September 1st, 2022
Half a century of fine French harps: Camac Harps celebrate their 50th anniversary with a festival in Paris
Camac Harps, French makers of fine harps since 1972, will hold a special 50th anniversary festival from Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23, 2022. The event showcases the company’s passion for history, tradition, great music of all genres, creativity and innovation.
50 years of passion à la française
These passions are evident throughout the company’s half a century in service of the harp. Founded by the Garnier brothers in the hamlet of Mouzeil, where its craft manufacture is still based today, Camac Harps has developed from initial, simple Bardic instruments to a full range of concert, Celtic, electric and even South American harps.
Camac Concert Grands have been adopted by world-class orchestras like the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Paris Opera, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Gewandhausorchester and the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Its special collaborations with artists include the industry benchmark for ultralight e-harps, a state-of-the-art Colombian llanera, and many Celtic harps – lovingly perfected according to their Breton, Irish and many other rich traditions. Camac Harps has been an Entreprise du patrimoine vivant since 2006, and in 2022 it became one of the first holders of the Luthiers et facteurs de France label, granted in recognition of quality, authenticity and sustainable manufacture.
The great repertoire, new commissions, historical expertise, jazz…
A plethora of concerts, conferences and conviviality await harp and music lovers over the October festival weekend, both in the company’s flagship showroom, and during gala evenings at the Cité de la Musique. Camac will be joined by the world’s greatest harpists, from France and also Japan, Turkey, the USA, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. They will present some of the harp’s best music: classical, jazz, contemporary, Celtic and avant-garde. It will be a chance to hear some of the music Camac has commissioned throughout the years, crowned with the world premiere of Bruno Mantovani’s Péripéties et conclusion, written for the 50th anniversary. Camac’s 50 years is also the occasion of the publication of a “Erard: Empire of the Harp” by Robert Adelson, a new scholarly book about the great French harp maker of the nineteenth century, whose innovations defined the concert harp as it is known today.
Camac is fully sponsoring their anniversary festival in order to make it free of charge and widely accessible to harp and music lovers. Places being limited, reservation is however essential, online at camac-harps.com/camac-festival-50.
Press tickets and further information:
Helen Leitner, Artist Relations Manager
Camac Harps, French makers of fine harps since 1972, has always been committed to the marriage of tradition and innovation – in 2022, more than ever. Company President Jakez François is a maker entirely dedicated to harpists, accompanying and supporting their careers, and listening to their wishes and dreams. A harpist himself, he is particularly well-positioned to create the instruments best suited to their musical expectations.
The creativity of Camac Harps expresses itself across a wide range of instruments, serving an equally rich variety of artistic identities.
Camac Concert Grand harps are the choice of soloists and orchestras throughout the world, such as the Opéra de Paris, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Bavarian State Opera, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Camac, whose ateliers are still in the same Breton hamlet they have always been in, is also passionate about the Celtic harp. Far from the lever harp being a “small” or study instrument, it is an instrument in its own right, with a wealth of rich traditions and contemporary directions.
Camac’s “DHC” electric lever harp is widely recognised as the benchmark in its field, developed with the American jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant.
Camac Harps is an indefatigable supporter of the harp in all its forms. The company organises events and festivals in France and throughout the world, aiming to support harpists in as many, individual ways as possible, and to develop harp music.
Camac Harps has been an “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant”, a Company of Living Heritage, since 2006. This is an award from the French government for excellence in the fields of craftsmanship and manufacture, underpinning the economic and cultural identity of France.
In 2022, Camac became one of the first companies to receive the “Luthiers and Manufacturers of France” label of manufacturing quality from the French Instrument Makers Association (CSFI). In addition, holders of this label affirm their commitment against counterfeiting, illegal trade in protected species, and deforestation.
2022 is also an anniversary year. Camac Harps is celebrating fifty years of passion à la française.