Thanks to the vision of the indefatigable organising committee, 2021’s Glowing Harp International Competition will be a fully digital event: across four age categories and with the same programme as would have gone live.
Prizes include a live concerto performance at a flexible future date, and an Odyssey harp.
Lena Woods started playing the harp at the age of 7, thanks to her harpist mother! After graduating from high school, she formed her first rock band, Grand Square Dance, with whom she toured the Normandy stages for 5 years. Alongside various musical projects, she joined the American School Of Modern Music in Paris. The following year she entered the Rouen Conservatory, specialising in jazz and singing.
In 2012, she participated in the International Harp Festival in Ancenis (France) in celebration of Camac Harps’ 40th anniversary. She then joined the Paris Regional Conservatory, specialising in contemporary music. There, she formed the group Northern Lights, created around the electric harp and its compositions. They released their EP in 2014.
In 2014, she represented France at the International Harp Festival in Paraguay, and formed a new band – Nobody’s Cult. Her electric harp sound became more and more individual, using effects pedals and a guitar amp. A 1st EP „Echoes From The Temple” was released in 2017, followed by many concerts throughout France. In 2016, she took part in the show The Voice and reached the quarter-finals.
Lena has spent two years on tour with Nolwenn Leroy, and also joined the Aretha Franklin tribute group Respect Sixters. She has featured on many albums (Elles et Barbara, Daphné, Olivia Merilahti, Gaspard Augé, Boca de Tambor…), on harp or vocals.
Nobody’s Cult’s first album will be released in April 2021.
The 40th Edinburgh International Harp Festival will take place online this year. From Friday 9th to Monday 12th April inclusive, you can sign up for a wealth of online courses, concerts and workshops. We are proud to be the sponsors of the Saturday night concert, with Maeve Gilchrist, Corrina Hewat with one or more colleagues, and the Iain MacLeoid Young Composer Award Winner 2021.
We will begin Les Jeudis de la Harpe, Season III with none other than Myrdhin, Breton Celtic legend. The concert also marks the beginning of his 50th year on stage, and we are very honoured that he is sharing this moment with us.
Born in Upper Brittany to a Cornish family, Myrdhin is one of the driving forces behind the revival of the Celtic harp in Brittany. Since the 1970s he has been applauded both in France and abroad: in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Italy, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Norway, and Paraguay.
He has received numerous awards, such as the Triskell d’Or, Kan ar Bobl, 1st prizes for harp and singing in Killarney-Ireland, Nancy Richards’s Trophy in Wales, J.M.F. and France Musique awards, and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2002. In 2000, as part of AFROCELT, MYRDHIN was nominated for a Grammy Award in Los Angeles (world music category).
He draws his inspiration from the natural environment in Brittany, and has been playing on bronze- and metal- strung harps since 1975.
The North London Competitions, which we have sponsored for fifteen years now, were about to happen last year when the first Covid-19 lockdowns hit. Confined to our homes, we quickly moved online, an experiment shared by the NLF’s equally enterprising drama section. In both cases, we were overwhelmed by the response – and so, the festival has gone fully online in 2021.
This year, to make the online format accessible to as many harpists as possible, the syllabus has been streamlined into three age categories plus the senior Camac competition.
Up to age 18, you can enter:
- Age 10 and under
- 11 to 13 years
- 14 to 17 years
These are all school year ages, i.e. if you were 17 on 1st September 2020 but have turned 18 since then, you can still enter.
It is no longer necessary to follow grade exam syllabus repertoire, although of course you can if you want to.
The Camac Competition is open to harpists living and/or studying in the United Kingdom and Ireland, aged 30 and under.
We’re delighted that the United Kingdom Harp Association are repeating their generous sponsorship of a special prize for an outstanding competitor in any category. We are sponsoring all the other prizes, and every competitor will receive personalised feedback from our wonderful jurors: Catrin Finch and Keziah Thomas.
The Greek singer-songwriter Elisa Vellia was born in Corfu and grew up in Athens. She left her country for adventure and travel. She discovered the Celtic harp on the London Underground; then later settled in Brittany. Between her native land and her adopted land, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, she sings in Greek about her roots and her emotions, giving new life to the harp and weaving her own musical universe.
Our third series of Les Jeudis de la Harpe is approaching its third concert – which promises to be exceptional, as we welcome Isabelle Moretti to our online stage. Her programme will include works by J S Bach, Glinka / Balakirev, Debussy and Tournier. From some of the greatest composers in Western musical history, to some of the most subtle and sublime colours of the harp literature, this will be a musical experience not to be missed!
“Beauty of sound, perfection of style, depth of eloquence”: this is how the composer Philippe Hersant describes Isabelle Moretti. She is an artist who, since the beginning of her rich career, has been an ambassador for the colours of the French harp throughout the world. In her hands, the harp reveals the full extent of its immense, not always expected, expressive potential. Ever-curious, she embraces a vast repertoire, from the 18th century to the present day.
Please join us on YouTube at 19:30 CET, this coming Thursday April 29.
As May begins, so does the Spring! Les Jeudis de la Harpe is also feeling joyful, with a concert by one of the most exciting members of the new generation of modern trad.
Kevin Le Pennec is the winner of 2019’s Camac Trophy at the Lorient Interceltic Festival, where he also won the audience prize. He combines his passion for traditional music and songs with modern harp arrangements. Thursday’s programme will explore the music of Brittany, Scotland and Ireland: full of song, dances, fused with pop and other influences, and emotionally deep and varied.
Together with his duo partner Morgane Grégory (another Lorient Trophy winner, in 2017!), Kevin has also just released a début album: Bisiad. Warmly recommended – you can get a flavour via its SoundCloud excerpts.
We look forward to welcoming you to Kevin’s concert: Thursday, May 6, at 19:30 CET on YouTube!