The turning of the year is a natural time for reflection, and I have spent a few moments taking stock and appreciating all the exciting things that have happened in 2018. I am so grateful for all the fantastic opportunities and experiences I have had over the last twelve months!
In my post as Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, it has been a privilege to continue to perform for royal events and functions throughout the year. I will never forget playing a very small part in the incredible Royal Wedding in May, and am also particularly grateful to have been able to perform for events celebrating HRH The Prince of Wales’ 70thBirthday and the 70thanniversary of the NHS.
I have been honoured to give solo recitals across the U.K., as well as overseas, including in my home town of Carmarthen, my alma mater – Cambridge University, the Royal Northern College of Music and Drama Strings Festival, Italy and Colombia. Other solo highlights include performing Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp (with Emma Halnan) and Debussy’s Danses Sacrée et Profane with the London Mozart Players.
The second half of 2018 was packed with travels abroad, starting with a trip to film a video of some Bach with Alena Walentin in the stunning Møn countryside in Denmark. The Hermes Experiment were then off to Normandy for our residency / retreat, working on our improvisation and planning for the months and year ahead. During the autumn I visited Hamburg, Ann Arbor (MI), New York, Amsterdam, Versailles and Paris with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique playing Berlioz’s epic Symphonie Fantastique. I also made my first ever trip to South America to perform at the Maestros del Arpa festival in Bogotá, Colombia. The final trip overseas for 2018 was in late November, to La Morra near Turin in Italy, for a solo recital promoted by the Victor Salvi Harp Museum.
I am so grateful to have had some wonderful experiences in chamber music and orchestral playing over the year, including my work with The Hermes Experiment, the CBSO’s Debussy Festival, the ORR, BBC Concert Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Ensemble Cymru.
Finally, I am very pleased to have furthered my teaching practice in taking up teaching positions at Eton College, Windsor and the Dragon School in Oxford, in addition to welcoming several new private students. I also thoroughly enjoyed my first year as a tutor on the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain!
Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Here’s to 2019!
(photo by Kevin Day)