25 – 29 JULY 2021
Hold the dates!
We are excited to present our first online – 100% COVID-proof – Scoil na gCláirseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp 25-29 JULY 2021 with 33 live events plus 7 recorded concerts and talks, featuring local to international harpists, singers and pipers. The old Irish harp’s unique beauty and history attracts people to the festival each year from all around the world, who meet up in the medieval city of Kilkenny to explore its music and traditions, guided by some of the most respected players and researchers in the field. But for the first time ever participants can now take part from wherever they are in the world, without incurring any travel or accommodation costs.
We will celebrate Ireland’s ancient, brass-wire-strung harp with five days of concerts, talks, demos, hands-on classes and workshops, together with the first ever virtual trip – facilitated by the National Museum of Ireland – to see the national collection of historic Irish harps.
The early Irish harp is the instrument played by Turlough Carolan – and all Irish harpers – over the 800+ years of its history. The 2021 festival celebrates the 350th anniversary of Carolan’s birth, one year later than originally planned, due to the pandemic.
Also, for the very first time, we are excited to collaborate with the world’s biggest harp festival – Somerset Folk Harp Festival in New Jersey – in an intercontinental overlap, holding hands across the Atlantic. We are honoured to be invited to join our colleagues in the USA, hoping that this will create the biggest ever awareness of the early Irish harp, its ancient, evocative music and its historic traditions.
As an optional extra, the festival will also facilitate one-to-one virtual coaching for harpists in Ireland – and all around the world – with an international who’s who of tutors. Each one has decades of experience working with players of all levels (post-beginner to professional) and can help with a wide range of performance issues, technical problems and questions about history and organology. This is also a great opportunity to have a trial coaching session with a tutor of your choice if you are a harpist looking to have more regular, virtual tuition but are not sure who might suit you best.
More details coming soon…