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.
Helen Leitner, Artist Relations Manager
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.
Under the artistic direction of Ghislaine Petit-Volta and Laurence Bancaud, the Collegium21 competition encourages even the youngest harpists to explore contemporary music. There are four levels from beginners to advanced conservatoire students, combine very new works / world premiers, with free-choice pieces. One special feature of the competition is its series of masterclasses prior to the contest, where students can work directly with the composers of the set works. Moreover, all the masterclasses are filmed and later published online.
This year, Collegium21 has made a big effort to increase the accessibility of the competitions to international students: their website now also has an English version, with all the information you need to take part. Curious harpists should also explore the website of Collegium21’s sister association, Les Signes de L’Arc. They have also translated their excellent reference book – La Harpe aux XXe et XXIe siècles – into English, as Guide to the Contemporary Harp.
You can now enter the International Prestige Awards, organised by Rave Harps, our partners in Singapore and Malaysia. The Prestige Awards are chamber music competitions, both for harp ensembles, and harp and other instruments. There’s a wealth of categories, from children aged under 6, to classes both for young professionals and adult amateurs.
If you’re resident in Singapore and Malaysia, the competition will be held live. If you are based elsewhere in the world, your entry will be live, online. While the jury watch in real time, candidates will perform via video call.
The closing date for entries is February 28th 2021, with an early bird discount for all entries received before the end of January. The live rounds, both in Singapore and on video call, will take place on July 18th.
Read more on the Camac blog!