Esther Swift

Esther Swift uses the harp as a bold alternative to the acoustic guitar. In this concert, she will take you on a journey through the Scottish landscape that is draped in traditional stylings.

Harpist/Harpwriter

World Harp Competition semifinalist Uno Vesje presents his original program: Harpist/Harpwriter. "As a classical trained harpist, stuck between tradition and real life, I have struggled to find the stories I want to tell. I find many interesting thoughts and ideas in the repertoire, but they're not my stories. Singer-songwriters do it, my classical ancestors did it, and now I am doing it – performing my own compositions! As an instrumental artist my attention gradually turned away from the orchestra pit to city streets. In the urban environments of New York City and Oslo, the interactions of people living between metal, concrete and glass became the inspiration for my music. My desire was to create music for the harp that would appeal to "The Man and Woman on the Street" and in the same time explore the possibilities of this unique instrument. My music is a conglomeration of stories, characteristics, scenes and emotions that arise from the heartbeat of the City."

New Looks

World Harp Competition semifinalist Alice Belugou presents her original program: New Looks. In 1962, Luciano Berio altered the course of the future harp repertoire with his Sequenza II. Lucia Bova writes in The Modern Harp (2016) that he “was able to ‘unveil’ an instrument that until then had only timidly emerged in New Music.” Since the post-war period, the number of different aesthetic currents has increased, and the large-scale trends have given way to individual forms of expression. This program features Berio’s Sequenza and pieces from the last decade. Each of these pieces illustrates how, in their own distinct and inventive ways, the composers have been able to approach their main concerns through the use of the harp. In his Fidélité, Georges Aperghis assigns equal importance to the harpist’s voice and to the harp, creating a unique instrument from the two sound sources. Martin Matalon wrote for the harp and a complex electronic device used in real time with the instrument, while Simon Steen Andersen uses the harp as a projection screen, on which the harpist plays with all kinds of techniques, except for traditional ones.

Roll up, roll up…

World Harp Competition semifinalist Rosanna Moore presents her original program: Roll up, roll up.... Ladies and gentlemen, roll up, roll up! Come join me for a show that will intrigue you ears and entice your senses. Every piece of music has a story, the audience just needs someone to tell it. For this program, I was inspired by the original meaning of Vaudeville - small skits and unrelated acts billed on the same show. “That sounds similar to many classical concerts?” I hear you say! Yes, you are correct, dear reader! As a result, the program will be a series of short and varied scenes made up of different types of theatrical music, interspersed with stories to link one scene to the next. From the comedic mime of Paul Patterson’s Mosquito Massacre, to the tragic love story of Ariadne in Schafer’s Labyrinth Dance, to original folk tunes and improvisations. Treat your senses to a delectable buffet of musical miniatures.

Exploring the Wonders of the Harp

World Harp Competition semifinalist Aimee Hang Yu Lam presents her original program: Exploring the Wonders of the Harp. With pieces ranging from an arrangement of a Classical opera to a dramatic modern work, this program presents a wide variety of harp music, showcasing how the wonderful sound of the harp can vary depending on the music being played. The pieces selected come from vastly different time periods and countries, and have extremely contrasting styles and techniques.

The Feminine Musique

World Harp Competition semifinalist Abigail Kent presents her original program: The Feminine Musique. "I am a musician who happens to play the harp. I am a woman and this influences my artistic identity. Today there is a majority of female performing harpists but not many of them compose. My creative work is inspired by female musical pioneers including the maverick 12th Century St. Hildegard von Bingen, Grainne Hambly - Ireland's great traditional harper, Lili Boulanger - first female to win Prix de Rome, Germaine Tailleferre - only female of "Le Six," and Henriette Renie - brilliant and unsurpassed. My artistic vision, honed through years of exploring many genres and instruments, embraces versatility, collaboration, and innovation. Finding my "muse" has been a deeply satisfying and enriching journey ending with my embracing both the Celtic and pedal harp. I feel a deep connection to this instrument and it is now my chosen tool to express my creative vision."

Pia Salvia’s Journey

World Harp Competition semifinalist Pia Salvia presents her original program: Pia Salvia's Journey. "Over the past couple of years, I have traveled to several places around the world and explored different types of music. I was inspired by the exotic rhythms of Brazil, the fire and energy of Flamenco music, the rhythmic complexity of Balkan music, the warmth of Middle Eastern music, and more. This music influenced my composition process and shaped my identity as an artist. My concert fuses harp tradition and the characteristics of the harp with different styles of music from around the world. The program consists of original compositions that are influenced by those different traditions (Flamenco, Bossa Nova, Middle Eastern, ethnic) and an arrangement of a pop song. The traditional aspects are combined with modern grooves, electronics (loop station, effects pedals), jazz concepts, improvisation and more."  

Around the World in 47 Strings

World Harp Competition semifinalist Cesar Secundino presents his original program: Around the World in 47 Strings. The main target of this journey is to show the versatility and possibilities of the pedal harp. Throughout this program the audience will be able to enjoy different music and rhythms from around the world such as Tango, Son, Rancheras, Bosa, Samba, jazz, opera, and Zarzuela, among others. All the pieces are arrangements specially written by César for this project, with the typical spicy improvisations that characterize his performances.

A Kind of Madness

World Harp Competition semifinalist Oliver Wass presents his original program: A Kind of Madness; Inspiration and the Greek Muses. We have all experienced inspiration—whether it comes in a flash in an unexpected place or after hours of concentrated thought. The Ancient Greeks believed that the Muses were the source of inspiration for all art. In fact, the word “music” comes from the Greek Mousikē or “Art of the Muses”. This program is all about how inspiration and madness are intertwined. It includes original transcriptions of Ravel and Prokofiev, alongside Bach and De Falla.

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