Wales Harp Festival 2021

The Eternal Muse

30 + 31 March 2021

Festival Director: Elinor Bennett

Festival President: Osian Ellis
(1928 – 2021)

A Message from Elinor Bennett

Artistic Director

The virtual version of the Wales Harp Festival aims to transmit the harp’s “eternal muse” to future generations.

Events will be held online to remember the Festival President,  Osian Ellis, with contributions in word and music from Osian’s students and colleagues.

Covid will not prevent us from keeping traditions alive.  In the middle of our troubles,  the harp and its music can raise spirits and enrich lives.

Read the full message here.




30 / 31 March 2021

An great opportunity for harpists from Grades 1 – 7 to participate in virtual classes with others of similar a standard.


Masterclass with Elinor Bennett

30 March 2021, 4:00 – 5:30pm

Elinor Bennett invites harpists to send recordings of music for comments and help in preparing and interpreting.


Lecture: ‘Working with Benjamin Britten’ by Osian Ellis

30 March, 7:30pm

A recording from our Festival in 2017 of a lecture given by Osian Ellis.


Remembering Osian

30 March 2021, 8:30pm

(English) Tributes by colleagues and friends.


Sioned Williams: Reflection and Inspiration

31 March 2021, 2:00pm

A heartfelt tribute, through words and music, to inspiring harp teachers – Osian Ellis, Mair Jones ac Ann Griffiths.


Cofio Osian

31 March 2021, 5:00pm

An opportunity for friends of Osian to share memories (Welsh language).


Festival Concert

31 March 2021, 8:00pm

Osian Ellis: Dagrau / Lachrymae
Benjamin Britten: Suite for Harp
Osian Ellis: Clymau Cytgerdd i 2 delyn / Diversions for 2 harps

Course Teachers

Ann Jones

Ann Jones

Ann was born in mid Wales and was inspired from an early age by her close neighbours Dafydd Roberts the blind harper and Nansi Richards who gave her the first harp lesson. Ann attended a Welsh school in London where she had harp lessons from Anne Ross and Gwendolen Mason. She then studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Professor Osian Ellis. Ann became principal harpist with the Icelandic Radio Orchestra and later freelanced with the BBC and London orchestras before joining the RTE Radio Orchestra in Dublin Ireland where she became permanent principal harpist in their Concert Orchestra. Now retired, she delights in teaching.

Elen Hydref

Elen Hydref

Welsh harpist Elen Hydref enjoys a career freelancing with some of the UK and Norway’s finest orchestras including Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Royal Opera House Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Alongside her orchestral career she enjoys teaching and has tutored on the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and Wales Harp Festival courses several times.

Elen studied with Elinor Bennett and Dylan Rowlands in North Wales before moving to London to study with Skaila Kanga and Catherine White at The Purcell School of Music and The Royal Academy of Music.

Whilst preparing for the Strings Final of the BBC Young Musician Competition in 2004, Elinor Bennett arranged for Elen to have a series of lessons with the late Osian Ellis.

Elinor Bennett

Elinor Bennett

ELINOR BENNETT studied with Osian Ellis at the Royal Academy of Music, London, after completing a degree in Law, and played with major British orchestras in her early career. Elinor has made many recordings, ranging from 20th Century classics  to Welsh traditional music on Triple Harp.  Leading composers have written for her, and she directed harp studies at Bangor University. She was awarded OBE for services to music and  Honorary Fellowships from the  Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Universities, Fellowships from Royal Academy of Music and Welsh College of Music and Drama,  and an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Wales. She has directed the Thai International Harp Festival, and the  Wales International Harp Festival.  

The Latest News

Launching our first “Virtual” Wales Harp Festival

Launching our first “Virtual” Wales Harp Festival

A message from Elinor Bennett, the Festival's Artistic Director: The aim of this year's Wales Harp Festival  is to remember and pay homage to the  great harpists whom we have recently lost and to transmit their love of the  harp to future generations....

Osian Ellis (1928-2021)

Osian Ellis (1928-2021)

It is with sadness and regret that we wish to record the death of harpist and scholar, Osian Gwynn Ellis at the age of 92. He was a great friend and supporter of the work of the William Mathias Music Centre and the Wales International Harp Festival & he will be...

Let’s Stay in Touch

Keep up to date with the latest from the Wales International Harp Festival and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias by subscribing to our email list.
You can also keep up with the latest information by following us on social media.

Thanks to our Sponsors


The Wales Harp Festival is organised by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (William Mathias Music Centre).

Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias provides high quality music tuition and experiences to people of all age groups at its centres in Caernarfon, Denbigh and Ruthin and through an extensive programme of education and community projects.

Let’s stay in touch!

Let’s stay in touch!

We’d love to keep you up-to-date about the latest news and upcoming events at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (organisers of the Wales Harp Festival).

I'd like to hear about

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Aros mewn cyswllt!

Aros mewn cyswllt!

Hoffech chi dderbyn y wybodaeth diweddaraf am newyddion a digwyddiadau Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias, trefnwyr Gŵyl Delynau Cymru?

Fe hoffwn glywed am

Mae'n bosib i chi newid eich meddwl ar unrhyw adeg drwy glicio y ddolen dad-danysgrifo ar waelod unrhyw ebost rydych chi'n ei dderbyn gennym ni, neu drwy gysylltu â ni ar Rydym ni'n trin eich gwybodaeth â pharch. Am ragor o wybodaeth am ein harferion preifatrwydd gwelwch ein Polisi Preifatrwydd. Drwy glicio isod, rydych chi’n cytuno i ni brosesu eich gwybodaeth yn unol â’r termau hyn.

Rydym ni'n defnyddio MailChimp fel ein platfform marchnata. Drwy glicio isod i danysgrifio, rydych chi'n cydnabod y bydd eich gwybodaeth yn cael ei drosglwyddo i MailChimp er mwyn ei brosesu. Gallwch ddysgu mwy am ymarferion preifatrwydd MailChimp yma.

Rydych chi wedi tanysgrifio'n llwyddiannus!