Can I bring my own harp?

Yes! Prior to 2018, competitors were required to perform only on official competition harps. Now, since we are opening up the competition to all kinds of harps, we will also allow anyone to bring their own harp if they wish, and that includes pedal harps.

I play folk harp / electric harp / Paraguayan harp. Will there be a harp for me to use at the competition?

We will try our best to provide harps for anyone who requests to use a competition harp. Just let us know on your application form what kind of harp you would need. Some harps are easier to find than others, however, so if you play a unique type of harp, we may only be able to provide a close approximation.

Can I apply to more than one Regional Round location?

When you submit your application, you will be able to indicate an order of preference for the locations that are offered. We expect that most people will only be able to attend the location that is closest for them, but if you are willing to attend any other location, let us know on your application form! Of course, you are only permitted to perform once in the Regional Rounds.

What do I have to prepare for the Regional Rounds?

In the Regional Rounds, you will give a 15-minute pitch of your original program. The purpose of this pitch is to give the jury a clear idea of what they can expect from you if you are selected as a finalist. The pitch must be presented in English and include at least 10 minutes of performance on a harp. You may also choose to distribute supporting material as part of your pitch (e.g. program notes or flyers), but you are limited to one (1) item. This is entirely optional. Otherwise, the design of the pitch is up to you!

Do I need to provide copies of my music for the jury?

No. You may if you wish, but it is absolutely not necessary.

What are you looking for in an “original program”?

The Original Program is an adventurous new concept that sets the DHF World Harp Competition apart from all other harp competitions. Rather than asking competitors to prepare a set of required repertoire, we invite everyone to design their own program. Approach it as if you were designing a concert program. Think about your unique strengths as a musician and what you would like to express artistically. Think about what kind of experience you want to create for the audience. The jury will be looking for the best all-around performer: technically, musically, and artistically. For more tips and inspiration, watch this video. We are curious to see what you come up with!

Can I include other performers in my program?

Just like you would for a normal concert, you are welcome to program music that includes other performers or invite colleagues to collaborate with you, as long as the main feature of the program remains you playing the harp. How much collaboration should you do? We don’t have an answer for this, but keep in mind both the costs and the benefits. Collaboration can add dynamic to your performance, but more doesn’t always mean better. And involving extra people can bring in fresh ideas, but it also incurs extra expenses, which are not covered by the Dutch Harp Festival. It’s up to you to strike the right balance.

Can I come with my harp quartet?

In the special case of a program that involves multiple harps, the short answer is yes, but it’s a bit more complicated than that, so keep reading. You cannot actually apply as a group, since there can be only one contestant per application. So if you wanted to perform as a harp quartet (for example), then you would have to select one member to represent you as the official competition contestant. However, keep in mind that if you are selected for the finals, there will be travel and accommodation provided only for the main contestant.

Will my travel be covered by the competition?

Finalists who are invited to perform at the Dutch Harp Festival will receive travel reimbursement to and from Utrecht as well as accommodation and meals during the festival. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse travel or arrange accommodation for the Regional Rounds.

Will I receive feedback from the jury?

Yes! Feedback will be provided starting in the Regional Rounds (we do not provide feedback following the Preliminary Round). Due to the unique format of the competition, there won’t be an opportunity to receive feedback from the jury in person, however we will collect written feedback from the jury members and forward these on to you following each round. We believe that receiving feedback is important for musical growth, which is why we make sure to give our candidates the opportunity to hear the jury’s reaction to their performance.

Who will be on the jury?

Check out our video “All About the Jury” to learn how adjudication works at the DHF World Harp Competition. There are three separate juries, consisting each of different jury members, each one responsible for a different round of the competitions: the Preliminary Round, the Regional Rounds, and the Finals. On these juries will be a mixture of both harpists and non-harpists. We ensure that none of the harpist jury members are teachers of any of the candidates. Non-harpists are professional musicians with distinguished careers in other areas such as performance, conducting, composing, and music business. In order to minimize the amount of contact between the candidates and the jury members, we only announce the names of the jury members once the competition has begun.

How will the protests in Hong Kong affect the DHF World Harp Competition?

Due to the worsening political situation in Hong Kong, we have regrettably had to cancel the Hong Kong round of the competition this year. We are also extending the application deadline until the end of November, so that everyone who might have been affected by this change will still have the chance to apply to our remaining two rounds in Utrecht and New York City. In the meantime, our thoughts go out to the people of Hong Kong during this difficult time.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? You can reach out to us using the contact form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!