London Harp Competitions 

The long-established national competitions in London will take place, as ever, on the UK May bank holiday weekend: Sunday, May 5th and Monday, May 6th 2019 at North Bank House. We’re delighted to be welcoming Stephen Fitzpatrick and Emma Ramsdale to be our illustrious jury members. Stephen, British in origin, is now Principal Harpist at the Berlin Staatskapelle under Daniel Barenboim, and is also Professor of Harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Emma is an ABRSM diploma examiner, and has taught at Junior Guildhall and many schools during her teaching career, while also pursuing a busy performing schedule. 

North London offers competitions for every age and stage, from grade 1 (ABRSM / Trinity syllabuses), to young professional. There are also the increasingly popular junior and senior chamber music classes. The Camac Harp Competition is open to pedal harpists of conservatoire standard and beyond, studying or resident in the UK / Republic of Ireland and aged up to 30.

We are very pleased that once again we can offer a great professional opportunity to the laureate of this competition, in the form of a paid lunchtime recital at the Proms at St Jude’s. Candidates should therefore be available for the scheduled concert date of Friday, June 28th 2019, at lunchtime in London NW11). 

Registration is via the online form of the North London festival.

Closing date for applications: Monday, April 1st 2019


About the jury

Stephen Fitzpatrick started playing the piano at the age of four, and three years later commenced with harp studies. After initial lessons in his native North Wales, he was accepted as a student at the Royal College of Music in London with Marisa Robles. Further studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Edward Witsenburg and privately with Sarah Bullen in Chigago culminated with a performance diploma in addition to the degree and teaching diploma already attained in London.

As an orchestral musician, Stephen has been principal harpist with the English Symphony Orchestra, co-principal harpist at the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, guest principal at the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and in 2000 he was chosen by Daniel Barenboim to be Principal Harpist at the Deutsche Staatskapelle in Berlin. From 2007 to 2014, he was harpist at the Bayreuther Festspielorchester. He has freelanced with many world class orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and La Scala, Milan, and was regularly invited by Christoph von Dohnyáni to be Guest Principal Harpist at the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.

Stephen has been active as a chamber musician and soloist throughout Europe. He has given solo recitals in England, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and as member of various chamber music ensembles has given numerous tours throughout France and Spain. He is committed to contemporary music and has given critically acclaimed performances of works by living composers.

He has been invitied to be a jury member with many important competitions such as the ARD Music Competition, Deutsche Musikwettbewerb and the International Harp Competition in Szeged and is also regularly invited to be jury member for auditions with internatinally renowned orchestras.

Stephen was invited by Daniel Barenboim to be a founder member of the newly created Boulez Ensemble, which gave its debut performance for the inauguration of the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin in 2016.

Stephen was member of the harp faculty at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin from 2008-2011 and Professor for Harp at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Seville from 2004-2011. In 2010, he was appointed Professor of Harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and from 2018 he will be teaching regularly at the Royal College of Music in London.

As a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, Emma Ramsdale studied with Daphne Boden and Skaila Kanga. During her studies she gained sponsorship and prizes from many organisations including the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Foundation for Sports and the Arts and The Royal Academy of music.

Emma has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the UK and abroad, giving solo recitals, concertos and chamber performances at venues including the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall as well as for many festivals and music societies here and abroad. Emma has also made solo recordings for Radio 3 and live solo recitals for Classic FM.

In recent years Emma has split her time between a busy orchestral schedule, teaching, examining for ABRSM and her two children.

Since leaving college, Emma has worked regularly with all London’s major symphony orchestras, ballet and opera orchestras. She has toured across the globe and had the amazing experience of working with many of the world’s finest musicians and conductors.

Emma loves seeing students progress and flourish as musicians and has taught at the Junior Guildhall and for many schools during her career. These include St. Paul’s Girls School, Eton College, City of London School for Girls and Blackheath Conservatoire. She is now teaching at Wycombe Abbey school in Berkshire which is close to home and has private pupils from beginners to diploma standard.

For about 5 years Emma has been a diploma examiner for ABRSM.

Proms at St Jude's

United Kingdom Harp Association

Camac Harps, France

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