• Brought to you by The CLARSACH SOCIETY

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  • Announcing the winner of the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award 2021

    The Clarsach Society and the Edinburgh International Harp Festival are proud to announce that the 2021 winner of the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award is Rhiannon Ramsey-Brimberg.

    We’re overjoyed that Rhiannon’s composition will be part of our festival this year.  

    Read on to discover more about her… 

    Rhiannon Ramsey-Brimberg is a lever harpist from Stonington, Connecticut, U.S.A.. While earning a Performance degree from Berklee College of Music, she studied under harpists such as Maeve Gilchrist and Mairi Chaimbeul.  Rhiannon will be attending the University of Limerick in September for an MA in Irish Music Studies. Rhiannon (stage name, Rhiannon Skye) began playing the harp for others soon after she began her lessons nine years ago, and has only recently begun to write for the harp. Her goal with each piece is to tell a story, while still remaining true to the genre’s stylistic origins.

    EIHF Artist / Tutor announcements

    This year’s festival will be hybrid with separate in-person and online zoom courses, in-person/filmed workshops and in-person/filmed concerts.

     We’ll be updating this post daily from Monday the 31st January with who you can expect to see performing and tutoring at the festival!


    • Monday 31st Jan: We begin our daily announcements letting you know the fantastic artists and tutors who will be appearing at this years festival – check back here to see who the latest is!
    • Thursday 10th February: Our box office will open for all in-person and on demand EIHF ’22 events.
    • Friday 8th- 11th April: The 41st Edinburgh International Harp Festival.Iin-person at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh and online to the world. 


    SAVOURNA STEVENSON & STEVE KETTLEY (Scotland) – Performing as a duo on harp and sax.

    TRISTAN LE GOVIC (Brittany) – Breton harp

    CORRINA HEWAT’S “THE SONG of the OAK and the IVY” – another chance to hear the EIHF (2010) 80th/30th Festival commission), composed by Corrina Hewat and performed live by Corrina, Bill Taylor, Heather Downie, Tristan le Govic, Mary Macmaster and Wendy Stewart.

    WENDY STEWART (Scotland) – Solo harp/voice

    CALUM & MÀIRI MACLEOD (Scotland) – Brother & sister duo

    MAEVE GILCHRIST (Scotland/USA) – with a *NEW* commission celebrating the 40/90 joint anniversary of The Clarsach Society and the EIHF

    GABRIELLA DALL’OLIO (Italy/England) – Pedal harp

    FRAYA THOMSEN (Scotland) – Winner of the 2021 Princess Margaret of the Isles Prize for Senior Clarsach

    TRANSATLANTIC HOT CLUB (Wales/US) – Jazz trio with Ben Creighton Griffiths on Harp, Adrien Chevalier on Violin and Ashley John Long on Bass.


    CORMAC DE BARRA (Ireland) – Irish Harp

    SIOBHÀN ARMSTRONG (Ireland) with the Donegal singer DOIMNIC MAC GIOLLA BRÍDE

    Our EIHF 2022 tutors are:

    • Adrien Chevallier
    • Ben Creighton Griffiths
    • Bill Taylor
    • Cheyenne Brown
    • Cormac de Barra
    • Corrina Hewat
    • Doimnic Mac Giolla Bride
    • Elinor Evans
    • Fraya Thomsen
    • Gabriella Dall’Olio
    • Gillian Fleetwood
    • Heather Downie
    • Heather Yule
    • Isobel Mieras
    • Neil Wood
    • Rachel Hair
    • Savourna Stevenson
    • Siobhan Armstrong
    • Tristan Le Govic
    • Wendy Stewart

    Our new venue for 2022…

    We are planning our 2022 festival as a 4-night, 3-day celebration of all things harp, taking place between Friday the 8th April & Monday the 11th April.

    We hope to be able to offer you a hybrid festival with a selection of courses, concerts and workshops on offer, online and in-person in our fabulous NEW VENUE…

    Yes, you heard right! We are MOVING and we can’t wait to welcome you to the stunning surroundings of GEORGE WATSON’S COLLEGE, on Colinton Road.

    We are sure you’ll appreciate Watson’s:

    • spacious campus (everything conveniently within 2 adjacent buildings!)
    • excellent classroom space
    • good (free) parking
    • the excellent selection of shopping and eateries nearby
    • short bus ride from town
    • close proximity to many local accommodation options

    Whilst the school will be unable to be offer accommodation during the festival we’ll be sure to let you know what options there are nearby in the coming months. 

    If you’d like to get a feel for the new venue, you can visit their website and watch a video showing the campus, HERE

    We’ll be letting you know more details about EIHF 2022 over the coming months but rest assured the safety and health of our EIHF visitors, artists, tutors and volunteers are at the forefront of all our plans.



    We have two exciting bits of information for you about next years EIHF…

    We’ll be sharing more information soon, but be assured we are busy planning a hybrid in-person festival with a virtual element, meaning that we can all enjoy some wonderful harp music and learning, safely.We’re unable to answer specific questions about our 2022 festival just yet, but please put these dates in you diary, wherever you are in the world.

    • We are now planning the 2022 festival as a 4-night, 3-day celebration of all things harp, taking place between Friday the 8th April & Monday the 11th April.
    • We will MOVING and will be at a NEW venue in Edinburgh.

    Take care and keep harping away!

    The EIHF committee

    Your thoughts on EIHF 2021…

    It’s a little over a week since we wrapped up the 40th Edinburgh International Harp Festival, online for a second time.We’re looking to gather the thoughts of those of you who took part. So whether you watched a concert or took part in a zoom or pre-recorded concert or workshop, we’d really appreciate it if you could spend a bit of time filling in this survey. We genuinely do take your feedback seriously and read every piece of feedback we’re given.

    Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EIHF2021Survey

    Princess Margaret of the Isles Prize for Senior Clarsach – entry deadline extended

    NEWS JUST IN – Our friends at the Clan Donald Lands Trust at Armadale Castle on the Isle of Skye have been in touch to let us know they’ve extended the deadline for this years Princess Margaret of the Isles Prize for Senior Clarsach competition (this year online), until the 30th of April. The prize includes THE CHANCE TO PLAY AT OUR FESTIVAL.

    Find out more below…

    The competition will be held online this year and is open to all players aged 18 and over. The winner received a £2000 prize and the chance to play at next year’s Edinburgh International Harp Festival; finalists receive an appearance fee of £1000. Information: https://www.armadalecastle.com/clarsach-competition-2021-entry-2/


    We hope you enjoy our concerts this year.

    Please do support our artists by having a look at the CDs and Books that they have available:


    Ailie Robertson

    Ingrid Henderson Musician​ & Iain MacFarlane

    Maggie MacInnes​


    Corrina Hewat & David Milligan

    Yiota Myserli

    Maeve Gilchrist

    The Tarab Trio


    Anne Denholm

    Eira Lynn Jones



    Esther Swift

    Park Stickney

    Hermanos Corbalán


    Laoise Kelly

    Llio Rhydderch

    Adriano Sangineto

    Rachel Hair & Ron Jappy

    Late Night Harpenings at EIHF 2021

    Zoom Sessions – Friday and Sunday Night, 9.30-10.30pm

    The late night sessions are a much loved part of our festival. Whilst we can’t perfectly recreate them on zoom, we’re going to have a go! On the Friday and Sunday we’re giving you a chance to play some of your much loved tunes and have a bit of social time with fellow festival goers. 

    Our session leaders will lead tunes and we would ask you to mute as you play along with them. 

    ON FRIDAY NIGHT our session leader is Irene Watt, who’ll be joined by her covid bubble – husband Graham and friend Maggie.  

    ON SUNDAY NIGHT our session leader is Ailie Robertson who you’ll hopefully have enjoyed listening to as part of Friday night’s concert. 


    Email media@harpfestival.co.uk with the subject line SESSIONS and we’ll email you the zoom details. (please be patient for a reply as we are manually doing this)


    Download the EIHF Late Night Sessions book HERE

    And on Saturday Night we have… 

    EIHF Live! 


    A first for the festival, we’ll be hosting an after concert chat-show on Facebook live. Expect some familiar faces, good chat, and maybe even a tune or two! 

    The stream will appear automatically on our Facebook page HERE at 9.30pm. 

    You do not have to be signed in to Facebook to access the stream. 

    The 40 / 90 Anniversary Folio

    We are proud to present to you a gorgeous new collection of 22 tunes, to mark the 40th Edinburgh International Harp Festival and the 90th anniversary of The Clarsach Society. Original compositions and arrangements of classic tunes by long-standing friends of both Society and Festival, with exquisite artwork by Festival designer, Jenny Proudfoot.

    You can order it NOW (to be sent out after it’s expected publication date of 6th April) from our good friend Tim at Creighton’s Collection and you’ll also soon be able to order it from the merchandise page on this website.

    Here’s a list of the beautiful music that will be in it:

    • FLOWER OF LOVE – James Gray
    • KATE GRAY – Isobel Mieras
    • FAREWELL TO NIGG – Duncan Johnstone, arr. Cheyenne Brown
    • MARRY ME NOW – Trad. arr. Sìleas
    • TRANSITION – Jennifer Port
    • AN T-IARLA DIÙRACH (THE EARL OF JURA) – Trad. arr Charlotte Petersen
    • WHO’S FOR BUBBLY? – Corrina Hewat
    • BRENDA’S ABBEY – Maeve Gilchrist
    • LOOKING AT A RAINBOW THROUGH A DIRTY WINDOW – Calum Stewartt, arr. Rachel Hair
    • THE COFFEE CUP – Màiri Macleod
    • DREAMING ON DEESIDE – Irene Watt
    • JANE’S AIR – Ailie Robertson
    • CAERLAVEROCK – Wendy Stewart
    • WALTZ FOR PARIS – Fiona Rutherford
    • MOVING CLOUDS – Eira Lynn Jones
    • HAGGISICITY – Park Stickney
    • (UNTITLED JIG) DUET Highland Vocal Airs – Patrick McDonald arr. Bill Taylor
    • THE HILLS OF LORNE – Charlie Hunter, arr.Ingrid Henderson
    • DR MACMAHON, BISHOP OF CLOGHER – Turlough O’Carolan, arr. Elinor Evans
    • WITH HER DOG AND HER GUN – Trad. (Petrie Collection) arr. Laoise Kelly
    • SCARCE O’ TATTIES – Heather Yule

    Pre-Festival Workshop and Play-along Opportunity

    Some of the most-loved moments of our Festival are when we get to play the harp together: at the late-night sessions, in our courses, or, when the weather allows, under the blossoming cherry trees at Merchiston. 

    We’ve been missing these opportunities and so want, as part of our online Festival, to give you the chance to play along – whether you’ve signed up to a course or not.  

    A special version of the tune Rory Dall’s Port has been filmed for the double celebration of the 90th Anniversary of The Clarsach Society and the 40th EIHF and will feature at the end of all three “A New Generation” concerts (free to view at 1pm on Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th and Monday 12th April): we’d love you to join in and play along, too!

    To help you do so, harp teacher and performer Màiri Macleod has filmed a workshop, taking you through the tune, arranged by our own Isobel Mieras.

    You can download the sheet music for it here: HERE

    Please note p1&2 on sheetmusic are the individual parts, p3 onwards is the full score)

    We hope you enjoy learning the tune and can’t wait to have you play it with us during the festival!

    Rory Dall’s Port (arranged by Isobel Mieras)

    This wonderful, strong tune, believed to have been composed by the blind  harper Roderick Morison (1656- 1714), harper and bard to John Macleod of Dunvegan, is one of the few old Scottish harp tunes which have survived.  “Port” comes fom the Gaelic for a tune and it would have originally been played on the wire harp, while this arrangement, originally made for na Clarsairean, the harp orchestra  of the Edinburgh Branch of The Clarsach Society, is suitable for all kinds of harps. The tune was used by Robert Burns for his famous song of parting “Ae fond Kiss and then we sever.”