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).
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.
Blánaid Murphy is one of Ireland’s foremost choral directors and has directed the Palestrina Choir since 2002. She was Organ Scholar at Cambridge University and obtained a Master’s Degree at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart. She has vast experience as choral director, conductor, adjudicator, consultant and educator. She is director of several choirs including the RTE Children’s Choir, Dublin Bach Singers, and Carlow Choral Society, and lectures on choral conducting at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Her many recordings include the record-breaking ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ CD and six CDs with the Palestrina Choir. Blánaid is chairperson of the RSCM Ireland (Royal School of Church Music) and she is Director of the Pro-Cathedral Concert Series.
Originally from Carmarthen, Anne Denholm is one of Britain’s leading young harpists and is Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. Anne received her Master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London with distinction, graduating with a Regency Award for notable achievement and as the first ever harpist to win the historic RAM Club Prize. Anne gives regular solo and chamber recitals and freelances with orchestras and choirs across Britain. Since 2016 she has been Principal Harpist with Ensemble Cymru, a group touring chamber music across Wales. She is also a solo harpist with Live Music Now.
Mererid teaches in Yr Athrofa, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. She has won the Chair and Crown for poetry at the National Eisteddfod and the national Prose Medal. She has been Children Laureate for Wales and has won the Glyndwr prize for her contribution to literature in Wales. Her collection of poems ‘Nes Draw’ came first in the poetry section of the Welsh language Book of the Year awards in 2016. She has worked with musicians such as Karl Jenkins, Eric Jones and Gareth Glyn on compositions and greatly appreciates this opportunity to work with Mared Emlyn, Gwenan Gibard and Elinor Bennett.
Cai is 17 years of age and is currently completing his A levels at Ysgol Tryfan, Bangor. Cai has been performing folk songs since an early age and is grateful to Mair Carrington Roberts, Arfon Gwilym am Sioned Webb for promoting his interest. “I love performing folk songs as it enables me to ‘speak’ directly with an audience as well as an opportunity to express myself as a person”.