IN 2018, THE DUTCH HARP FESTIVAL introduced a new kind of international harp competition, in a daring format that’s never been done before. Watch our video coverage of the 2018 Regional Rounds to see how the World Harp Competition is making a bold break from tradition. As we gear up for the next competition, in 2020, we invite you to join us in this exciting new direction.

Mission

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.

Since the fifth edition of the competition, in 2018, we have taken the competition a step further. One of the main goals has always been to discover the best all-around artist (and not just the best technical player), so we are now 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 are 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 in 2020!

WINNERS

2018

César Secundino

1st Prize | Born in 1985 in Torreón, Mexico, César Secundino began playing the harp at the age of 19. He helped found the harp department at the State University of Nuevo León and, there, became the first harp student to graduate with a bachelor's in harp. He later went on to study at the Superior Conservatory of Aragon in Spain as well as Berklee College of Music. His technique is a unique combination of Latin-American virtuosity and European refinement. His arrangements and compositions are performed by harpists around the world.

2nd Prize | Alice Belugou

3rd Prize | Aimee Hang Yu Lam

Audience Award | César Secundino

Do you know a harpist with a unique message for the world? If so, we want to meet them! Let us know who you think deserves to be heard in 2020.