Wales Harp Festival 2022

Celebrating Talent in Wales

12 + 13 April 2022

Concerts, Classes, Workshops

Inspire, Heal, Renew!

Artisitc Director: Elinor Bennett

A message from Elinor Bennett, Artistic Director:

Inspire! Heal! Renew!

The healing powers of the harp are well-known and the next Wales Harp Festival on April 12 & 13th 2022, will provide a fantastic opportunity for harpists and beginner harpists to come together once again.  I look forward very much to be inspired by other harpists,  both younger and older, to create music which will  uplift our hearts and spirits,  after the anxieties of  Covid. Let us look together into a better future with positive hearts,  by promoting the harp  in a Festival that was postponed in 2020  because of the pandemic.

I very much look forward to welcoming  several harpists from Ireland to learn and perform with us. This will be important to sustain and strengthen the Celtic connection that has existed between Wales and Ireland. The competition for the Nansi Richards Award will be held  for young Welsh  harpists. Lastly, but certainly not least, enthusiastic and progressive teachers will help aspiring harpists with their studies.

Please join us for inspiration and spirited harping!

Festival Concert

13 April 2022, 7:30pm, Theatre, Galeri Caernarfon

Gwenllian Llŷr Ben Creighton-Griffiths & the Transatlantic Hot Club • Veronika Lemishenko
Côr Telyn Hŷn Gwynedd a Môn • Côr Telyn Gogledd Cymru

Creating new interest in the  national instrument  of Wales is our mission, and in the Festival Concert, the brilliant young harpist Gwenllian Llŷr will play new music created by Mared Emlyn and a new arrangement by herself of  a famous Welsh hymn tune. The fantastic young jazz harpist from Cardiff, Benjamin Creighton-Griffiths, will also appear with his band – the Transatlantic Hot Club. Both harpists will give workshops and lessons on jazz and improvisation  during the Festival.

There will be a pre-recorded performance and live video interview by Ukrainian harpist, Veronika Lemishenko during the concert. Veronika was a prize winner at our 2014 and 2018 International Harp Festivals. She is the Artistic Director of the Glowing Harp Festival in Ukraine which was due to be held the same time as our Festival here in Wales. Veronika will perform harp solos by three Ukrainian composers.


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.

DYLAN CERNYW is a freelance harpist, performer and teacher who lives in North Wales. He has given virtuoso performances in Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Canada, Prague, China and Switzerland. Dylan has made guest appearances at the Thousand Voices Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, London and has performed with artists such as Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, John Owen Jones, Sioned Terry, Shân Cothi, Rhys Meirion, Rhydian Roberts and Rebecca Evans. Dylan has produced various albums, three are solo albums, four Piantel albums and three albums with Welsh harpist Gwenan Gibbard for Hong Kong based Sunrise Music. Apart from his own albums Dylan has appeared on a great number of other albums as an accompanist. Dylan is one half of “Piantel” who have been performing together for 13 years, and performs as a Cabaret Act, “Two Blondes and a Harp”.

MARED EMLYN is a graduate of Bangor University, Mared completed a doctorate in performance on the harp and composition in 2014. In 2011, she won the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s Chief Composition medal for her work ‘Perlau yn y Glaw’ (lit. Pearls in the Rain) for solo harp, which is now performed regularly at different harp competitions. Mared has received a number of composition commissions, including works for Wales International Piano Festival, Colwyn Male Voice Choir, a work for the Bangor Music Festival premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and most recently, a harp concerto for the Beaumaris Festival.

Welsh harpist GWENLLIAN LLŶR is quickly gaining international recognition for her charismaticand engaging performances. In 2013, Gwenllian was a prize-winner at the USA InternationalHarp Competition in Bloomington where she was highly praised for her musicianship and herability to connect with audiences. She has also won many prizes more locally, including theLen Lickorish Memorial Prize for a String Player of Promise at the Royal Over-Seas League AMC 2018, as well as becoming an Artist with City Music Foundation in 2017. Gwenllian has had the pleasure of studying with wonderful teachers in some of the best institutions across the world, with degrees from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Juilliard School and the Royal Academy of Music. In addition to substantial financial support from scholarships and grants, Gwenllian also received many accolades during her studies, including the William Schuman prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music from The Juilliard School.

Course Timetable

Tuesday, 12 April

9.00am – 9.30am: Arrival and registration (all members aged 18 +)
9.20am – 9.40am Arrival and registration (all members under 18)
10.00am – 1.00pm: Classes
1.00pm – 2.00pm: Lunch
2.00pm – 3.30pm: Concert by members of the Course.
4.00pm – 5.00pm: 1. Composition class: Gwenllian Llyr & Mared Emlyn
4.00pm – 5.00pm: 2. Class for young harpists
5.30pm: Cafe Concert: Wales & Ireland Celtic Knot
6.00pm: Nansi Richards Scholarship Competition (Stiwdio 2)

Wednesday, 13 April

10.00am-1.00pm: Classes
1.00pm-2.00pm: Lunch
2.00pm-3.00pm: Jazz workshop with Ben Creighton-Griffiths
3.30pm-5.00pm: Classes / Rehearsal
5.00pm: Galeri’s Galleries (Music on Galeri’s balconies)
6:45pm: Cafe Concert with Dylan Cernyw
7.30pm: Festival Concert

2022 Programme

Download a PDF version of the Wales Harp Festival 2022 Programme.

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The Wales Harp Festival is organised by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (William Mathias Music Centre).

Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias provides high quality music tuition and experiences to people of all age groups at its centres in Caernarfon, Denbigh and Ruthin and through an extensive programme of education and community projects.

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