The 2014 winner of the Dutch Harp Competition blew the jury away with her profound and mature musicality at just 17 years old.
After graduating from the Purcell School for young musicians, the young Russian-British harpist went on to study with Daphne Boden at the Royal College of Music in London, where she is also Principal Harp with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Returning to Holland for her Dutch Harp Tour in 2015, Juliana played a series of concerts across the country as well as appearing on Dutch TV and recording her debut solo album – a program of music on the theme of nighttime.
Juliana has a unique story of how she began playing the harp.
When I was four years old, I already knew I wanted to play the harp, but my mother was not convinced. I guess from my mother’s perspective it was understandable. She was a single mother on a low income, and when your four-year-old daughter says she wants to play the harp – which is such an expensive and large instrument – it’s not surprising that she said no. But I was quite determined. Although she offered me piano and violin and all sorts of other, cheaper instruments, I persisted, and I actually did something which is very unlike me. I told everyone that I did play harp and that I had harp lessons. I lied to everyone! My mom saw that I had put in so much effort to lie to every single person I meet about this, so she thought if she got me a harp it would be worth it.
How do you see your future?
Everything is so up in the air at the moment. I’m only just starting to feel like I might be able to really be a musician and fulfill my dream. I can’t begin to express how much the Dutch Harp Festival has helped me, and Remy in particular. This has been a huge inspiration. Their support has really helped over the past year. My view of what I’m capable of has changed a lot. I hope to carry on playing music.