Tag: irish harp

The Historical Society of Ireland announces Scoil na gCláirseach – Festival of Early Irish Harp 7-13th of July 2023. Tickets Now On Sale.

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Discover the world of the exquisite and ancient Irish harp in a full schedule of 50 talks, workshops, social occasions, and concerts of harping, song, piping, viola da gamba, lute, and more. Onsite in Kilkenny from 7th -13th of July.

The festival will feature hands-on playing sessions and workshops, live Q&A sessions with Irish music masters, presentations on history, repertory, and instruments, as well as concerts featuring some of the world’s finest historical and traditional musicians, recreating the glorious sounds of the early Irish harp.

Using everything from 18th-century manuscripts to cutting-edge 21st-century science, we aim to explore as much of the world of the old harpers as is now possible. Hear, play, and sing the music familiar to Irish and Gaelic chieftains, and in the Great Irish Houses.

About the HHSI

The Historical Harp Society of Ireland brings to life a lost sound world. Founded in 2002, it leads a rediscovery of Ireland’s illustrious medieval musical instrument, depicted in the national emblem: the early Irish harp. Silent for some 200 years, the ravishing sound – and the rarely heard music – of the oldest Irish harp sounds fresh to modern ears but also evokes the farthest reaches of ancient Irish history and culture.

See www.irishharp.org for more details. 

FESTIVAL CONCERTS: See below for the two main Concerts taking place live in Kilkenny during the festival.  

Event Overview: 

Gala Concert: Masters of Irish Music

  • Saturday July 8th
  • 8:00 – 10:00 pm Irish time
  • Concert venue location: Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny

Artists performing: Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin, early Irish harp and voice; Jimmy O’Brien-Moran, uilleann pipes; James Ruff, early Irish harp; Máire Ní Chéileachair, sean-nós song; Siobhán Armstrong, early Irish harp

Event Overview:

The King’s Harper: The Irish Harp at the 17th-century English Court

This concert—in the setting of the 1000-year-old tower of Kilkenny Castle—is a rare gathering of some of the world’s leading performers on early Irish harp and pipes, together with a prize-winning sean-nós [‘old style’] singer, in a programme of evocative and lively instrumental music, solo singing, and harp songs, some of which have only recently been unearthed, and reconstructed, after several hundred years of being lost to the living tradition.

  • Tuesday July 11th
  • 8:00–9:30 PM Irish time
  • Concert venue location:  The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle


The Irish Consort: Róisín O’Grady, soprano; Ryosuke Sakamoto, Renaissance lute; Sarah Groser, Reiko Ichise, Malachy Robinson, viols and Siobhán Armstrong, early Irish harp and direction.

Event Overview:

In 1605, King James I of England employed the first ‘royal’ Irish harper to work at the court in London: Cormac MacDermott. This gave rise to an extraordinary ensemble in which the melting sound of his early Irish harp’s brass-wire strings was woven together with the lute, Renaissance viols, and the human voice to produce a piece of exquisite music for the king’s pleasure.

Concerts take place live in Kilkenny. A video of the concert will be available to ticket holders after the festival, until 15 August, 2023. N.B. Concerts will not be live-streamed.

The HHSI is immensely grateful to its funding bodies and supporters, without whose generous support our work to rediscover the early Irish harp would not be possible. Scoil na gCláirseach–Festival of Early Irish Harp is kindly funded by An Chomhairle Ealaíon [The Arts Council], Kilkenny County Council, Creative Ireland, Harp Ireland and Ecclesiastical Insurance.

The student instrument collection of rental harps has been funded by The Music Capital Scheme, supported by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, managed by Music Network.

See link to purchase tickets:

Concerts and link to tickets: https://festival.irishharp.org/concerts

Festival website: https://festival.irishharp.org/


Claire Roche, a musician to harp on about

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Claire Roche

A musician to harp on about…

“From Then To The Here And Now” album Out Oct 12th 2018

Gigs: Listed below.

We think of a harp and what it sounds like and usually relate to the harp as a solo instrument for playing tunes. Then we think of singers and what they sound like. Let us now merge the two, which is a musical path of uniqueness, passion and intimacy that is present during a performance by Claire.

In a world of shattered dreams the artist must celebrate the comely and the beautiful, whether it is valid at least it’s honest, as Claire writes in a stream of consciousness from the silver trickles of her past and indeed the vast landscape of Irelands mythological tales and historical events and happenings.

Rather than just play tunes, Claire has chosen the harp to be her accompaniment, her choir, her veil to the “otherworld”. Her words, music and passion gently warms the hearts of those present and fires their spirits into passion, courage, tears, love and laughter.

 After earning a degree in English and Literature at University College, Dublin and a diploma in Anglo Irish Literature from Trinity College, Dublin Claire advanced her intimate studies into literature through to a Master of Arts Degree. Already a piano player and writer of passionate, intimate and poetic songs, Claire experienced a calling to study playing the harp that she soon used as her accompaniment for sharing her songs.

Claire studied Irish harp with Mairin Ferritear at Sion Hill Convent, Dublin,Concert harp with Catriona Yeats at the College of Music, Dublin, and Denise Kelly of the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin who continues to be her mentor.

Not only is Claire’s music unique, but it is emotionally moving especially when we are present in her live performance. This new Radio EP encompasses 4 key tracks from her upcoming album “From Then To The Here And Now” which will be released in Oct 2018.

Gigs and events:

Grand Hotel Wicklow Friday 28th September.

Email claire@claireroche.com 01 283 5135 or 087 289 5525

Carrowcrory Cottage, Co Sligo Monday October 1st.

This is a private tour to visit the Labyrinths, guided by John Willmott and to hear Claire’s music. Visitors are welcome in the evening by appointment.

Email claire@claireroche.com or 087 289 5525

Mount Stewart House near Belfast, Northern Ireland. 8 pm Saturday October 6th

‘Yeat’s Women ‘ by Glynis Casson who is joined in performance by Daniel Costello and Claire Roche who sings some of her settings of poems by W. B .Yeats.

Woodford House, Booterstown Dublin, Thursday Oct 18th

Album launch & FREE GIG from 7pm – 10pm first come first served! https://www.clairerochemusic.com/p/live-events.html

Carrowcrory Cottage, Co Sligo Sunday Nov 4th

This is a private tour to visit the Labyrinths, guided by John Willmott and to hear Claire’s music. Visitors are welcome in the evening by appointment.

Email claire@claireroche.com or 087 289 5525

For more information on Claire please visit: