HHSI founder-director, Siobhán Armstrong, has over twenty-five years’ arts administration experience. She has been HHSI director for fifteen years.
Siobhán is one of Europe’s foremost historical harpists, performing and recording sixteenth- to eighteenth-century chamber music and opera with many of Europe’s most prestigious historical and traditional performers, recording on Deutsche Grammophon, Sony and Virgin Classics, among other labels. She plays copies of single- and multi-row harps from the Middle Ages to the baroque period. Siobhán has performed, broadcast and taught throughout Europe, North America and Japan and has appeared as a soloist or ensemble player at venues including the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Southbank in London, the Opéra Comique in Paris and the Zankel Hall at Carnegie, New York.
In 2014, Siobhán was awarded a three-year bursary by Middlesex University, London, to pursue PhD research into early Irish harp performance practice. She has also embarked on an ambitious Arts Council-funded recording project of music in Ireland 1500-1800. Vol. 1: Music, Ireland and the Sixteenth Century, appeared in 2019.
Sylvia Crawford performs several HHSI roles: she has been the financial administrator of The Historical Harp Society of Ireland since 2013 and is also an HHSI tutor, teaching early Irish harp in Armagh, Dublin and at Scoil na gCláirseach–Festival of Early Irish Harp each August in Kilkenny.
From Co. Armagh, she combines both a classical and a traditional music background. Sylvia teaches and plays early Irish harp, fiddle and piano. She graduated in music and ethnomusicology from Queen’s University Belfast, in Arts Administration from NUI Galway, and is currently completing a Masters by Research at Dundalk Institute of Technology on music and tourism in the Oriel region, with a focus on the life and music of Patrick Quin, an eighteenth century harper from Co. Armagh.
Most recently Sylvia Crawford has been collaborating with singer, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, on eighteenth-century Irish vocal music. Sylvia’s harp music and research features on Ní Uallacháin’s acclaimed 2017 online project orielarts.com
Simon Chadwick’s administrative roles at the HHSI cross boundaries: from summer festival Assistant Directorship to web design and IT administration. Simon designed, built and has maintained the www.irishharp.org website from 2003 to date. Simon is also an HHSI tutor and lecturer.
Simon Chadwick is one of the most important experts on the history and traditions of the early Irish harp and is pivotal to the current international revival. Living in St Andrews, on the east coast of Scotland, he researches, teaches and performs the ancient native music traditions of Scotland, Ireland and neighbouring countries as well as giving lectures and presentations at third-level institutions and in the public sphere, primarily in the UK and Ireland.
Simon documents his research on his ground-breaking information website – earlygaelicharp.info – which is widely acknowledged to be the pre-eminent published source of information on the early Gaelic harp and its traditions.
He has also published a pair of tutor books outlining the historical performance tradition for the instrument, a book on advanced playing techniques, and an often-cited article in the scholarly journal Early Music.
HHSI PR, Maura Walsh, has over twenty years’ experience in festival directorship (Galway Early Music Festival), event marketing and graphic design specific to music events.
HHSI administrative volunteer, Ashling Slater, has nineteen years of professional company-administration expertise and began working for the HHSI in 2017, when she administrated Scoil na gCláirseach.