Harp at Birmingham


Welcome to the Harp Department at Birmingham Conservatoire! Eleanor is the Principal Tutor, Katherine Thomas runs the Orchestral Studies and Pedagogy courses, as well as a variety of mini-courses. Catrin Finch is our International Chair and comes to give two specialist masterclasses, workshops or individual lessons every term. Rita Schindler is our Assistant Harp Tutor, delivering Harp Hive seminars preparing orchestral parts with students. Vera Khait is looking after the future generation in her capacity as Harp Tutor for the Junior Department. We have a thriving team of tutors here and if you would like to find out more about the harp department, email Eleanor at any time: Eleanor.Turner@bcu.ac.uk


News: The Etude Strings Prize was won by Georgina Taylor and the Henriette Renie Harp Prize was also won by Georgina Taylor, with Emily Harris as Runner Up. Thanks to The Harp Studio for sponsoring the Runner Up Prize of a £25 music voucher. Matthew Sharp was an inspiring adjudicator, with a clear judging criteria and excellent motivational words of encouragement!

On Monday 15th May 2017 there will be another fantastic London showcase concert at Holywell Music, 58 Hopton Street, to look forward to.  Thank you to Holywell for hosting this event each year and for all their hospitality (in 2016 this was a two day special as we also joined forces with Trinity Laban College harpists and their professor Gabriella Dall'Olio, together with visiting tutor Elena Manuela Cosentino.)

On Tuesday 16th May 2017 Holywell Music (London, 58 Hopton Street, near Tate Modern) will once again host a joint workshop, this time with Imogen Barford of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. From 12.30pm you can come along to meet Eleanor Turner, try the Delta Harp and chat about Birmingham Conservatoire's upcoming plans. 1.30pm to 5pm you can spectate a masterclass where Eleanor Turner will coach three students from Guildhall and Imogen Barford will coach three of the Birmingham Conservatoire students. The shop and showcase are also open for trying harps and buying music and accessories and we are very grateful to Holywell for the use of this amazing space. WE WILL ALSO BE HAVING A FUN ENSEMBLE SESSION! As well as the masterclass, ANYONE can join in (you may have to share a harp!) Harriet Adie's fantastic arrangement of Herold's 'Clog Dance' - email Eleanor.Turner@bcu.ac.uk if you wish to receive a part in advance - or just turn up to play. 5-5.30pm.

30 May 2017 Amanda Whiting will visit to give a jazz workshop for the Birmingham Conservatoire students only.

1 June 2017 (afternoon classes, 7pm concert) is our new CONTEMPORARY HARP DAY at Parkside, Birmingham City University (next to Thinktank) featuring lots of new technology and brilliant modern music. Catrin Finch will be there for coaching and Catrin and Ellie are creating a piece especially for the occasion. YOU can join us to TAKE PART in a workshop with Rita Schindler (time and venue tbc, afternoon) and even to join in the 7pm evening performance in Studio A, with Stockhausen's Right Durations (1968) from 'From the Seven Days' (no musical notation, just the text below)

“Richtige Dauern” (“Right Durations”):

Play a sound Play it for so long until you feel that you should stop

Again play a sound Play it for so long until you feel that you should stop

and so on

Stop when you feel that you should stop

But whether you play or stop: keep listening to the others

At best play when people are listening

Do not rehearse

Highlights from the past year include a lecture-recital by Robin Ward, Brandee Younger (New York harpist) jazz workshop with excellent students Aram Bahmaie (bass) and Gwilym Jones (drums) on rhythm section, Alexander Rider's subtle and virtuosic performance and lecture about the life and work of Micheline Kahn and other French musicians and 'Transforming Tradition' with Eleanor Turner and Catrin Finch.

Previous guest artists: Remy van Kesteren, Mared Emlyn, coaching from Laurence Kempton.