And the winners are...

1st Prize | César Secundino

2nd Prize | Alice Belugou

3rd Prize | Aimee Hang Yu Lam

Audience Award | César Secundino


Neil Wallace

Jury Chairman Neil Wallace is the programme director of the Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam and artistic director of Haarlem’s International Choral Biennale. Originally from Scotland, he was previously CEO of Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre and deputy director of Glasgow 1990, the city’s Cultural Capital of Europe programme.

Erika Waardenburg

Harpist Erika Waardenburg has made her mark both nationally and internationally as a soloist as well as an orchestral performer. She is harp professor at the conservatories of Utrecht, Amsterdam and Helsinki. Additionally, she gives masterclasses for young talented harpists both at homa and abroad, e.g. at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Harold Lopez-Nussa

Havana based composer and pianist Harold López-Nussa is a musician whose musical voice is now being heard around the world. El Viaje (The Journey), López-Nussa’s recent debut release on Mack Avenue Records, visits many genres of music and travels smoothly between Harold’s classical, native and jazz inspirations. Don't miss Harold's performance with Emmanuel Padilla-Holguín at the Dutch Harp Festival!

Amandine Carbuccia

French harpist Amandine Carbuccia was the first-prize winner of the DHF World Harp Competition in 2012. Currently principal harpist for the Bremer Philharmoniker, she returns to Utrecht this year as a member of the jury.

Edmar Castañeda

Since arriving in the United States in 1994, Colombian-born harp virtuoso Edmar Castañeda has forged his own distinctive path in music. He brings not only an unfamiliar instrument but a wholly original voice to jazz, branching out into a world of different styles and genres. Don't miss Edmar's performance on Saturday evening at the Dutch Harp Festival!

Dominic Seldis

Dominic Seldis is a double bass player, television personality, conductor and corporate speaker. Born in Newmarket, Suffolk in the UK in 1971, he moved to the Netherlands in 2008 and became the 1st Solo Double Bass player with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

Niladri Kumar

A global icon to reckon with, world renowned & 5th generation sitar player, Niladri Kumar is an unconventional rare instrumentalist, honing a unique repertoire and profound in depth understanding of traditional and classical styles on the sitar to innovative, electrifying renditions on his own instrumental innovation the 'zitar'. Don't miss Niladri's performance at the Dutch Harp Festival!

IN 2018, THE DUTCH HARP FESTIVAL is introducing a new kind of international harp competition, in a daring format that’s never been done before. Since its first edition, in 2010, the Dutch Harp Competition has stood out for its commitment to integrity, prioritizing the interests of its competitors, and its fresh sense of creativity. It has been praised for both its world-class professionalism and its welcoming and supportive atmosphere. We are now making a bold break from tradition, and we invite you to join us in an exciting new direction.


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 fifth edition of the competition, in 2018, we are taking the competition a step further. Since one of the 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 have been granted complete artistic freedom over designing their own programs, and the field is open to all harpists, not just classical pedal harpists. The semifinalists have been selected from 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!