Jury 14 March, 2018 Milda AgazarianHarpistMilda AgazarianHarpistProfessor 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. Sioned WilliamsArtistSioned WilliamsArtistSioned’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. Nick CapaldiNick CapaldiNick Capaldi has been Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales since September 2008. Prior to his appointment, he was Executive Director of Arts Council England South West, and Chief Executive of South West Arts. As Chair of Arts 2000 he led a national organisation commissioning projects across England designed to celebrate the role of the artist. A graduate of Manchester’s Chetham’s Music School, the Royal College of Music and City University in London, Nick’s career in the arts started as a professional. He holds diplomas in musical performance from the Royal College of Music (DipRCM, ARCM) and the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM). Nick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by City University London in 2016. Karen VaughanKaren VaughanKaren Vaughan studied with Maria Korchinska after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music. She played for Scottish Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra before becoming Principal Harp of the Scottish National Orchestra. On her return to London she was appointed Co-principal to Osian Ellis in the London Symphony Orchestra, retiring in 2015 after thirty years. Karen taught at The Purcell School and Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama before taking up her current position as Head of Harp at the RAM. She has given masterclasses worldwide and coached youth orchestras in the UK, Spain and Japan. Associate Artistic Director of the World Harp Congress she looks forward to the first congress in the UK, in Cardiff 2020. Rhian SamuelRhian SamuelRhian Samuel was educated in Britain and the United States. She completed a PhD at Washington University, St Louis, and thereafter taught Theory and Composition at the St Louis Conservatory of Music before returning to the UK in 1984, subsequently teaching at Reading University, City University, London, and Magdalen College Oxford. Her large-scale works include Elegy-Symphony (1981, St Louis SO); Tirluniau/Landscapes (2000, BBC Proms, BBCNOW), and Clytemnestra (BBC commission). She has written a number of works for solo harp, commissioned by Elinor Bennett and by the Royal Academy of Music, London. She co-edited the New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. She received an Hon. Doctorate of Music from the University of Wales in 2016. Carol McClureCarol McClureCarol 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. Rhiannon MathiasRhiannon MathiasRhiannon Mathias studied music at Surrey University (B. Mus), St. John’s College, Cambridge (M. Phil) and Reading University (PhD), and has experience as a public speaker and broadcaster. She is the author of a book about the music of Elisabeth Lutyens, Elizabeth Maconchy and Grace Williams, lectures at Bangor University on twentieth-century women composers, and also directed the First International Conference on Women’s Work in Music last year at the University. Rhiannon performs in a flute and harp due with Elinor Bennett and is also the principal flute tutor at the Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias. Meinir HeulynMeinir HeulynMeinir 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. Judith UtleyJudith UtleyJudith Utley began her harp study at age 12 in South Dakota, USA. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Harp Performance from the University of Northern Colorado, under the tutelage of Suzann Davids, and her Master of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music with Alice Chalifoux. She also pursued post-graduate study and master classes with Susann McDonald. While travelling with a touring ensemble, Judith met her husband, Paul, a career missionary, in Manila, Philippines. After marrying, they were assigned to Bangkok, Thailand in 1983. Judith was principal harpist with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, and she has been closely associated with Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre since its inception in 2002. Currently living in Chiangmai, Judith teaches in the College of Music at Payap University. Stephen ReesStephen ReesStephen 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 DooleyPaul DooleyPaul 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 JonesAnn JonesAnn 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. Elinor BennettElinor BennettELINOR 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. Clíona DorisClíona DorisClíona 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. Denise KellyDenise KellyDenise Kelly is Lecturer in Harp at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and DIT Conservatory, her harp teachers include Maria Korchinska, Sidonie Goossens (Guildhall School of Music, London) and Francette Bartholomée (Conservatoire Royal, Brussels). Denise has taught in both the Belfast and Cork Schools of Music, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, and has coached the Irish Youth Orchestras. A composer and arranger, Denise has worked as a chamber musician and accompanist. Denise has performed and recorded with The Ulster Orchestra, RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras of Ireland, both as soloist and as Principal Harpist.