Since its first edition in 2010, the Dutch Harp Competition has established itself as one of the most respected international competitions for harpists worldwide. By questioning and rethinking the fundamentals of musical competition, the founders created a unique experience for emerging young harpists – one which stands out for its fairness, transparency, creativity, and supportive atmosphere. Some of the guiding principles that have shaped the Dutch Harp Competition are its independence from sponsorship by harp makers, its diverse jury including both non-harpists and harpists, and its rigorous voting procedure. The repertoire requirements have also been designed to encourage a maximum of creativity and self expression. Competitors are given many free-choice options, leaving them the space to shape their own program, and in 2016, the final round even featured a triple concerto with passages of improvisation.
For this upcoming, fifth edition of the competition, in 2018, we are taking the competition a step further. Since one of our main goals has always been to discover the best all-around artist (and not just the best technical player) we are taking the risk of letting go of our preconceived ideas and inviting the contestants to surprise us. The contestants will have complete artistic freedom over designing their own programs, and we are opening up the field to all harpists, not just classical pedal harpists. We are also sending the jury to three international locations so as to better include participants from across the globe. We believe that talent and artistry may be found anywhere in the world and in any genre of music. To reflect this new format, we’ve given the competition a new name – the World Harp Competition – and we hope you’ll join us for the adventure in 2018!