The Polish Harp Society is ten years old, and to celebrate, their previously national Competition of Duets with Harp is going international for the first time. This competition, for any duo combination that includes at least one harp, will take place in Cieszyn, Poland in April 2015. Rules, information and application forms are available on the Polish Harp Society website, and the closing date for entries is February 15th, 2015.
In 1969, the indefatigable Aristid Von Wurtzler initiated the first US harp competition (in Hertford, CA) "and this was a great chance for the girls behind the Iron Curtain", Ewa remembers. "We were able to get visas to attend the competition, and then we found solutions to be able to stay on in the West. Aristid was a great support to us: he'd escaped from Hungary himself, hiding in a barrel, during the 1956 uprising. I got a scholarship for a year to study with him - in fact, I repeated the masters qualification I already had, but it's neither the first nor the last time a student has enrolled in a course for the visa."
Ewa subsequently spent seventeen years in Von Wurtzler's New York Harp Ensemble - a fascinating account of whose adventures you can read on Carl Swanson's website. The group took four harps to sixty-five countries in total, and it was with a great range of professional experience, very well-travelled, and with perfect English that Ewa came home to Poland - via two years as Principal Harp with the Ostatni Opera in Prague - after twenty-three years in America.