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 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.
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.