Festival Concert
Tribute to Osian Ellis

Elinor Bennett &  Elen Hydref

31 March 2021, 8:00pm

The Video will appear here soon!

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Programme:
Osian Ellis:  Lachrymae
Benjamin Britten: Suite for Harp
Osian Ellis: Clymau Cytgerdd i 2 delyn

In this short  virtual concert, we wish to pay homage to Osian Ellis, the Festival’s ex-President  and one of the greatest harpists of our time. By transmitting the “eternal muse” we wish to ensure that his  love of the harp and its music is kept alive by a new generation of harpists.  Elinor Bennett studied with Osian Ellis at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and was Elen Hydref’s teacher at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias for several years. Representing the new generation, Elen also received some  lessons from Osian Ellis  before studying at the Royal Academy of Music and becoming one of the foremost young harpists in Britain today.

Three  very different works will be heard in the concert :

  1. Osian Ellis – Lachrymae Osian Ellis wrote that the piece was composed  in 2018 when Llinos, a young member of the family  was dying from cancer.  The work expresses  deep grief and Osian wrote : ” I urge my harp to be aggressive and cruel in the first section, reflecting stress and pain; the harp glissando reflects the ebb of life and is followed by a death-knell and the consequent dorian “L’ Envoie” leads us to the forest grave at Boduan.  The Dorian mode prevails, and we meditate simply on a song “O wailing wind, have you also lost somebody who loved you.” (based on a poem by the Welsh poet John Morris Jones.)
  2. Benjamin Britten – Suite for Harp  op 83
  3. (i). Overture ii) Toccata (iii) Nocturne (iv) Fugue (v) Hymn
    Written for Osian Ellis, Britten’s ” Suite for harp” ( first performed at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1969)  is regarded as one of the most important harp works of the 20th century. In the five short movements, the composer explores new ways of musical expression on the harp and challenges future harpists. The last movement is a set of variants on the Welsh hymn-tune, St Denio as a tribute to Osian’s Welsh roots.

  4. Osian Ellis – Diversions for Two Harps
    (i) Chasing  (ii) Descanting. (iii) Gossiping

    “Diversions” were written to commission by the Bangor committee of Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru, as a test piece for its annual competitive festival held at Bangor in 1990.

Artists

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.

www.elinorbennettharp.com

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.

www.elenhydref.com

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