachings, she especially highlighted her mother, who since she was a child has told her and her sister that they can always achieve everything they set their minds to, “big words that I liked a lot because, for me, it means that dreams can come true as long as you set your mind to it, work focused on them, I feel that I have put it into practice, unconditional love in general, my mom is always there for us no matter what happens, with her actions she teaches us, because when she needs us we will be there for her”.
Regarding his beloved country, Loría mentioned what inspires him and what he misses, such as nature, the culture, the gastronomy, and the many hard-working people who get ahead, all to achieve their dreams.
Difficult moments will always be part of our lives, the important thing is that with faith we learn from them and move forward each time with a greater focus on what we want.
Of course, Maria does not escape the hard moments, the main one was to leave her family, since she is small but very close. “When I left I had mixed feelings, I felt sad many times. Being far away means spending Christmas or special dates alone, of course, I try to go to Costa Rica, but there are times when I can not, so I keep in touch with my family who has helped me to observe the family distance with different eyes, is my dog that I adopted two years ago” she added.
Interest in music
When she was little, the dreams of the Tico artist were to be an athlete in the Olympics and to dedicate herself to sports, but she commented that her grandmother insisted that Loría had musical talent, “she told me to go to the attitude test at the symphony, they had placed an ad in the newspaper, I thought how boring! but in the end, she convinced me and I went, half reluctantly but I did it. It turns out that I was accepted and I started going to classes, I started doing well, then eventually I chose to audition with the harp, I got in and I ended up loving it, really my grandmother is responsible for all my start in music”.
Her grandparents and mother always took her wherever they went, the same when I went to rehearsals to study, to ballet and swimming.
“My grandmother was always at my practice sessions; when I was younger she would sit with me to watch me study, she would hold the harp for me because at the beginning even though I was 10 years old, I was short, so the teacher had asked her to hold the harp for me while I practiced. They, my family, were always at my recitals in Costa Rica and now that I am here in Miami, they watch me through the lives on YouTube”. María Paula Loría.
She is 24 years old, joined the symphony in 2009 when she was 10 and started playing the harp when she was 11. She has been in music for about 13 years. She only plays harp and a little piano, when she was in high school she played guitar and saxophone for fun, for a short period.
The talented Tica began studying music in 2009 at the National Institute of Music of Costa Rica and was taught by the well-known Ruth Garita. In 2018 she went to Columbus, Georgia to finish her bachelor’s degree, and now she is about to get her master’s degree at the University of Miami.
For now, she is just working on applying to different schools, to get a Diploma and a Doctorate to be able to teach at the university level.
Her dream or ideal job would be to get a position in an orchestra, “hopefully a ballet company or an opera, that would be my ultimate dream because there are very beautiful melodies and I also like the idea of collaborating with dancers or singers on stage, it would be a whole show, I also like that idea a lot, so hopefully I can get something like that.
Costa Rican pride in other frontiers…
María Paula Loría decided to leave Costa Rica to continue her music studies, in search of more learning, new experiences, opportunities, and also more exposure. For her, it is always good to learn from other harpists and see how other orchestras work.
The artist added that the National Institute of Music is very good, so much so that super-talented Costa Ricans have emerged from there, but according to Loría, unfortunately, the investment in the arts in the country is not so great and playing an instrument like the harp where there is only one position per orchestra, “I did not see how I could live just playing harp”.
The first time she left Costa Rica for musical events in the United States, she was impressed and that was what pushed her to leave and study in other frontiers. She was greatly inspired by the teacher in Philadelphia at the Curtis Institute of Music harp camp (2017) and later in Columbus they taught her a lot, “little by little I have been growing, I feel better and better”.
“I have had the opportunity to have classes with several teachers in different events, each one has given me new perspectives, which help me to create a personal one” she emphasized.
As we mentioned, Maria Paula’s main dedication, focus, and study is in classical music, but outside of that, the talented tica likes a little bit of everything about the musical genres.
She would like to delve into Jazz in the future.
Dreams to fulfill
He has only participated in one competition, which was in Chicago, and now he is preparing to participate in the USA International Harp Competition in 2025.
“I still have a long way to go. I believe that in the end, one does not finish achieving what one wants, in the sense that when we achieve something, we want to achieve much more and so… One of my dreams, for now, is to get a position in an orchestra, to do very well in some competition, and part of what I want to achieve as an artist is to represent my people, Latin American women, that children see me and say -if she achieved it, then I can too-, I say this because since I was little I have noticed that most of the artists are European or American. My career goal would be to serve as an inspiration for the future generation of artists, and for there to be more representation in the harp world”.
María Paula’s details
Loría’s study routine varies depending on the rehearsals she has or if she works. It is worth mentioning that, she works at the Library to help with her studies; in addition to rehearsals and classes, she tries to have 2 to 4 hours of personal practice where she tries to get organized.
Does she have any hobbies? She likes to do yoga, and later on, she would like to get a certification and maybe teach.
Finally, the young harpist, pride of Costa Rica expressed that music, and as such the harp, is a way to express herself, to transmit to the public her emotions and energies since she defines herself as shy, “it is difficult for me to be myself, it is an opportunity when I am with the music since I feel nerves which is normal, but I can be the best version of me there”.
For now, she only wants to dedicate to playing harp, and to music, she doesn’t want to study anything else right now, although she doesn’t know if that will change in the future.
She shared a motivational message for the followers, and it is that “the most important thing is to believe in the dream you have and work for it, in the end, one is the main critic and the main motivator. Give the best of ourselves, and do not expect less than what we know we can do”.
To learn more about María Paula Loría, you can follow her on her social media accounts: on Instagram @mariapaula.loria.harp and Facebook: María Paula Loría.