Wales Harp Festival 2019
17 + 18 April 2019
Concerts, Classes, Workshops
Festival President: Osian Ellis
Festival Director: Elinor Bennett
A Message from Elinor Bennett
I cannot believe that this will be the 40th annual festival for me to organise at Easter – and I’m proud to present an interesting festival this year which will appeal to harpists of all ages and attainment.
We look forward to the concert with Catrin Finch and the jazz workshop by the acclaimed Austrian harpist, Monika Stadler, who brings a breath of fresh air and new dimensions to the world of harp music.
We will also celebrate the enormous work of the famous harpist-composers from France – Henriette Renié, Marcel Tournier, Marcel Grandjany – to the music and development of the harp.
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.
Elfair completed her Master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, after gaining her BMus degree at the conservatoire with first class honours in 2011 as an ABRSM Scholar. After her studies, Elfair lived in Bangkok, Thailand for two years working as a harp teacher and harpist in residence at the Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre. She has embarked on a professional career as a harpist in the UK; she is a Live Music Now! and Music in Hospitals artist, performing regularly around the UK. She also tours extensively with the CLOUDS Harp Quartet and many chamber ensembles. Originally from the Llŷn Peninsula, Elfair is a William Mathias Music Centre alumna, and has enjoyed many successes at the Welsh Eisteddfodau and festivals. Most recently, Elfair has been busy promoting her debut solo album recorded with SAIN Records.
We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to Dafydd Huw as one of our Festival tutors.
As a young harpist, Dafydd attended several of the early harp courses of Telynau Bangor and became Elinor Bennett’s student whilst completing his BMus degree at Bangor University.
Dafydd later studied with Osian Ellis, as Post-graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, and at the Centre for Orchestral Studies, London, and later worked for the Salvi Harp Company.
Dafydd returned to Wales in 1985, and ever since has made an invaluable and important contribution to the growth of interest in the harp. He has worked as teacher and official harpist in most of the National Music Festivals and Eisteddfodau for the last 40 years.
Dafydd Huw has taught hundreds - if not thousands - of children and adults. He continues to work as harp tutor in schools in his home area of Conwy, and broadcasts regularly on radio and television.
Catrin Morris Jones
Originally from Bangor, Catrin undertook a Performers’ Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama followed by Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she was awarded a scholarship and won the Renata Scheffel-Stein Prize for Harp. In May 2014 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy. This honour is given to the prominent alumni of the Academy who have contributed to their chosen field. Catrin has worked with many of the UK’s leading orchestras and has performed in numerous West End shows in London. Having recently re-located to Pwllheli she now teaches the harp at the William Mathias Music Center in Caernarfon as well as continuing her freelance orchestral work.