We are looking forward to partnering a long weekend in Beaune at the end of this week. Over three days in the heart of Burgundy, the Journées de la harpe will present a variety of concerts and masterclasses from many of our favourite artists. The Milevska Trio, winners of no less than five recent jazz prizes, will give both a concert and a masterclass, as will Duo Perpetuo, the harp-violin duo of Béatrice Guillermin and Frédéric Moreau. Nikolaz Cadoret, star of the lever harp firmament, will give a recital, and there will also be an intriguing musical animation by the group Fest Tilia. The festival will conclude with a concert by the classes of the regional conservatoires, led by Dorothée Cornec.
The Beaune harp days feature a Camac exhibition throughout, in the Chapelle Saint-Etienne. For booking, please contact the Conservatoire de musique et de danse: +33 3 80 24 56 94, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The famous Hospices de Beaune, where we will be listening to Duo Perpetuo. Photo: Christophe Finot
Today, I got up, went to work, and turned on my computer. It made some whirring noises, but the screen remained funerally black. It is now in computer hospital, where it has stopped even making whirring noises: the prognosis is grim.
On the bright side, this definitely will not happen to Jakez when he powers up his own laptop to control the sound processing during Elzbieta Sikora's blue harp concertino in Taipei on Monday. Here's a lovely poster reminder of the day of concerts and workshops following the electric harp showcase evening. Many thanks to Meng-Lu Chiu of the Taiwan Harp Center, our new partner in Taipei, for making it!
We are happy to hear the blue harp is bearing up well -
"I hardly dared check on the harp once we got it back – I let it acclimatise in the cold room first and got myself a cup of tea – but when I checked the tuning it was bang on pitch – not a bit sharp and seemingly unconcerned..."
Harpblog runs an occasional series of articles about studying in different cities and countries. Thus far, I have written a grand total of one article in the series, about studying in Paris. The idea is to unravel the sometimes idiosyncratically-designed websites of individual conservatoires, and also provide information in English as this is not always easily available.
That said, today's 'Studying in...' post is about a country where the conservatoire websites are superbly well-organised, and most people speak better English than I do - the Netherlands. As those of you who attended the 2008 World Harp Congress in Amsterdam will have perceived, the Dutch harp scene is of a remarkably high level, with a rare combination of top technical standards plus musical open-mindedness and breadth. Excellent contemporary music, early harp, one of the best orchestras in the world in the form of the Concertgebouw and many great names of the harp world all belong to the Netherlands. Consider Edward Witsenburg, Erika Waardenburg, Petra van der Heide, Gwyneth Wentink, Lavinia Meijer, Ernestine Stoop, Anton Sie, Miriam Overlach...not to mention Remy van Kesteren and his team, who have put the Dutch Harp Festival firmly on the international map from its very first edition.
Here is another article for those of you who read French: "La Harpe - 5000 ans d'histoire", by Patrice Creveux. It appeared in the October 2010 edition of the French magazine Keyboards Recording.
The article also includes some kind words about Camac!
"Camac Harps, based in the Loire-Atlantique area, is the only manufacturer of concert harps in France, employing around sixty people. Founded by Joël Garnier in 1972, since his death the firm has been led by the harpist Jakez François. While tradition is respected to the highest degree in crafting the instruments, innovation also has a special place at the heart of this company. It was with the creation of the "memory harp" - powered by computer - that Camac made its mark as a pedal harp maker in 1985 (this instrument is now part of the collection of the Musée de la musique in Paris). The "Blue harps" which have appeared from 1990 onwards explore the world of amplification for both concert and lever harps, right up to and including MIDI technology. In 2007, the company was awarded the title "a company of living heritage". This honour was bestowed by the minister for artisans, to honour those who contribute to the economic and cultural development of our country."
You can read the rest by downloading the PDF below.
I have archived Harpblog's past articles. You can now browse them by category via the links under our photo albums, in the sidebar to the left. Discover what Harpblog has ever had to say on subjects like concerts, masterclasses, the blue harp, Camac history, jazz, professors, technology, and gratuitous photographs of Athy.