The Fourth Wales International Harp Festival will be held on April 1- 7, 2018 at Galeri, Caernarfon to celebrate the 90th birthday of the legendary harpist, Dr. Osian Ellis CBE, and the enormous contribution that he made to music-making over a period of 70 years.
There will be concerts, competitions, master-classes, lectures, fun classes for absolute beginners, harp exhibitions and much more…
Harpists from all over the world will come to Caernarfon to join in the celebrations, and make friends through music.
Festival President: Osian Ellis | Festival Director: Elinor Bennett
Our Artists in 2018
Glian Llwyd graduated with B.Mus at Bangor University and received a Masters degree in piano performance with high praise at Trinity College of Music, London. She has been successful in instrumental competitions at the Urdd National Eisteddfod and the National Eisteddfod, where she won the Blue Ribbon Competition on the piano. Glian also won the main Composer's Trophy at the Urdd National Eisteddfod. Since graduating, Glian has pursued a career as a solo pianist and accompanist, accompanying at the International Eisteddfod of Llangollen, the National Eisteddfod, Gregynog Young Musician Competition and at Bangor University. Glian Llwyd is a piano tutor at Bangor University, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and for the Denbighshire Music Co-operative.
Sioned Gwen Davies was born in Colwyn Bay. After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio in London, Sioned made her operatic début as Kate in Scottish Opera’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. To date she has worked for English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Longborough Festival Opera, Opera Valladolid and Opra Cymru. In 2017, Sioned represented Wales in the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and she currently performs with Scottish Opera. Career highlights include Henze’s ‘Voices’ at the Barbican Hall, the Alto Solo in Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’ in LSO St. Lukes, London, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with the Lund Chamber Choir and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music.
An icon of the harp today, Isabelle Moretti is feted across the world. During the 2017-2018 season, she has given the world premiere of ‘Danse Libre’, Bruno Mantovani’s Concerto for Harp, with the Chamber Orchestra of Paris. Appearances also include at the Moscow December Nights festival, at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. Isabelle Moretti is Professor of Harp at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP). She has been Visiting Professor at London’s Royal Academy of Music since 2008. She is is an Officer of the French National Order of Merit, and of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Gwenan Gibbard stands at the forefront of today’s thriving Welsh traditional music scene with her unique, contemporary arrangements of Welsh traditional music and songs. She also specialises in the unique art of ‘Cerdd Dant’, the ancient form of singing Welsh poetry to the accompaniment of the harp, and is one of the few people who perform this music to her own harp accompaniment. She has performed in Europe, North and South America, Hong Kong, and, most recently, Iceland. Her 4th album on the Sain label will be released later in 2018.
Sioned Webb was brought up in Bala, a town in Meirionethshire and rich in folk culture. She grew up hearing and learning folk tunes at school and from her father. By the time she went to study with William Mathias at Bangor University, she had already won several prizes for highest examination marks throughout the UK with the piano and was ready to pursue a classical career with the instrument. She also realised, however, that she couldn’t deny the chilhood influences and she continued to research and embrace folk music. A national winner on the triple harp, an author and editor of many books of folk tune arrangements and Plygain carols, she has also performed with Sian James and Arfon Gwilym worldwide.
Dynamic Harps is a community based ensemble in Cardiff, Wales. The membership ranges from novice harpists to grade 8 level, with children through to post retirement performing together. This supportive and dedicated group of harp enthusiasts meet weekly to play a diverse range of musical genres; traditional, classical, pop, rock, show tunes, film music, Jazz and more. Songs are requested by the members and arranged by Shelley Fairplay, the director of the group. Some performance highlights have included Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, National Botanic Garden of Wales and concerts at the Harpes au Max International Harp Festival, France. www.DynamicHarps.co.uk
At a Glance
A Celebration of the Music of Osian Ellis
1 April, 8:00pm, Galeri Caernarfon
2 April, 7:30pm, St Mary’s Church Caernarfon
Concert of Songs
3 April, 7:30pm, St Mary’s Church Caernarfon
Welsh Traditional Evening
4 April, 8:00pm, Galeri Caernarfon
Chamber Music Concert
5 April, 7:30pm, Galeri Caernarfon
6 April, 7:30pm, Galeri Caernarfon
Chief Musician Contest
7 April, 7:30pm, Galeri Caernarfon
Here are the results of the Wales International Harp Festival 2018 competitions.
Chief Musician Competition:
1st: Evgeniia Marchenko (Russian Federation)
2nd: Veronika Lemishenko (Ukraine)
3rd: Manon Browning (Wales)
Winners of the three scholarships of £1500: Mared Emyr Pugh-Evans (Wales), Anwen Mai Thomas (Wales) & Evelien Vaneysendeyk (Belgium)
Winners of the three scholarships of £500: Silvia Capé (Italy), Dasha Rumiantseva (Russia), ac Audrey Zhang (USA).
World Music Competition:
1st: Joshua Doughty (England)
2nd: Nora-Elisa Kahl & Patrick Huss (Germany)
3rd: Calum Macleod (Scotland)
Harp Duo Competition:
1st: Liliana Safikhanova & Anna Aleshina (Russia)
2nd: Aaron Ma & Shimeng Sun (China)
Carol McClure, BA, MCM, Founder-Director of The Harp School, Inc. and ABRSM USA National Summer Harp Academy, harp professor (University of Louisville, Union University) and pedagogy specialist, solo, chamber and orchestral harpist, composer, arranger, editor and music publisher, studied with Marcel Grandjany and Mildred Dilling. A long-tenured Nashville recording session musician, Carol’s discography includes 20 solo CDs for US and UK labels. Author of The Angel’s Harp, Two by Two and Viva Voce curricula for developing musicians, she trains teachers and teaches students that include National Youth Orchestra USA harpists, national and international competition winners, scholarship recipients at prestigious conservatories, and students with special learning challenges.
Meinir Heulyn is one of Wales’ most versatile harpists at the forefront of the Welsh harp scene. Having graduated from University College Cardiff she studied at the Conservatorio di Musica, Genova. She enjoyed 30 years as Principal Harpist for the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera performing internationally and recording extensively with world renowned artists. She is a highly regarded harp teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Meinir is a prolific arranger and in 1991 Alaw Music Publishing. She has published over 50 volumes for harp which include arrangements of Welsh traditional music.
Stephen Rees is a musician who has been deeply involved in the traditional music of Wales for many years. He was a member of the Welsh folk groups Ar Log and Crasdant, with whom he recorded and performed throughout North and South America, Europe and the UK. A founder member of the folk music organisations Clera (1996) and trac (1997), he has taught traditional music workshops throughout Wales. Between 2006 and 2011, he was joint musical director of Y Glerorfa (the Welsh Folk Orchestra). He is a music lecturer at Bangor University.
Paul Dooley is one of the leading exponents of the Irish harp in its historical form and style – using a metal-strung harp, playing with the fingernails and damping unwanted string resonance with the fingertips. His repertoire consists primarily of traditional Irish dance music, which for the most part has been learned from traditional players of other instruments. Paul has also spent recent decades working on the Robert ap Huw manuscript, the oldest collection of harp music in existence. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Limerick in 2017 and the title of his thesis is ‘Harp Tuning Practice in Medieval Ireland and Wales’.
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.
Professor of Harp at the Russian Music Academy and the Moscow Gnessin`s Special Musical School (Сollege). Eminent Culture Worker of Russia. The Founder and President of the Association of Russian Harp Teachers International and the Founder and the Artistic Director of annual Moscow International Harp Festival. Member of juries of numerous national and international competitions, and many of her students have won prizes at prestigious international competitions. Ms. Agazarian was a Honorable Guest of the VI USAIHC in Bloomington and became the Professor-in Residence of the International Harp Academy “Harp Masters” in Switzerland. She is a Visiting Professor of the Royal Academy of Music, a Member of the Board of Directors of World Harp Congress, and the Founder and Artistic Director of The Ksenia Erdely International Harp Competition in Russia.