Composers And Arrangers

Valerie Aldrich-Smith was born in Powys, Wales. She received a B.Mus. from Birmingham University and completed her harp studies with Ann Griffiths at the Welsh College of Music and Drama gaining the Advanced Diploma for performance. Currently, she is principal harpist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a post she has held for over twenty years, as well as a regular tutor for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the University of Wales, Cardiff.


Elsa Garcia de Andrés' musical journey began at the age of six, when she began violin lessons in Barcelona, her hometown. Just a few years later, she fell in love with the sound of the harp and its endless musical possibilities, deciding to learn this additional instrument.

She began her bachelor’s degree at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona with Magdalena Barrera, principal harpist of the OBC (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra of Catalonia). She completed her bachelor studies at the Institut Royal Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (Namur, Belgium) with Sophie Hallynck, where she obtained her degree with Grande distinction. In 2018 she moved to Oslo to study at the Norwegian Academy of Music with the renowned French harpist, Isabelle Perrin.

It was in Oslo that her interest in female composers began to grow and with it the wish to share their often lesser-known music. While researching pieces originally written for harp, she discovered many brilliant compositions for other instruments and decided to transcribe them for two harps. With these transcriptions, she succeeds in bringing out the voice of the composer through the many different colors of the harp, while extending the repertoire of her instrument with beautiful music undoubtedly deserving of our recognition.


Elinor Bennett is a highly acclaimed international concert harpist, rooted in the traditional music, language and culture of Wales. She has always sung and played the national music of Wales – from the early and traditional songs and harp repertoire, to the new music of  living composers – in her concerts, recordings and  music festivals - Elinor became prominent from an early age by winning many prizes in the National Eisteddfodau. Her first degree was in Law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, though her career changed course on winning a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Elinor has performed with all the major British orchestras, with some of the world’s finest conductors and composers, including Benjamin Britten. She regularly appears on radio and TV, and has made many recordings, ranging from a definitive selection of 20th Century harp classics to collections of traditional music and Welsh folk songs on the Triple Harp. She was awarded a Churchill Scholarship to travel to Australia to study Music Therapy and on her return was instrumental in promoting its use for people and children with intellectual disabilities.

Many leading composers have written works for Elinor and amongst her ex-pupils are distinguished harpists including Catrin Finch and Sioned Wiliams. She directed harp studies at Bangor University, has been Visiting Professor of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, London, and has been awarded many Honorary Fellowships in the UK as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Music by the University of Wales. 

Elinor is the Director of the Wales International Harp Festival in Caernarfon, and has been Special Guest at Harp Festivals and competitions in many countries, as well as Artistic Director of the Harp Festival in Bangkok in 2008 and 2012. She now wishes to dedicate more time to performing Welsh traditional music, sharing the love of this rich inheritance with people from other cultures.


Tony Bremner was born in Sydney in 1939, studied piano at the NSW Conservatorium and moved to London in 1961. In 1968 he joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera chorus as a tenor and remained there for ten years, until he changed to counter-tenor, when his first audition, at Covent Garden, landed him the job of understudy to James Bowman. In 2000 he won the Gregynog Composer of the Year prize with his Three Divine Poems of John Donne for chorus and piano. He has also conducted new recordings of classic film scores, including Lawrence of Arabia and The Big Country with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons with the Australian Philharmonic. His three films scores and In the Shrubbery have been released.


Glenda Clwyd was born in Bagillt in North Wales, began playing the harp at the age of ten and achieved many successes at the Urdd and National Eisteddfodau during her teens. In her early professional years she played in orchestral concerts and played in a pop band, composing a number of their songs. She went on to study harp and performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Ann Griffiths and during this time received the prestigious Pernod award in recognition of her work as an ambassador of the harp.
Throughout her career as a professional harpist she has performed for royalty, appeared on TV and radio, played at most major UK concert venues alongside choirs and soloists and performed in touring shows and in symphony orchestras.


The French harpist Delphine Constantin-Reznik has established herself worldwide as a passionate advocate of her instrument. In addition to performing a wide range of the standard repertoire, the critically-acclaimed harpist frequently moves away from the traditional route as she searches for hidden gems in the broader harp repertoire. She works closely with the leading living composers of our time, always seeking to position the harp within new constellations.

Constantin-Reznik´s passion for pursuing new repertoire for the harp has resulted in the unexpected discovery of the works of Romantic harp virtuoso and prolific composer Anton Edvard Pratté (1796-1875), who, coincidentally,  lived in the very same region and town as herself: Norrköping, Eastern Sweden.

Her ongoing research surrounding Pratté´s works has recently led her to perform his harp concerto, chamber music and solo works - the first performances since the composer´s death.

To celebrate the revival of his music after so many years, Constantin-Reznik founded the International Pratté Harp Festival and Competition, Norrköping, for which she serves as Artistic Director.


Sally Course studied piano and harp at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and went on to work as a free-lance orchestral player in London and the Home Counties. She has also enjoyed a career teaching piano and harp and has made numerous arrangements for her pupils to play with their friends and family.


Eric Crees was born in London and studied at the University of Surrey and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He soon joined the London Symphony Orchestra where he spent twenty-seven years; in 2000 he was appointed Principal Trombone at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. As director of London Symphony Orchestra Brass for many years he regularly conducted them at the Barbican Centre and internationally.  He has made five CDs with the ensemble: two originally for Collins Classics, American Brass and Cathedral Brass, featuring many of his arrangements. Since joining Covent Garden, he has directed the Royal Opera House Brass Soloists in concert at the Floral Hall to great critical success in what promises to be a continuing series: to date, the ensemble has completed three live recordings.

He has also written acclaimed arrangements for The London Trombone Sound and The London Horn Sound and has worked with many of the world’s most distinguished ensembles and brass bands. His symphonic version of Bernstein’s Suite from West Side Story has been commercially recorded four times. Recent original compositions include Silk Street Stomp (for Big Band),Two Antiphonal Fanfares,  Frighteners’ Gallop (for eight horns),  Orage (for sixteen trombones), Processional for PJ (for large brass ensemble),  The Birth of Conchobar (for symphonic brass and percussion),  Three Sketches from Rackham (for flute and harp), Flourish (for solo trombone) and Carillons (for six harps). Eric is also an internationally renowned teacher and is Professor of Trombone, B.Mus. course tutor, Conductor of Wind, Brass and Percussion, and arranging and composing lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Branka Pajovics (formally Crowder) was born in Montenegro and grew up in Belgrade, Serbia, where she began studying the harp from an early age. During and after her studies she was already working professionally as the principal harpist of the National Opera and Ballet Orchestra of Novi Sad and Belgrade. Branka has given numerous solo performances, as well as live and recorded appearances for Serbian Radio and Television. A graduate of the Academy of Music in Belgrade where she studied with Ljiljana Nestorovska and Milica Baric, Branka continued her studies with Caryl Thomas at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating with distinction. Branka's own arrangements of traditional Balkan music won her the 3rd prize at the International Folk Harp Competition in Caernarfon, Wales. This led to performances at the Serbian Harp Festival in Belgrade and the European Harp Symposium in Cardiff. Due to popular demand Branka is currently arranging and promoting these enchanting and captivating melodies for the harp.


Born in Cardiff, Einion Dafydd studied music at Bangor University and Mills College (California) before becoming established as a freelance musician in north Wales.    As co-director of the William Mathias Schools Service Youth Jazz Band, one sees his penchant for jazz which pervades much of his music.  This is evident in works such as the big band suite Hei! Ferchetan and the cerdd dant setting Y Clwb Jazz.  He is also influenced and inspired by Welsh folk songs.  Many of his harmonic traits surface in the many arrangements for choir, traits which suggest a liking for the music of Weil and Milhaud.


Gabriella Dall'Olio was born in Bologna, Italy. She has inspired audiences throughout Europe and the Middle East with solo recitals and chamber music concerts for the past three decades. After training in Italy and France with world renowned professors and pedagogues Pierre Jamet, Fabrice Pierre, Jacqueline Borot, Giselle Herbert and Anna Loro, Gabriella has recorded for international radio and television corporations, including the BBC, Radio France, RAI, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Radio Suisse. She has appeared regularly with Hebrides, Red Note, Uroboros, Gruppo Musica Insieme diCremona, Wiener Virtuosen and with the German ensemble Kontraste, playing hundreds of premieres and works by twentieth-century and contemporary composers.            

Her recordings have received critical acclaim and include solo CDs with Claves, EM, Naxos, AVS, Toccata Next, Koch, Stradivarius, Dal Segno, Delphian and Ambitus. Gabriella settled in London in 1995. Orchestras she worked with include the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; abroad she has played regularly with Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Berliner Philharmonikern and Wiener Philharmonikern, Symphonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, SWR Symphonie Orchester and countless others, under the batons of the mighty and great conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons,  Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Mazel, Sergei Osawa, Bernard Haitink and countless others.

Gabriella has also enjoyed working also in the pop world with Tina Turner, Sting, Phil Collins, UK champion Beatboxer FaithSFX, Kazabian, Elton John and the Petshopboys, and recording for film tracks and jingles, and also in community, outreach’s and educational projects.

Alongside her busy performing career, Gabriella is deeply committed to teaching and developing the careers of young harpists: she works with passion and dedication at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK, where she is Head of Harp Studies since her appointment in 2005; her students cover important posts as teachers and performers around the world, and she has received a Professorship in 2018 in recognition of her achievements.


Haldon Evans was formerly Lecturer in Music at Swansea College, and Head of Faculty at QEHS Carmarthen.  He is now a busy freelance composer, arranger and trumpeter in the South Wales area. A graduate of University College, Cardiff, he studied postgraduate composition with Alun Hoddinott, gaining an M.Mus. Detailed research into the compositional techniques of Béla Bartok prompted him to explore the possibilities inherent in Welsh folk music. This has remained central to his output as both composer and arranger.


Helen Field was born in North Wales, studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and won many awards including the Young Welsh Singer of the Year and the Royal Society of Arts Scholarships. She began her career as a BBC and Purcell Room young recitalist and as a principal artist with Welsh National Opera in roles such as Vixen, Jenufa, Tatyana, Desdemona, Mimi and Madame Butterfly. She went on to sing roles including Donna Anna, Marguerite, Jennifer (Midsummer Marriage) and Daphne in all the major British Opera Houses.

She created the role of Jo-Anne in Tippett’s “New Year” and Birtwistle`s “The Second Mrs Kong” for the Glyndebourne Festival and was “Inez de Castro” in James Macmillan`s first opera.

Her international career has taken her to many of the world`s leading opera houses including Gilda at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, Madame Butterfly at the Deutsch Oper and the Governess (The Turn of the Screw) throughout Germany and Holland. She was invited to perform the role of Salome at The Royal Opera House, London, in Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Canada as well other venues.

The Laurence Olivier Awards nominated her as “the most outstanding newcomer to opera” and “outstanding achievement of the year in the UK”.

On the concert platform she has sung with all the major orchestras in the country, including a performance of Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” at the London Proms. Her many concerts abroad include Mahler’s Fourth Symphony at the opening of the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with Kurt Masur and the “Four Last Songs” under Gunther Wand in Hamburg .

Her many recordings include “A Village Romeo and Juliet” and “Osud” with Sir Charles Mackerras, Baroque Arias with the Philharmonia Orchestra, “Hiawatha” with Bryn Terfel and Rossini`s “Stabat Mater” with Sir Richard Hickox.


Elsa Garcia de Andrés' musical journey began at the age of six, when she began violin lessons in Barcelona, her hometown. Just a few years later, she fell in love with the sound of the harp and its endless musical possibilities, deciding to learn this additional instrument.

She began her bachelor’s degree at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona with Magdalena Barrera, principal harpist of the OBC (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra of Catalonia). She completed her bachelor studies at the Institut Royal Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (Namur, Belgium) with Sophie Hallynck, where she obtained her degree with Grande distinction. In 2018 she moved to Oslo to study at the Norwegian Academy of Music with the renowned French harpist, Isabelle Perrin.


Gareth Glyn was born in Machynlleth in 1951, and is a music graduate of Merton College, Oxford. He began composing while still at school in Mold, Flintshire, and his works were first broadcast by the BBC while he was still at University. Gareth's compositions have been commissioned and played by eminent orchestras, including the LSO, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Strasbourg Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, I Musici de Montréal and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. His output includes orchestral, chamber, solo instrumental and vocal works, musicals, songs and song-cycles for professionals, amateurs and children, music for brass band and large-scale works for orchestra, narrators, actors and audience-participation. His work is widely published (Spartan, Gwynn, Curiad, Adlais, Chanterelle, Alaw) and recorded (principally on ASV/Universal, Sain, Laserlight). Gareth Glyn received an Honorary Fellowship from Bangor University, and the rank of Honorary Druid in the National Eisteddfod’s Gorsedd of Bards, for his services to music in Wales, a country whose history, song tradition, language and landscape inform his work. Gareth lives in Bodffordd, Anglesey, with his wife Eleri Cwyfan; he has two grown-up sons, Peredur and Seiriol.


Gillian Green is from North Wales and was one of the first music students to enter Chetham's School of Music, Manchester and furthered her music studies at University College, Cardiff. In addition to performing, she has tutored many promising young harpists and many of her students have been awarded top prizes at national music festivals. Gill is a co-director of Telynau Morgannwg.


Meinir Heulyn is one of Wales' most proficient and versatile harpists, equally at home on the international concert platform as well as contributing to the musical scene in Wales. She was brought up in Ceredigion and steeped in Welsh tradition before graduating from the University of Wales College, Cardiff, where her harp teacher was Ann Griffiths. She furthered her studies at the Conservatorio di Musica, Genova with Gianuzzi, a pupil of Maria Grossi.

After a year as Principal Harpist for the BBC Training Orchestra she was appointed Principal Harpist of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, a position she fulfilled and enjoyed for thirty years.Highlights of that period include numerous Wagner Ring Cycles culminating in performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; recordings of Wagner's Parsifal, and Tristan und Isolde conducted by Reginald Goodall; performances and a DVD recording of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Pierre Boulez at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet; numerous recordings with Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Geraint Evans, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Carlo Bergonzi; performances of Strauss operas, including Elektra, Die Frau Ohne Shatten, Salome and Ariadne and a cycle of Janáček operas conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong and Sir Charles Mackerras.

On leaving Welsh National Opera Meinir was invited to appear with many major orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, Gothenburg Opera and The Oslo Philharmonic. Other international soloists with whom she has worked include José Carreras, Renée Fleming, Rebecca Evans, Sumi Jo, Jessye Norman and Gwyneth Jones.

As a soloist she has appeared at numerous music clubs and festivals, including the Festival Interceltique de Lorient en Bretagne, the Fishguard Festival and the London Music Festival. State occasions where she has performed include the opening ceremony of the National Assembly of Wales and the Second Severn Crossing. She has been involved as a harpist for Welsh Assembly promotional tours to New York, Hong Kong and Dubai. For Sain Records she has recorded three Duo Harp CD's with Elinor Bennett, one solo CD Ar Lan y Môr, and one Flute and Harp CD, Sain y Werin (with flautist Katie Thomas), featuring Welsh traditional music.

Meinir is recognized as one of Wales' foremost harp teachers and was Head of the Harp Department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama until 2011. She is co-founder and co-director of both Coleg Telyn Cymru (Welsh Harp College), and Telynau Morgannwg (Glamorgan Harp Guild), responsible for organizing international harp courses in Wales. Her latest venture has been to establish the Cardigan Castle Harp School for young harpists in West Wales, meeting every fortnight at the beautifully and recently renovated Cardigan Castle, home of the first Eisteddfod in Wales in 1176. Her involvement in teaching is based on her passionate aim to raise the standard of harp playing in Wales.

She began writing her own arrangements of traditional songs from a very early age. Inspired by her work with young people, she and her husband, Brian Raby, established Alaw Music Publishing ( which has published over fifty of Meinir's books, many appearing on the ABRSM and Trinity examination syllabi.  They are proving to be an invaluable addition to any harpist's library, many becoming international best sellers, promoting Welsh music worldwide.


Jeffrey Howard was born in Cardiff and studied at the University of Wales College, Cardiff, and the Royal Academy of Music, London, specializing in organ performance and Church Music.  Since leaving college, Jeffrey has pursued a free-lance career as organist, pianist, singer, coach and conductor.  He has accompanied singers from several of the world’s leading opera houses, including Bryn Terfel, Sir Willard White, Jason Howard and Rebecca Evans and as a choral accompanist has worked with many mixed and male choirs, including the BBC Welsh Chorus, the Swansea Bach Choir and as arranger and tutor for the National Youth Choir of Wales. Jeffrey has performed in concert halls and cathedrals throughout the United Kingdom and Europe  and has worked with many orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Royal Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.


Delyth Jenkins was brought up on the border between Wales and England: her family roots firmly fixed in Montgomeryshire while living just over the border in Shropshire. She came to south Wales to go to university; she stayed, and it was there that her two daughters were born. She only took up the harp in her early twenties, but since then she has come to be regarded as “one of the leading exponents of the Celtic harp” (Dirty Linen). Delyth started her career with the Swansea-based folk group Cromlech, moving on to be one of the founding members of the pioneering instrumental trio Aberjaber, a group that cherished the traditions of Wales while moving that tradition forward in new and exciting ways She also has a well-established solo career spanning many years, and has toured extensively in many countries in Europe, America, as well as at home in Wales.


Skaila Kanga was born in India and came to live in England in 1950. She studied piano and singing from an early age at the Royal Academy of Music and at 17 years began to study the harp with Tina Bonifacio. She quickly became established in London working with all the major London orchestras under many great conductors such as Kempe, Maazel, Mehta, Monteux, Guilini, Abbado and Boulez.  Skaila is also renowned for her long extensive career in both classical and pop records, television and her amazing list of nearly 500 film soundtrack credits, including Harry Potter, Shrek and James Bond.  She has recorded numerous albums for over the years, performing with the likes of  Elton John, Paul McCartney, Sting, Robbie Williams, James Galway, Joni Mitchell, Michel Legrand, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Pat Metheny, Frank Sinatra, Joan Sutherland, Pavarotti, Katherine Jenkins and many more.

For 25 years Skaila was the solo harpist with the Nash Ensemble, with whom she gave over thirty premieres and toured worldwide.  She has been the Principal Harp of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields since 1971 and more recently the London Mozart Players.  Her chamber music performances and records have received much critical acclaim over the years. For over twenty years Skaila and Tommy Reilly, virtuoso harmonica player, performed and recorded many works for their unique duo.  Skaila’s solo recordings are available on the Chandos, Hyperion, Naxos and ASV labels.

In 2003, Skaila, who was Head of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music from 1999-2010, was awarded Professorship of the University of London. Skaila is regularly invited to sit on juries of international harp competitions and has given lecture-recitals and masterclasses in Russia, Europe and across America.   She was guest presenter at the World Harp Congress in Dublin in 2005, gave a masterclass at the European Harp Symposium in Lyon and has twice been a guest lecturer at the American Harp Society’s Annual Conference and featured concert artist at the USA International Harp Competition.  She gave a masterclass at the European Harp Symposium in Cardiff in July 2007, another at the Camac showrooms in May 2007 and has taught regularly as a guest professor at the Paris Conservatoire and the Amsterdam Conservatory since 2008 . In 2006 she co-founded the renowned summer International Harp Academy ‘HarpMasters’ with Milda Agazarian.Having completed its 6th year, it has become one of the most sought after harp courses, inviting a wide array of harp celebrities to give recitals, workshops and lectures. Skaila was appointed the distinguished title of Professor Emerita of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music in 2010.

Skaila has received numerous awards for her contribution to the promotion of the harp, worldwide. Parallel to her performing and teaching career, Skaila is a prolific composer and arranger. She has, so far published 18 books of harp music of all levels from beginners to advanced works many of which are on the ABRSM exam syllabus and performed worldwide. She has collaborated with a generation of composers in their harp works and has commissioned over 19 new works for her students and for the Academy Harp Ensemble which she founded in 1993.

Skaila works closely as Harp Consultant to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, having recently worked on a new exam syllabus, producing a new sight- reading book and a highly successful series of children’s books. Her latest composition is ‘Towards the Light’, a collection of three concert pieces for solo harp. Her highly popular arrangement of Ravel’s Sonatine for flute, viola and harp is due for publication in 2011.

Skaila is always in constant demand for concerts and recordings for films, albums and television. She recently performed in the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables at the 02 Arena, Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert hall , is a regular member in the BBC TV Songs of Praise Orchestra, Children in Need’s Charity Gala for BBC TV and is now performing in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Production of Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.  Skaila was featured soloist in the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong’s opening concert of the season ‘Harp Extravaganza’ in Bach’s concerto for 4 harps BWV 1065.  In 2011 she gave masterclasses in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London and Switzerland. Skaila’s articles have appeared in the Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, WHC’s Review, American Harp Society Journal, Harp Column, Harp Today and the UK Harp Association magazine. Skaila was honoured to be featured in the Musicians’ Union magazine’s ‘Hall of Fame’ article in March 2010.


Geraint Lewis was born in Cardiff in 1958 and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. From 1988 until 2001 he was Artistic Director at Nimbus Records and The Nimbus Foundation, was a member of The Arts Council of Wales and its Music Chairman from 1996 until April 2002 and remains a consultant to the restructured Council. From 1992 he has was also Artistic Director of the North Wales International Music Festival at St. Asaph Cathedral in succession to William Mathias. A frequent broadcaster on radio and television, Lewis has also written and lectured extensively on the music of Sir Michael Tippett, whose 80th birthday Tribute he edited in 1985. 

As a composer he has written in many genres and was taught by Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Gerald Hendrie. In 1999 he wrote Afallon for Welsh National Opera to open The National Assembly for Wales and in 2000 composed his first opera, Culhwch ac Olwen, as a Millennium Festival Wales commission for the Criccieth Festival. He is currently writing a Piano Quintet inspired by David Hockney for PM Music Ensemble and a work in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at the request of Prince Charles for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Recent works include commissions for the Three Choirs, Presteigne and Swansea Festivals, two major sacred works for churches in the USA and a choral and orchestral work to be premiered in Munich.


Trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos is a prize winner of the II Christian Lindberg International Solo Competition held in Valencia, Spain, in April 2008. He has won numerous other competitions and awards including the International Trombone Festivals’ Robert Marsteller/Conn-Selmer, Solo, and Larry Wiehe competitions, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition.  In 2004, at the age of 19, he performed as a soloist at the Walt Disney Hall as the Grand Prize Winner of the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition, judged by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A native of Athens, Greece, Mr. Liarmakopoulos has performed internationally with orchestras such as the San Francisco Marin Symphony, Santa Cruz County Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the European Union Youth Orchestra. In 2005 he was a member of the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Founder of the harp-trombone duet “hArT”, he has performed in prestigious venues in US and Europe. Achilles Liarmakopoulos is a strong supporter of new music and new works for trombone and has premiered many pieces from new composers who have written specifically for him. As soloist he is dedicated to an expanding, attractive repertoire of new pieces and important works revived from archive as well as standard repertoire.


Alison Martin began playing the harp at Malvern Girls' College, and later studied both piano accompaniment and harp. She has been principal harp with the orchestra of English National Opera since 1984, and guest principal at Sydney Opera House as well as most London orchestras. She began arranging while she was a student playing background music (to entertain herself as much as anyone else) with repertoire ranging from Stevie Wonder to Mozart.


John Marson was born in 1932. He studied the harp with Marie Goossens at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 1958, while still a student, began his professional career with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. A week after leaving college he joined the London Symphony Orchestra for two years before embarking on two decades of freelance work, where he played solos, chamber music and concerti, worked with all the London orchestras and spent much time in recording studios. He played in many outstanding feature films including the original 'Star Wars', and with The Beatles, including the iconic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band . In 1982 he was appointed Principal Harp of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and subsequently resumed his freelance career while increasingly engaging in composition, both for the harp and for other instruments andvoice. He played for many West End and National Theatre productions including over three years as harpist in Lloyd Webber's 'Aspects of Love'.

The roll call of musicians with whom John has worked include The Beatles, Richard Rodney Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, John Dankworth, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Liberace, Martha Graham, Hans Werner Henze, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Zoltan Kodaly, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Pierre Monteux, Jessye Norman, Laurence Olivier, Luciano Pavarotti, Gennadi Rozhdestvenski, Frank Sinatra, George Solti, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, George Szell, William Walton, John Williams, Stevie Wonder and countless others.

In 1964 John was one of the two founders of the United Kingdom Harp Association, edited its magazines for many years and became President of the Association in January 2005. Two years before his death, John Marson wrote The Book of the Harp (2005), a charming ragbag of little known facts, serious scholarship, pleasant anecdotes, and witty, perceptive observation. He also wrote, early in his career, The Complete Guide to Harp Glissandi, which was a study analysing all 2,187 possible pedal settings.

At his death in 2007 his music manuscripts and personal papers were donated to the International Harp Archives at Brigham Young University, USA. The Marson archive includes musical manuscripts, concert programs, press clippings, and extensive correspondence. In addition to his personal papers, John donated his private collection of scores and sound recordings of harp music, totalling more than 1,000 items.


Marcela Méndez has developed a multifaceted career that places her as one of the most prominent Argentine harpists of her generation. In Latin America, North America and Europe she has performed in recitals, concerts, festivals and masterclasses, taught on courses and many conferences; she has been a part of numerous artistic projects in her country and abroad.

As a soloist with a significant Argentinian repertoire for pedal harp she has recorded four albums; is the author of several research projects about the harp in Argentina and other subjects related to music history; and is an arranger of music for the harp. Prior to this volume, her publications include transcriptions of the Goldberg Variations for two harps and the Concerto for Two Harps BWV 1060 in C Minor by J.S. Bach.

Since 2014 she has pursued a specialization in Baroque performance of the Italian “arpa doppia”, working privately with Chiara Granata; in 2015 and 2016 she attended Maria Galassi's summer course in Chiari (Italy).

Marcela speaks fluent English and Italian and in 1991 graduated as a French teacher; in 2013 she obtained a degree in Educational Management from the Universidad Catolica Argentina. She enjoys giving of her wide experience to future generations: in 2019 she founded the association “Amigos del Arpa” and the International Harp Academy of Argentina.

She is a member of the board of directors of the World Harp Congress.

Marcela Méndez is Principal Harp with the Symphony Orchestras of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe and teaches at the Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos. In 2004 she founded the harp class at the “Escuela de Niños 9901” of Santa Fe. She is part of the 2020 Cohort of the Global Leaders Program, Music for Social Change/Harvard University.


Coline-Marie Orliac, from France, is a prize winner in several international harp competitions including the bronze medal and the Mario Falcao prize in the 7th USA International Harp Competition (2007), the International Harp Competition of the Cité des Arts of Paris, the Vera Dulova Harp Competition (Moscow), and the 2005 UFAM International Harp Competition (France). As a member of the Dolce Suono Chamber Society she performs with musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and with trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos she formed the duo “hArT”, which regularly performs throughout Europe and USA. In 2006 Ms. Orliac was invited by Claudio Abbado to tour Europe with the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester. She has also performed with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Nice, and at the Spivakov Festival in Moscow. In July 2009 she will be a harpist of the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Simon Rattle, at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, France. Ms. Orliac entered The Curtis Institute of Music in 2006 and prior to this she studied at the Nice Conservatoire, receiving two diplomas of musical studies and first prizes in harp and piano. She has also studied with Judith Liber, former principal harp of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Isabelle Moretti from the Paris Conservatoire; Marie-Pierre Langlamet, principal harp of the Berlin Philharmonic; and Elisabeth Fontan-Binoche. After her first recital at the age of seventeen, Isabelle Perrin studied for three years at the Juilliard School of New York before joining the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Since 1990, she has been co-principal harpist with the Orchestre National de France.


From a very young age, Isabelle Perrin has been passionate about the harp.  She began her training at the Conservatoire National de Région de Nice (she gave her first public recital at the age of seventeen), then continued her studies at the Juillliard School of Music in New York before joining the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and later on the Orchestre National de France as co-principal harpist during 25 years.

An international soloist, Isabelle Perrin is regularly invited to play with prestigious ensembles such as the Northwest Sinfonietta (USA), the Orchestre Symphonique d’Oshawa-Durham (Canada), the Coastal Symphony of Georgia (USA), the National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), the BBC Wales Orchestra (Wales), the Orchestre Symphonique de Bruxelles (Belgium), the Darwin Symphony Orchestra (Australia), the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), the Korean Chamber Orchestra (South Korea), the Xiamen Symphony Orchestra (China), as well as numerous French orchestras, including the Orchestre national de France, the Orchestre national d’Ile-de-France, the Orchestre national de Lille, the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire, the Orchestre national de Lorraine…

Her warm personality, as well as the deep relationship she has created with her instrument, has incited several composers to create music with her in mind. Bernard Andrès has dedicated his Danses d’Erzulie for harp, string orchestra and percussion to her.  This piece was world premiered in Cincinnati, USA and the European Premiere was given in Amsterdam a year later. In 2008, Isabelle Perrin explored for the first time the “Blue Harp” (an electronic harp associated with a computer) in Katowice, Poland, with the Concertino “South Shore” for Blue Harp and Orchestra written especially for her by Elzbieta Sikora and performed in different places, among them Taïwan.

Isabelle has recorded a number of CDs, including one highlighting the works of Bernard Andrès, original works by Arnold Bax for flute, viola and harp, a world premiere recording on a single action harp of F.A. Boieldieu’s works, including the Sonata and the famous Concerto in C Major as well as one of Pierick Houdy’s pieces for harp and miscellaneous instruments, among them the “Concerto Français” which he dedicated to her. She has also recorded a Super Audio CD of favorite repertoire pieces; a recital of the most famous French impressionist works for harp and a second Bernard Andrès CD with Mexican harpist Baltazar Juarez as well as a CD of both Johann Sebastian and Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach.

In addition to her career as a soloist, Isabelle Perrin is deeply attached to the transmission of her knowledge.  As the youngest recipient of the French Certificate of Aptitude in harp pedagogy (received at the age of seventeen), she has been harp professor at the Conservatoire national de region in Nantes, France, the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in 15 years and is now Harp Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo (Norway) as well as Head of the Strings Department.  Her fervor and enthusiasm have lead her to give master classes throughout Europe, Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Mexico…  Isabelle Perrin is regularly invited as a guest professor by universally renowned institutions such as Indiana University (Bloomington, USA), the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Juilliard School (New York), the Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia). In 2013-2014 she has been “Visiting Professor” at the Music Academy in Krakow (Poland) pour and the Royal Academy of Music (London) where she has been permanently named “Visiting Professor” as well as Honorary Associate. Isabelle has also started a series of harp publications, originals or adaptations under the label Alaw.

This attachment to teaching as well as her desire to communicate with audiences has lead her to travel the world giving concerts in the hopes of bringing the harp to the general public.  In August of 2004, Isabelle Perrin was the organizing president and artistic director of the 6th European Harp Symposium in Lyon, France.  Her engagement in the worldwide harp community continues today; Isabelle Perrin is now the new Artistic Director of the World Harp Congress, which organizes an international harp festival every three years in a different country, the last one held in July 2014 in Sydney (Australia) and the next one being in Hong Kong in 2017.

In recognition of her exemplary career and her musical commitment, Isabelle Perrin was decorated by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and admitted to the Knighthood of the Order of Arts and Letters.


Michael Pollock won a Demyship to read music at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then gained a postgraduate degree in composition under Anthony Milner at the Royal College of Music while studying piano accompaniment with Roger Vignoles. The many singers whom he has accompanied include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (on tour to the Far East as well as in France, Belgium, Norway, and at the 50th Israel Festival in Jerusalem) and Bryn Terfel (in the UK, Norway, Asia and Australia, as well as in a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw); he has also appeared with Dame Anne Evans, Gwyn Hughes Jones, Katarina Karnéus, Christopher Maltman, Dennis O’Neill, Adrian Thompson and Sir Willard White. On three occasions he acted as official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
Michael’s CDs with singers include songs by Stanford and Vaughan Williams (with Anthony Michaels-Moore) and recital discs of Italian songs (with Rebecca Evans, and Nuccia Focile). He also enjoys collaborating with instrumentalists and he has recorded both of Brahms’s clarinet sonatas, together with the sonata by Nino Rota (with Leslie Craven). He is also much in demand as a coach and teacher at various conservatoires and opera companies, but still finds time to make numerous arrangements.

A director of Alaw, Brian Raby studied with the iconic Denis Wick, was principal trombone with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera for over twenty years and was Musical Director of the Welsh Brass Consort. From 1994 until 2006 he was a member of the trombone section of the world-class London Philharmonic Orchestra, playing on countless recordings and films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He left the LPO in 2006 to concentrate on freelancing, teaching, writing and music publishing.

As a freelancer Brian has worked extensively with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, playing the bass trumpet in numerous cycles of Wagner’s Ring as well as other operas. He has held teaching posts at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal College of Music, University College Cardiff and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Brian has coached at numerous youth orchestra courses, including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He is a prolific arranger for brass and his work has received the highest critical acclaim.


Ailie Robertson is one of Scotland's leading harpists. A five-time National Mod Gold Medalist and a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2008 finalist, Ailie also won first prize at the inaugural London Harp Competition, was judged best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival and won the St Albans New Roots award. She has represented Commun na Clarsach for Scotland at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland and played at two World Harp Congresses. With a scholarship from the English Speaking Union in recognition of her 'virtuosic harp playing', she gained a 1st-class MA in Irish Music Performance course from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. An experienced teacher, she is committed to promoting Scottish music and culture across the world.


Caryl Roese studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and at the University of Wales, Cardiff, where she gained a M.Ed. Degree. With much world-wide travel and teaching experience, Mrs. Roese was the head of music at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), UK, where she specialised in training students to become music teachers in both Primary and Secondary schools. Caryl's main concern has always been to broaden children’s musical minds at an early age and to give every child the opportunity of making music with as much fun as possible.


Gwen Màiri Sinclair grew up in St. Andrews where she started clàrsach lessons in school with Janet Annand.  Having taken up pedal harp she moved to Glasgow in 1999 to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with Karen Vaughan (co-principal harp, LSO) and also had clàrsach lessons with Karen Marshalsay. Since graduating with a BA (hons) and PGDipMus (performance), Gwen has been enjoying a busy and varied freelance career playing with professional orchestras as well as with artists such as Katherine Jenkins and Kanye West. She also spent a summer as resident harpist and teacher at the Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre, Bangkok and continues to have many pupils back home in Glasgow.


Robert Swain was born in Cardiff in 1947. He studied composition with Alun Hoddinott and analysis of 20th century music with Arnold Whittall at University College of Wales, Cardiff. He held a number of teaching and lecturing posts during his career and was appointed HM Inspector for Education and Training (Wales) in 1989. Although most of his professional life was been involved with music in education, he was always active as an experienced and talented composer, arranger and performer. Commissions received over the last three decades of his life included a BBC European Music Year Commission, performed at the BBC Wales St.David's Festival, the Swansea Festival, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival as well as at most London Venues. Artists performing his works include the Dartington and Endellion String Quartets, The Fires of London (under Peter Maxwell Davies), the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, the London 20th Century Ensemble and the Welsh Brass Consort. Almost all the world premieres were broadcast by BBC Radio 3.


Katey Thomas is a freelance flautist. She was a member of the D’Oyly Carte and Birmingham Royal Ballet companies and has played regularly with many British orchestras She was a member of Garsington Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour. Katey Thomas and Meinir Heulyn formed the flute and harp duo Cameo Music after a long mutual association with Welsh National Opera. They continue to enjoy arranging and performing together and have published several albums for this classic combination.


Katherine Thomas is a harpist who has performed with artists ranging from Bryn Terfel and Rolando Villazon to Katherine Jenkins and the Manic Street Preachers. She has toured extensively as a soloist and with orchestras such as the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and was appointed Principal Harp of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2020. . She has worked closely with many of the world's finest conductors including Sakari Oramo and Sir Simon Rattle.

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Katherine plays the traditional Celtic and triple harps as well as the pedal harp. Her recordings range from classical music and traditional Welsh music to contemporary recordings, with recent projects including new releases by Sheku Kanneh-Mason and The Four Seasons re-imagined with the CBSO.

As a chamber musician, Katherine is a member of the Enigma Duo with violinist Laurence Kempton. Replacing the harpsichord and used as a continuo instrument in works such as sonatas by Handel and Corelli, the harp then becomes an entire orchestra as in their version of Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances and Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns. Striving to expand the repertoire for their combination, the duo compose and commission new works, challenge the boundaries of the harp’s capabilities - no more so than in the Cesar Franck violin sonata.

As a former student of Meinir Heulyn (who is Co-Director of Alaw), it was always inevitable that Katherine would be drawn into the world of teaching and arranging. Working with Alaw, Katherine has compiled and edited the by now world-renowned four volumes of Scales and Arpeggios for harp students preparing for the Asscociated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations.


Kari Vehmanen was born in 1967 in Helsinki, Finland: he is a bassoonist, music copyist, arranger and amateur harpist. He first played piano and recorder and began to study bassoon at the age of fifteen in the Helsinki Conservatory, later studying at the Sibelius Academy. As a freelance musician, he has played with all the major Finnish symphony orchestras, including the Helsinki Philharmonic  and Finnish National Opera in particular. Vehmanen has arranged many styles of music, from ‘classical’ to modern rock, his largest undertaking to date being Berg's "Lulu Suite" for concert band; his Piazzolla arrangement – “Histoire du Tango” for flute and harp was published 2005. He began to play harp as a pedagogical student at the Sibelius Academy in 1998 under the tutelage of Laura Hynninen, the principal harp of Finnish National Opera. He also collects books on music copying, orchestration and instrumentation, and enjoys reading Shakespeare.


Arne Werkman was born in 1960 in The Hague, Netherlands and grew up in Geneva, Switzerland. He had his  musical  training at the Conservatoire de Genève and read musicology at the Université de Genève. He graduated on “Music in Commercial Advertising” (La musique dans la publicité), further developing his compositional skills with the late Tristan Keuris at the Utrecht Conservatory, Netherlands (1991-1993). His compositions have been written for and performed by many outstanding Dutch musicians such as the violist Emmy Verhey, bassist Quirijn van Regteren Altena & pianist Beijersbergen van Henegouwen, oboist Pauline Oostenrijk and harpist Manja Smits. In 1992 he took the initiative of composing music for the opening ceremony of parliament by H.M. Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.


Edward Witsenburg is the doyen of Dutch harpists. His career extends over more than half a century. He continues the tradition set forth by the celebrated Dutch harpist, Rosa Spier, who was famous for her expressive style of playing. After ten years of playing in various symphony orchestras, he devoted himself to teaching the harp, together with a solo career. He was a member of the teaching staff at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague for forty years. He was appointed professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, a position which he held for fourteen years.

Edward is a busy international teacher and has given numerous master-classes and attended courses in many countries all over the world. He has made numerous recordings on LP and later CD, using instruments from his extensive private collection and was one of the founder members of the Netherlands Harp Society, which he chaired for six years. Edward Witsenburg was made a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his services to music and, in particular, to the harp.