• Brought to you by The CLARSACH SOCIETY

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  • 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.”

    A New Generation – Free Concerts!

    One of the principal aims of EIHF and The Clarsach Society is to encourage and support young clarsach students at every stage of development. 

    With this in mind, we’ve invited 17 young players, some still in full-time education and some professional performers, to record a short piece or a set for EIHF. Elinor Evans has compiled them into 3 vibrant performances, one of which she will introduce on each day of the Festival. 

    • These concerts are FREE to view and will be viewable on our YouTube channel (BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE!) 
    • We will also share the links on Facebook
    • The links will be emailed out to all Concert Pass holders OR…
    • You can sign up for a link to be emailed to you, by adding adding them to your basket on our website, allowing you to get them for free!

    Concert 1: Saturday 10th April, 13:00

    Supported by the Royal Celtic Society

    • Brigitte and Clara Harrigan Lees
    • Grace Stewart-Skinner
    • Lucie Hendry
    • Luke Webb
    • Sophie Chapman

    Concert 2: Sunday 11th April, 13:00

    Supported by the Glasgow Branch of the Clarsach Society

    • Arabella Ayen
    • Breagha Charlton
    • Katie Heron
    • Lucy Gilmore
    • Neil Wood
    • Pheonix Zhang

    Concert 3: Monday 12th April, 13:00

    Supported by the Clan Donald Lands Trust at Armadale Castle

    • Hannah Shearer
    • Isabella Sommerville
    • Rebecca Hill
    • Sorcha Thompson
    • Stephanie Humphries


    The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award Winner 2020: Yiota Myserli

    The Edinburgh International Harp Festival and the Clarsach Society are proud to announce that the 2020 winner of the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award is the harpist Yiota Myserli.  Yiota’s winning composition will be premiered at our festival (online) as part of the evening concert on Saturday the 10th April. 

    Yiota studied music at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki in Greece and she is currently studying Musicology and Music composition at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Classical singing/Opera at the Conservatory of St. Paul.

    She is the principal Harpist in MOYSA Youth Orchestra, Greecc, and is a member of “Perharps” Music Ensemble.

    Yiota has composed several pieces for solo harp, harp ensemble, chamber music ensemble and arrangements from well-known cinematic works. Her compositions have been recorded on CDs and used in theatre productions, and performed by ensembles, orchestras and choirs, both in Greece and in Italy.

    You can discover more about Yiota from her website and Facebook page.

    Congratulations Yiota!

    Discover more about the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award.

    3 courses added AND update on course availability…

    We’re excited to announce another 3 courses that are repeating during the EIHF and therefore have new availability.

    We are opening up repeat courses for:

    • Fiona Rutherford – Scottish Music (Elementary)
    • Gwenan Gibbard – Welsh Music (Elementary/Intermediate)
    • Patsy Seddon – Exploring Modes Through Scottish Tunes (Mixed Abilities)

    The course content and level will be exactly the same as the originally advertised (and now sold-out course) and numbers will be capped at 15 participants to allow for maximum engagement with the tutor.

    We also thought we’d give you an update on what courses currently have spaces on:


    Children’s Course

    • Jessica Burton – Lever Harp for Primary Children

    Mixed Abilities

    • Patsy Seddon – Exploring Modes Through Scottish Tunes


    • Eleanor Hetherington – Tuneful TechniqueIntermediate
    • Esther Swift- Improvising and Composing (only 1 space!)
    • Anne Marie O’Farrell – Love those Levers!


    Mixed Abilities

    • Eira Lynn Jones – Pedal Progress (only 3 spaces!)


    • Fiona Rutherford – Scottish Music


    • Cheyenne Brown – Funky Scottish Music
    • Gwenan Gibbard – Welsh Music


    • Rachel Hair – Simply Scottish Harp


    • Ailie Robertson – Tunes in Unusual Time Signatures

    5 more courses added…

    We’ve decided to open an additional 5 courses INCLUDING another pedal harp course with Eira Lynn Jones – her first one sold out within 12 hours!

    The course content and level will be exactly the same as the originally advertised (and now sold-out course) and numbers will be capped at 15 participants to allow for maximum engagement with the tutor. 


    Anne Marie O’Farrell: Love those Levers!
    3-day course: 10.00-11.15 BST Sat/Sun/Mon

    Cheyenne Brown: Funky Scottish Music
    3-day course: 16.00-17.15 BST Sat/Sun/Mon

    Eira Lynn Jones: Pedal Progress
    3-day course: 16.00-17.15 BST Sat/Sun/Mon
    Mixed Abilities

    Eleanor Hetherington: Tuneful Technique
     3-day course: 10.00-11.15 BST Sat/Sun/Mon

    Rachel Hair: Simply Scottish Harp
    3-day course: 16.00-17.15 BST Sat/Sun/Mon