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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

Gwyn Owen
Artist
Gwyn Owen

Artist

Sioned Williams
Artist
Sioned Williams

Artist

Sioned’s imaginative approach to the harp has earned her an enviable reputation as an international performer and creator of unique flair and individuality. In April 2018, after 28 distinguished years working with leading composers and conductors, she will relinquish her position as Principal Harp BBCSO. Renowned for commissioning new works, Sioned has performed hundreds of premieres and appeared extensively on radio and television, and has made numerous award-winning CDs. Sioned pioneered integrated harp courses in Britain; is a passionate teacher, researcher and scholar; was the first Welsh board member on the World Harp Congress; is President of the UK Harp Association, Emeritus Senior Fellow in Harp Studies at Trinity Laban, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the RAM.

Huw Llywelyn
Artist
Huw Llywelyn

Artist

Huw is a trained operatic tenor with over 15 years' experience. Until recently, he was a full-time member of the chorus of Welsh National Opera, and before that, of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Huw performed as a soloist at many prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, London, Royal Opera House, Muscat, Oman and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, and won many competitions and awards during his studies. He recently returned to North Wales with his family, to concentrate on teaching voice, having reached a point in his career where he felt the need to distance himself from the hectic schedule of a full-time performer with a touring company.

Two Blonds and a Harp
Artist
Two Blonds and a Harp

Artist

Lowri-Ann Richards and Dylan Cernyw

“If ever there was an appropriate time to say- ‘I’ll have what she’s drinking’- it would be after watching the mini tornado that is Lowri-Ann Richards perform! – A siren of Cabaret” Broadway Baby, Edinburgh Fringe 2014. As a London Cabaret award nominee in 2015, Lowri-Ann pocesses a stellar and extensive career in performing live. This ensures that the evening’s repertoire of material is exquisitly diverse and ranges from songs by David Bowie to Judy Garland. Kate Bush to the Beatles (she appeared in Give My Regards to Broadstreet alongside both Paul and Ringo very early on in her career) Bessie Smith to Visage (L-A toured and sang with Steve Strange’s Visage in the early New Romantic 80’s and more recently in 2015/16). Combine this with the spectacular playing of internationally renowned harpist Dylan Cernyw, you have a stellar and hugely entertaining act.

Nic Gareiss a Maeve Gilchrist
Artist
Nic Gareiss a Maeve Gilchrist

Artist

Michigan born percussive-dancer, Nic Gareiss and Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist met while teaching at the Shasta Fiddle Camp in Northern California. They continued their musical relationship with spontaneous collaborations at festivals and chance meetings and later toured together as part of Darol Anger's band, 'The Furies'. At the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow this year, Nic and Maeve made their debut performance as a duo to great acclaim and have been picking up steam with the show ever since. Sharing a deep respect for traditional music and culture while drawing on contemporary elements of music, dance, rhythm and improvisation, Nic and Maeve have emerged from the vibrant new acoustic scene as innovators in their fields. The percussion and drive of Nic's footwork combined with Maeve's melodic and improvisational sensibilities make for an explosive duet that delights both the ears and the eyes.

Valeria Voshchennikova
Harpist
Valeria Voshchennikova

Harpist

Valeria Voshchennikova is a talented Russian harpist with a wide range of classic repertoire, a soloist of Bolshoi theatre orchestra and a Principal Harpist in Moscow Symphony orchestra ‘Russian Philarmonic’. Studying with Milda Agazarian in Gnessin’s School of Music and Russian Academy of Music, she became a prize winner of many All-Russian and International competitions, including USA International Harp Competition and III Wales International Harp Festival.The young harpist is an active performer on different concert stages in Russia and abroad. She gave a solo recital in HarpMasters Festspiele (Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland), was featured in Camac Harp Festival (Nancy, France).

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At a Glance

A Celebration of the Music of Osian Ellis
1 April, 8:00pm, Galeri Caernarfon

Choral Concert
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

Folk Concert
6 April, 7:30pm, Galeri Caernarfon

Chief Musician Contest
7 April, 7:30pm, Galeri Caernarfon

> > Full Programme < <

Results

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)

Youth Competition:
Winners of the three scholarships of £1500: Mared Emyr Pugh-Evans (Wales), Anwen Mai Thomas (Wales) & Evelien Vaneysendeyk (Belgium)

Junior Competition:
Winners of the three scholarships of £500: Silvia Capé (Italy), Daria 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)

Volunteering

Love music? Do you enjoy volunteering and meeting different people from many different countries? Then why not be part of the UK’s biggest Harp Festival?

Learn More

Sponsor a String!

By sponsoring a string you will help to provide scholarships for three young harpists which will help them pay for a series of specialist harp lessons.

A Triple Harp is exhibited at Galeri Caernarfon, and a label with the name of a sponsor is tied on to one of its 90 strings when a donation is received from a kind and generous individual.

Learn More

Jury Members

Stephen Rees
Stephen Rees

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
Paul Dooley

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 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.

Milda Agazarian
Harpist
Milda Agazarian

Harpist

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.

Clíona Doris
Clíona Doris

Clíona Doris has extensive experience as solo harpist and chamber musician and has performed throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and the United States. Her broadcasts include performances on BBC Radio 3, Radio Ulster, RTÉ LyricFM, National Public Radio USA, ClassicFM TV, UTV, BBC Television and RTÉ Television and as soloist at the BBC Proms in the Park from Belfast broadcast as part of the BBC Last Night of the Proms. An active exponent of contemporary music, Clíona has premiered works by many composers. She has released two solo albums, and a recording of Handel’s Harp Concerto with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Clíona is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and is Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She is now Head of the DIT Conservatory, Dublin.

Sioned Williams
Artist
Sioned Williams

Artist

Sioned’s imaginative approach to the harp has earned her an enviable reputation as an international performer and creator of unique flair and individuality. In April 2018, after 28 distinguished years working with leading composers and conductors, she will relinquish her position as Principal Harp BBCSO. Renowned for commissioning new works, Sioned has performed hundreds of premieres and appeared extensively on radio and television, and has made numerous award-winning CDs. Sioned pioneered integrated harp courses in Britain; is a passionate teacher, researcher and scholar; was the first Welsh board member on the World Harp Congress; is President of the UK Harp Association, Emeritus Senior Fellow in Harp Studies at Trinity Laban, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the RAM.

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