"This is an exciting moment to be in partnership with Lydia as she brings her important work farther out into our world. In these leaden times her artistry, energy, and wisdom ignite love for life in people of all ages and backgrounds...I believe Lydia’s mission will serve to inspire positive change for years to come. Her near-decade of studying and co-leading workshops with me have forged her into an invaluable resource for our society. I love to think of all the lives that will be changed and communities enriched by the tours and programs she will provide." - Joanna Macy
Lydia Violet Harutoonian is a modern day renaissance woman, combining her scholarship, leadership skills, spiritual passion, and musical talent to create spaces that grow personal inspiration and community development. Her passions for justice, education, and healing come through in the myriad of programs and performances she is a part of every year, whether collaborating with First Nations in Canada, herbalists in Costa Rica, prison activists in Scotland, or American feminist hip hop artists. She founded and runs the School for the Great Turning, an educational organization based on her 14-year-study with international activist and scholar Joanna Macy. Through the school Lydia facilitates spaces for education and healing for hundreds of students every year, both online and in-person.
Lydia began her journey with the fiddle at age 3 when her father took her to their local instrument shop in Pasadena, California and asked her to pick whichever instrument she wanted. From that moment on, Lydia entered into a profound love affair with the timbre and scope of the violin. At age 24 she ventured out from her classical roots and discovered her natural skill for improvisation as well as her unique sound stemming from her Persian heritage and love of music that spans many genres. A musical chameleon, Lydia is able to jump in with a wide range of artists including Ayla Nereo, Revered Sekou, Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, and Lyla June. In the fall of 2016 Lydia produced her debut album, "Already Free," a 12-song exploration of music inspired by protest and Roots music traditions. She can currently be seen touring with her incredible bandmates Kele Nitoto, Jules Indelicato, and KJ Song.
Lydia is eternally grateful for the people and communities she meets as she weaves together her passions for social justice, environmental justice, and music. Her life is a living tour of The Great Turning, the greatest adventure of our time. She is dedicated to empowering this movement through helping others liberate courage, acuity, and inspiration for contributing well to our current planetary moment.