Candidates are listed below in performance order, determined by a randomized draw.
Dai-An Liu, Taiwan
Dai-An Liu is a Taiwanese American harpist. In 2020, she was invited to perform the Gliere harp concerto with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO), and was a laureate of the 5th Hong Kong International Harp Competition (2020). In 2021, she became the recipient of NTSO’s talent award once again, and won the Principal Harp position of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador. She has studied with Shih-Chuan Huang, Chia-Yuan Liang, Kathleen Bride, and Ann Yeung.
A journey of life, drifting, and wandering
Saṃsāra is a term in Buddhism and various Hindu Philosophy, representing the concept of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. This program will explore the things human experience in life, the beauty of nature, the journey of achieving a goal, the disaster of disease, decimation and finally the idea of love, hope, and ending with the concept of rebirth. The selection of music ranges from calm and stillness, to anger and rage, warmth and pain, relating the emotions we experience, the ups and downs we face in life as we drift and wander through life.
Nathania Ko, Canada
Nathania Ko is a harpist, Konghou performer, and composer based in Vancouver, Canada. She received her Master’s of Music degree in Orchestral Performance (Harp) from the University of British Columbia in 2020, and in 2018, she received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in Konghou Performance from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music. She is a passionate advocate for her instrument, raising awareness of the Konghou both in her home country of Canada and abroad. Nathania was a member of the 13th World Harp Congress hosting committee in Hong Kong. During this event, she hosted for the second half of its opening ceremony and was one of four finalists in the Congress’ Creative Media Competition. She has presented her Konghou-related research in scholarly conferences such as the Canadian University Music Society and has hosted masterclasses around the globe.
Music Unearthed from the Silk Road
The Konghou was extinct for 400 years until its revival in 1984, when remains of this instrument were excavated from tombs along the Silk Road. It is known as the Chinese harp and can be considered a sister instrument of the Western pedal harp. I am excited about the prospect of presenting a performance that merges ancient and contemporary melodies that represent music from countries connected by the Silk Road. This is reflected in the Konghou’s ability to mimic instruments and sounds of various cultures (such as maqams from the Middle East and China’s Peking opera). To assist me with this performance, I have assembled an ensemble of Indian tabla, cello, and flute to create an immersive and multicultural experience. The intertwining conversations of the Eastern and Western pieces on my program are capable not only of “unearthing” ancient tunes, but of recontextualizing them through our contemporary voices as well.
Sandra Macher, Austria
Sandra Macher is a multifaceted, innovative artist with a passion for developing new kinds of concert experiences. As a classically trained harpist with a background in music pedagogy, Sandra is a specialist in creating concert formats that are more open to connection and dialogue, dismantle hierarchies and have the potential to turn the way performances are experienced in the classical music world on its head. She is a prize winner of international competitions and recognised for her excellent artistic achievement. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Education and two Master of Arts degrees, is a university teacher (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz), founder of her own harp school arpini and creator of The Circle of Music concert format.
The Circle of Music
My vision for The Circle of Music is a new concert experience where audience engagement and the perceptions of the listeners are equally as important and valued as the performed music and the artist herself. Participative, interactive, receptive, and collaborative – the audience deals very individually and personally with a colourful piece of music that is going to be played three times. It aims to touch, to inspire, and to open spaces where intuitive reactions to the music can be given voice and shared. Possibly attitudes are going to be questioned, an undiscovered concert place will be exploited, and the harp and its richness of sound will be discovered in a new way.
Eléonore Niubo, France
Eléonore Niubo is a French harpist and composer specialized in jazz music. After a classical training in various European conservatories Eléonore now focuses in jazz and improvised music. She has seen herself awarded various scholarships to pursue her studies in this domain, leading her to study with internationally renown jazz harpists, such as Felice Pomeranz, Park Stickney, Carol Robbins, or Cristina Braga. In 2018 she obtained a merit-based grant from the Berklee College of Music of Boston, where she studied a double course in Jazz Performance and Jazz Composition. In 2020 Eléonore Niubo was the second harpist ever admitted to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, led by Danilo Pérez.
Order and Disorder
This program was conceived as a journey into my own musical world: starting from the classical harp repertoire I grew up with, mixing it with my favorite jazz standards, and taking it to the next level with some of my originals. This program mirrors how my relationship with the harp has evolved over the years. I’m using some of the classical repertoire I love as tools to enrich the jazz environment I am now familiar with, by using it as intro and quoting it during the improvisation. As for my own compositions, they come from both places, using my classical training and the modern harmonies I love to hear in today’s jazz. This program is thought of for a jazz harp trio, with double bass and drums, in the most traditional jazz setting.
Pippa Reid-Foster, Scotland
Pippa Reid-Foster is known for her innovative contemporary clàrsach music, showcasing the varied tonal palettes of the Scottish clàrsach. In 2014, she graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and since then her focus has moved towards a more contemporary compositional style incorporating electronic looping and effects at times whilst still retaining strong references to her Scottish roots. Pippa is not only an accomplished performer and composer but is also passionate about passing on her skills to a new generation of musicians and composers.
My programme is a reflection on the effects of COVID-19 and of the strain it has put on us as individuals. The programme is a journey that will start with lighter pieces that show the positivity we struggled to cling on to at the start of the pandemic, moving into a darker more sombre emotion in the middle section, characterising the long, dark winter nights of the second lockdown. The end of the programme conveys a brighter and happier mood as the lockdown eases and we begin to recapture a degree of normality. The pieces I will share are all based around my activities and emotions during this difficult time.
Maria Sá Silva, Portugal
Maria Sá Silva started her musical studies at Porto at the age of seven. In 2015 was admitted to Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado, Milan, where continued her bachelor studies with Professor Irina Zingg. Wining several prizes in national and international contests in Spain, France and Mexico, she played in several solo concerts and recitals at Casa da Música, Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan), Museo Teatrale La Scala (Milan). In 2021, she won a prize on the national competition Concurso de Intrepretação do Estoril, played as soloist with Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa at Centro Cultural de Belém conducted by Pedro Carneiro and presented her first creative project “Brisas e tonalidades” at Casa da Música.
“Saudade” is a Portuguese and Galician word for a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which has knowledge that the object of longing might never really return. Deeply associated with this sentiment is Fado, from latin “faytum” a traditional Portuguese music genre usually played by a singer and Portuguese guitar. This solo harp concert celebrates the Portuguese and Spanish music heritage, with a program that includes classical pieces but also traditional songs originally written for Portuguese guitar by the guitar players Carlos Paredes and Artur Paredes and that will be played for the first time on the harp.
Juan Corbalán, Paraguay
Paraguayan harpist and composer, Juanjo Corbalán, currently owns his personal project, “Juanjo Corbalán Cuarteto”. Rescues sounds from Paraguayan popular music, combining various elements of the traditional rhythms of Paraguayan, native Guaraní sounds, Latin American, and jazz influences, incorporating the folk instrument of Paraguay, the harp, within a freer musical context. The quartet had outstanding performances at renowned festivals such as: Festival Mundial del arpa, AsuJazz Festival and the Jazz al este Festival. They have recently toured in South America as well as Spain and Portugal, appearing in festivals and concert halls.
South American Journey
The concert gathers and rescues sounds of Paraguayan popular music, combining elements of traditional Paraguayan rhythms, the native essence with songs in Guarani, immersing us to the Latin American roots and a spark of jazz influences, incorporating the harp into a freer musical language, loaded with instrumental music, native songs in Guarani, own compositions and improvisations. Generating sonorities that are conjugated in music inspired by nature and the constant search for a current sound, creating a local musical landscape and the universal, where the Paraguayan harp takes character and opens to new possibilities within this search.
Stef van Vynckt, Belgium
Stef Van Vynckt is currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in the class of Sylvain Blassel. In addition he is pursuing a postgraduate Chamber Music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He has previously obtained a Master’s Degree in Ghent under the guidance of Arielle Valibouse. Stef specializes in contemporary music and works closely with leading composers. In 2019 he founded the chamber music ensemble EMC Extended Music Collective. He has premiered several pieces by composers from all over the world, including Dai Fujikura, David Lang, Vache Sharafyan and Frank Nuyts. In 2022, he will premiere works by Lise Morrison, Renée Vos, Siebe Thijs, Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti et al.
New music takes on a lot of different forms.
Novelties broadcasts a diverse concert program which includes world premieres by composers from all corners of the world, including renowned composers Dai Fujikura, Vache Sharafyan, Frank Nuyts and Maja Bosnic. Inspired by our continuous involvement with the future and worries about an unstoppable flow of time, feeling overwhelmed by the challenges we face today. Music helps us to envisage a new world, helps us to see each other, helps us to come closer to each other. This design was constructed after engaging in extensive dialogue with composers, collaborating closely.
Stef will be joined on stage by the musicians of the Extended Music Collective consisting of flute, cello, harp and piano, widely used in different combinations, often in dialogue with multimedia such as video, smartphone and live processing.
Let’s defy the way contemporary classical music is represented in modern-day society.
Cara Dawson, UK/Germany
Cara Dawson is a harpist who performs across London and Berlin. Her teachers have included Marie Leenhardt and Gabriella Dall’Olio. As a passionate performer of new music, Cara regularly works with composers to write new works for harp solo and ensemble. On multiple occasions these have incorporated multi-disciplinary facets such as theatre, electronics, spoken word, improvisations and video. In 2018, Cara co-founded the composer/performer collective ‘red panel’. The group aims to create unique and holistic sensory experiences, with signature events that are characterised by specially tailored new works, immersive atmospheric environments and unconventional locations.
shadows of solitude
‘shadows of solitude’ is an original program of works, composed or arranged in lockdowns. All works are for solo harp and electronics which ‘shadow’ it. This is represented in prerecorded harp parts loaded to boombox speakers in my arrangement of Cage. I embraced the environmental sounds that came with recording at home; the underlying environmental murmur of each snapshot creates a sonic representation of this strange time. In Timbrell’s piece, sine- tones shadow the resonance of the harp. Drew’s piece uses varying shades of monochrome noises as an ambient backdrop and Lonsdale’s piece features recordings of an aeolian harp, recorded by the composer during his lockdown.
Katherine Harrison, Scotland
I began playing the harp aged 10. During my teens, I struggled to reconcile the wide range of music I loved listening to with the classical music I was learning to play. I gave up aged 18. I no longer wanted to be known as ‘that harp girl’, and I thought I was done with études and orchestras. I began playing again aged 30, seeking something safer and cheaper to do in my spare time than racing motorbikes (I soon found harps were far more expensive than bikes and I still injured myself!) Now the harp is just one part of my identity that lets me share the music I love with others while telling stories about my life. I studied at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Dear Mr Bowie – Letters to a Dead Rockstar
In 2016, after the death of David Bowie, and against the background of my struggle to understand my relationship with an instrument which seemed to define me no matter how far I ran from it, I started writing to ‘Mr Bowie’. In these letters I shared some of my thoughts, and I imagined what he might write back. There were three messages he had for me. While reading some of my letters, accompanied by solo harp pieces and incidental music, I will take the audience on parts of my journey of discovery since I began playing the harp again as an adult, including the day the music literally stopped. This will be a performance with pedal harp, electric lever harp, effects and live storytelling.
Sophie Rocks, Scotland
Bridging her traditional Shetland routes with her loves of contemporary music, Sophie has had the pleasure to perform across the globe; personal highlights have been performing at Prague Fringe Festival, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Edinburgh International Fringe Festival as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase. She has twice featured as a soloist on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ programme and was a recipient of the 2018 United Kingdom Harp Association Award. After a critically acclaimed run at EIFF 2019, Sophie is touring her venture, ‘Notes from Shetland to Shanghai,’ an experimental meld of music & poetry performed in defense of refugee rights and the right to welcome.
Notes from Shetland to Shanghai
A one movement 45-minute work, Notes from Shetland to Shanghai is a meld of music & poetry in defense of refugee rights and the right to welcome. Drawing from personal accounts, both of those who leave and those who stay, this show takes you on a journey, exploring the emotions connected with immigration – fear, anger, sorrow, resilience, freedom and hope. Spanning over five different continents, Sophie combines music and poetry that not only celebrates her traditional Shetland roots but illustrates her love of all kinds of music. Through the celebration of our cultural difference, we find our similarities and connections are more than we knew.
Julie Rokseth, Norway
Classically trained and holding a cum laude MMus in Argentinian tango on the pedal harp, Celtic folk harp and medieval harp, Julie is an innovative harpist and composer mastering a broad range of genres. Musical collaborations include artists such as Gunnhild Sundli, Mette Henriette Martedatter and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, but her main effort goes into the duo “Julie & Andreas” with her brother on the bandoneon. After successfully pioneering harp in tango on their previous album “With the Sky in Our Hands – the tangos” (a harp column 10/10), it is now that Julie & Andreas unveil their own very unique virtuoso style and sound – best described as sublime Nordic melancholic joy.
ENE: No Windows Face the Sea
This performance tells the tragic story of Julie & Andreas’ grandparents. It stands as a tribute to brave souls lost at sea, and as a celebration of those left behind to shoulder the extra burdens even through their grief. Voyaging between sorrow and elation, navigating through tragic loss and grief to resilience and hope, finally casting us adrift into deep yearning this performance serves the listener as an astonishingly cathartic liberation.
All music is arranged/composed for and by Julie & Andreas, and the arc of the performance is created through use of 3 harps (Celtic, classical and medieval), 1 bandoneon, field recordings, loop station, poetry as well as acoustic chamber music.
Héloïse Carlean-Jones, France
Golden Medal winner in the Fourth Manhattan Competition, Héloïse has performed at the Aspen, Tanglewood and Ohrid Festivals. With a repertoire spanning five centuries, she is equally at home with cutting-edge new music as with the works of the great baroque masters. She shares her passion for music and its history with her audience through thoughtful programming and direct audience engagement.
Héloïse holds a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Harp Performance and a Diploma in Historical Performance Practice from the Curtis Institute of Music. She is currently a member of the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine in Paris.
In a letter to Clara Schumann, Brahms wrote, « If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind. » Having lived with and studied Bach’s Ciaccona for many years, I can only echo Brahms’ words. Its impact has been almost beyond compare in the musical literature.
In this programme I wish to present the Ciaccona in relief with several other works, also based on the same ancient form of dance and variation. In so doing, I hope to give the audience a glimpse into the universality of Bach’s music, and also the very personal effect it has had on my musical journey.
Hope Wilk, USA/Canada
Hope Wilk was most recently named a fellow of The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performances Residency Program at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. Originally from New York; Hope has played harp with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Hope holds degrees from The Glenn Gould School and New England Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded The John Cage Award for her commitment to contemporary music. As a soloist, she has garnered acclaim for her performance of Ginastera’s Harp Concerto by being titled first runner-up in concerto competitions with The Boston Pops and The NEC Symphony.
Queer Legacies is the story of my experience as a queer woman, told through my chosen medium of classical music. In effect, this is a chronological recital of works by LGBTQIA+ artists; however, the recital differs from tradition by including short video vignettes that introduce and interact with each piece. These vignettes use musical, visual, and narrative elements to tell the stories of each artist and how their experiences relate to my own. My goal is to inspire empathy by creating an immersive concert experience that highlights the work of these underrepresented artists and the cultural events that have shaped a generation.
Rosanna Moore, UK/USA
Known for her quirky and engaging performances, Rosanna Moore is fast gaining recognition as both a harpist and actor. Comfortable performing as a soloist, chamber musician or orchestral player, she actively performs around the US and Europe. She has won accolades for her performances with the World Harp Festival, Marcel Tournier and Tierra47 competitions. Her writings have recently been published by both Harp Column and Contemporary Music Review. In the coming season she will premiere ‘Extraordinary Motion: Concerto for Electric harp and Orchestra’ by Grammy winner, DJ Sparr across the US. As an educator, Rosanna is the Professor of Harp at the University of Oregon and Opus Ithaca.
The Bigness of Smallness
2020 changed our lives. The world that never sleeps suddenly stopped. People were separated. Families, friends, colleagues. Lives were lost and destroyed. We turned inward and discovered new parts of ourselves that had been obscured by our constantly running lives. We slowed down. We turned inward. We suddenly had ‘time’.
The Bigness of Smallness explores the essence of virtuosity, and how it changed to become something more personal as our world as we knew it stopped. Even as we move back to some semblance of ‘normal’, this program aims to capture the element of virtuosity and reflection, even in the smallest of places.
Ciorstaidh Beaton, Scotland
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finalist Ciorstaidh Beaton grew up as a native Gàidhlig speaker in the township of Kilmuir, on the Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland. She is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and completed her post-graduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Ciorstaidh is a versatile harpist, always immersed in a diverse range of musical styles which uniquely shape her as one of Scotland’s leading harpists. She has performed with the UK’s professional orchestras and ensembles, works as a freelance session musician and teaches clàrsach at Douglas Academy Music School in Glasgow.
Between Two Worlds
A symbolic title representing my identity between musical genres (folk and classical), languages (Gàidhlig/English) and instruments (concert harp and clàrsach), and exploring the idea of our greater existence between two differing worlds – life and death. This programme features numerous works for solo harp and clàrsach written by me, including dedications to friends/family – some who have passed away, and a premier of a new work in memory of those we lost during this pandemic. The whole programme is heavily influenced by the music of Gaelic Scotland and also of Ireland, with the common Gaelic language, culture and style of traditional music between the two countries. I will perform on both clàrsach and pedal harp and include field recordings featuring sounds and voices of my native landscape. This programme includes music from my upcoming debut album, which is to be released later this year.
Tara Viscardi, Ireland
Tara Viscardi is a classical and Irish traditional harpist. First prize winner of the 2021 London Camac Harp Competition, Tara recently graduated from the Royal College of Music with a Master of Music in Performance. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado, Milan and held a Wigmore Learning/Royal Academy of Music Fellowship. Performance highlights include appearances at the Bloomsbury Festival London, Harp on Wight International Festival, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Irish Embassy London and the National Concert Hall Dublin. Tara has performed for Irish President Michael D. Higgins and HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as at the 13th WHC Hong Kong.
Improvisation: Past to Present, Across Genres
My program centres around the theme of improvisation; spanning from the preludes of the Baroque period to the impromptus of the concert harp repertoire, paired with my arrangements of early Irish harper tunes and original compositions in the folk idiom on traditional Irish harp. I wanted to imagine a concept which would encompass all the elements of my harp journey, and compositions inspired by improvisation through time and across genres appeals to me as an exciting project, and one which I can deeply resonate with. I envisage this recital uniting the music I am truly passionate about, providing an opportunity for freedom of musical expression which crosses boundaries and expands horizons.
Marcel Cara, France
Born in 1996, Marcel CARA studied at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) in the class of Isabelle Moretti, and also worked with Germaine Lorenzini. He made his debut as a soloist in prestigious settings like as Théâtre du Châtelet, Singer-Polignac Foundation, British Museum, Sala of Sao Paulo. He has worked with musicians such as Adrien la Marca, Philippe Bernold, Amaury Coeytaux, Nina Pollet, Stéphanie Huang. Marcel Cara has performed Bruno Mantovani’s Concerto and Debussy Dances with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris under the baton of the composer. He’s also a laureate of the Hong Kong Harp Contest and the YCA Auditions, New York and is supported by the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
Myths, tales and folksongs
After meeting during their studies, Nina Pollet and Marcel Cara decided to explore their repertoire and have performed regularly at festivals in France since then. They offer original works, composed for this formation, but also arranged pieces, from the romantic era to the most contemporary creations. Their program was inspired by the lyricism and specific timbres of the flute and the harp, which illustrate the connection between arts and the myths and legends of many civilizations. Composers from the Renaissance to the 20th century (with Ravel and Britten) have always appropriated mythologies and legends, until Debussy’s fantasized antiquity, Fauré’s images or even Bartok’s fierce rhythms.
Rafaelle Rinaudo, France
She is part of this generation of musicians showing this same curiosity for the creation of “scholarly” music only for the form the most experimental rock and music electronic and multidisciplinary performances. During her studies at the National Conservatory Superior of Music and Dance of Paris, and koninklijk conservatorium den haag she develops an electro-acoustic harp device. She plays the electric harp + guitar effects + loopstation RC505. She is a scholarship holder, in 2012 of Culture France and the Brittany region, in 2014/15 of the ADAMI- CPMDT and winner Jazz migration 2014 with FIVE38 , 2018 with Ikui Doki, 2021 With NOUT. In 2019 she was granted by the Facefoundation New York.
In this program, I will play the electric harp, with effects and an RC505 looper. All the loops I play will be recorded live and every sound will come from the harp. I use the harp to make the rhythms the basses the melodies. I add objects on the harp: fans, brushes, sticks … I also have some piezoelectric microphones, which pick up certain sounds and allow me to hear and use contemporary harp effects. I have the impression of playing the orchestra everything and I love it!
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