Harp Fest NZ 2023 Concerts

Tickets go on sale from iTICKET on 2 August 2022

Saturday, 4 February 2023, at 3.00pm
Artists: Mary O’Neill (Northern Ireland) and Elizabeth Volpé Bligh (Canada)
Location: Camac Chapel

Concert details

Mary O’Neill
When your mother is a harpist and your father is a harp maker, Mary seemed destined to take up the harp. Mary is an active harpist and vocalist and a sought-after traditional musician in Northern Ireland, both as a soloist and playing with traditional bands. Mary is a talented composer and songwriter and will delight you with her mix of traditional and contemporary music for voice and harp.

To find out more about Mary O’Neill - www.facebook.com/MaryONeillMusic

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh
Elizabeth will be presenting a short programme of works by Canadian composers. Elizabeth has extensive performance experience as Principal Harpist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (retired in 2018) and, prior to this, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Elizabeth also performs in chamber music ensembles, for movie soundtracks and on recordings. Elizabeth is an active teacher, presenter, adjudicator and advocate for all things harp.

To find out more about Elizabeth Volpé Bligh – www.elizabethvolphebligh.com

Saturday, 4 February 2023, at 7.30pm
Artists: Nikau Harp Trio (New Zealand) and Amanda Whiting & Richard Hooper (Wales)
Location: Camac Chapel

Concert details

Nikau Harp Trio
Nikau is a trio of outstanding musicians - Helen Webby (harp), Cathy Irons (violin) and Paul Mitchell (cello) - all with extensive New Zealand and international experience, who are on a national tour with Arts On Tour NZ. Join Nikau on their diverse journey through extra-ordinary places from classical music to the pulsating rhythms of tango, film composer Mark Smythe's romantic new premier, and the hypnotic haze of Irons' Dreamland. Nikau is named after the magnificent, carved Nikau palm on Helen's harp, made by her brother Kim Webby. In gold on the soundboard, is painted a Huia.

Amanda Whiting & Richard Hooper
From Wales, the home of the harp, Amanda has taken her classical roots and forged them in the path of jazz harpists Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Amanda is a pioneer in jazz harp the UK and regularly performs at international jazz festivals and venues across the world. Amanda, with bassist Richard Hooper, will be performing tracks from her two self-penned albums, the sold out album After Dark (2021) and Lost in Abstraction (2022) both on Jazzman Records.

To find out more about Amanda Whiting – www.amandawhiting.com

Sunday, 5 February 2023, at 3.00pm
Artist: Esther Swift (Scotland)
Location: Camac Chapel

Concert details

Esther Swift is a prolific, boldly innovative harpist, composer and singer. She works across genres as diverse as classical chamber music and free improvisation and writes for ensembles large and small. Esther has received numerous prestigious commissions and has shared international, music lead collaborations with musicians and other artists around the world. Esther explores ritual, connection, isolation, and the natural world in her performance with pedal harp and voice.

To find out more about Esther Swift – www.estherswift.co.uk

Sunday, 5 February 2023, at 3.00pm
Artist: Boya Guzheng (New Zealand)
Location: Auditorium

Performance details

Lin Zheng began playing the guzheng and performing at 5 years old. The guzheng is one of the oldest traditional Chinese instruments, dating back over 2000 years to the Qin State, and displays the quintessential characteristics of Chinese music. Lin, along with her students, perform as 'Boya Guzheng' at community and cultural events. Their performance will feature traditional and contemporary works, giving an overview of the sounds and playing techniques of the guzheng. Lin completed her master's degree at one of the top music conservatories in China and is currently undertaking a PhD in music at the University of Auckland.

Sunday, 5 February 2023, at 7.30pm
Artists: Ensemble Sangineto (Italy) and Katryna Tan (Singapore)
Location: Camac Chapel

Concert details

Ensemble Sangineto
The wide-ranging musical experiences of the three members of Ensemble Sangineto converge to create fresh arrangements of traditional Irish, Scottish, Breton and Italian tunes. Their original compositions display influences from varied musical genres, ranging from classical to folk, from Gregorian chant to musical, from pop to Celtic music. The delicate combination of the pure and magic tones of the harp and the bowed psaltery and guitar, intermingled with voice evoke dreamlike and airy atmospheres, which are simultaneously joyful and light.

To find out more about Ensemble Sangineto – www.ensemblesangineto.com

Katryna Tan
Singapore based Katryna is a much sought-after concert soloist and chamber musician. Recognised as one of the leading Asian harp masters, Katryna has performed throughout Asia. She has also performed in Australia, Canada, France and the USA. In addition to classical repertoire, Katryna champions contemporary works for the harp, particularly by Asian composers. In the last 20 years Katryna has put the Singapore harp community on the world map with her creative harp projects as well as training award winning students who have made Singapore proud.

To find out more about Katryna Tan – www.katrynatan.com

Monday, 6 February 2023, at 2.00pm
Artists: Michelle Velvin and Ingrid Bauer (New Zealand) and Harp Competition winner
Location: Camac Chapel

Concert details

Harp Competition Winner

Lewis Eady, in conjunction with the Harp Society of New Zealand, present the winner of the Harp Competition (taking place on Sunday, 5 February 2023). The winner will perform their two pieces from the competition – a set piece by one of three New Zealand composers and the other, a piece of the harpist’s own choice.

Michelle Velvin

Michelle is a Wellington based harpist, composer and teacher. She has a passion for performing New Zealand compositions. As a musician her explorations have led to diverse collaborations with other musicians in wide-ranging genres and disciplines. Michelle has performed as part of all New Zealand's major orchestras and is involved with a number of chamber music ensembles. Michelle completed her Postgraduate Diploma in harp performance at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music under Carolyn Mills.

To find out more about Michelle Velvin – www.michellevelvin.com

Ingrid Bauer

Ingrid is a classical harpist and is the Principal Harp of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. She has performed with many New Zealand orchestras and has performed solo in competitions and recitals in the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. As a chamber musician, Ingrid has toured with her ensembles Toru and Parp!, and performed at the 2014 Huntington Estate Music Festival. She is a founding member of the harp septet SHE, which performs internationally.