Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Harpists here and there

* In Britain, Prince Charles has appointed 22-year-old Claire Jones as his Official Harpist. She is the third musician to hold the post since 2000. "It seems that he just liked the sound of the instrument," The Guardian reports, "and that was what encouraged him to revive a tradition that had been dormant since the reign of Queen Victoria."

The roots of official harpistry, the newspaper explains, "go back to medieval times, when every self-respecting Welsh nobleman had a bard in his household, who would accompany his songs on a forerunner of the harp, the telya."

Jones’ official duties were not reported. (Tea-time musicales? Playing in a corner during social events?) Nor was there any mention of income or benefits. Hint: A suitably royal honorarium would be a brand new, top-of-the-line minivan and a handtruck for transporting the instrument.

The Guardian article: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/06/harps_harpists.html

* Here, meanwhile, the Richmond-based American Youth Harp Ensemble, directed by Lynnelle Ediger-Kordzaia, will perform at 8 p.m. June 22 at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York.

Returning to Weill Hall after a 2001 appearance, the ensemble will play selections by Bach, Debussy, Granados, Gershwin, Handel, Rameau and others.

Tickets: $35. Information: (212) 247-7800; www.carnegiehall.org