// Dutch Harp Festival

Semifinal Line-Up

Live in TivoliVredenburg | April 18-19, 2024

Ruth Lee, UK

Ruth LeeRuth Lee is an award-winning harpist and composer, crafting performances inspired by mythology, and has been described as a ‘musical storyteller’ with ‘her own inner voice’ (Sioned Williams, UKHA Review). Her work has been recognised at many leading festivals across the UK, including the United Kingdom Harp Competition (Sioned Williams Prize for Harp), The Edinburgh International Harp Festival (Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award), and the Wales International Harp Festival. Ruth recently also performed a solo programme featuring her own works at the World Harp Congress 2022 – Mythology. She regularly performs for the charity Live Music Now! and collaborates with other soloists and ensembles.


A program for solo pedal harp of contemporary-classical music, infused with a folk idiom and inspired by mythology: drawing on folktales from the UK, theological beliefs and human spirituality. It features works by myself and other female contemporary composers. Including both acoustic and electro-acoustic music, with the use of loop machines, ambient noise and extended techniques, a unique sound world is created for each piece.
“He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, performing a dance almost infinite in its complexity.” – Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Alexander Thomas, UK

Alexander Thomas Alexander studied with Gabriella dall’Olio and Helen Sharp. He is currently completing his Masters in the class of Isabelle Perrin at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He was a finalist in the USA International Harp Competition Composer’s Competition and the Camac Harp Competition North London, was awarded a St. Magnus Festival Composers scholarship and his original work has been BFI London Film Festival shortlisted. He has performed in residency at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Latitude Festival, Herne Hill Festival, Manchester Pride and The Roundhouse Camden. He has appeared as guest principal harpist of various London orchestras and performed in many of the major UK concert halls.

Memoirs | Postcards

This programme represents an expression of some of my own personal joys and sadnesses as well as profound moments on my journey in life and music. My goal is to unlock the music for the audience, finding the stories between the notes and creating a truly authentic and heartfelt connection. Music should leave you having had a certain experience or feeling a certain way – communicating human to human in a way that transcends words. Throughout the concert I will introduce the music myself, directly explaining the threads that weave through the programme. The centrepiece of my programme is my own work – a suite of three ‘Memoirs’ – deeply exploring themes of grief, love, loss and spirituality.

Kevin le Pennec, France

Kevin le PennecKevin is a lever harp player and singer-songwriter from Brittany, part of the new generation of Breton musicians. He plays in several groups such as his harp duo BISIAD and his fest-noz trio LA MÉZANJ. As a solo artist, Kevin is dedicated to arranging, composing and writing songs. He released his first solo album « À distance » (From a distance) on May 3rd 2023. His passion for traditional music and songs is expressed through a modern and dynamic harp playing and arrangements coloured by various influences (pop, jazz …). His clear and powerful singing seals his artistic identity. In August 2019, at the soloist competition “Trophée Camac”, Kevin won the first prize and the public prize.

This song is for the wind

This song is for the wind is a solo programme for harp and vocals. The Breton-inspired songs, all composed and written by Kevin Le Pennec, reveal the soul of a sensitive and committed artist. His voice, tinged with traditional music, is blended with a contemporary musical heritage that adds a new dimension to his music. Like an orchestra in its own right, the harp wends its way along colourful paths bordered by a rich landscape, at once modest and complex, to the point where we sometimes hear surges of notes like of a kora, or the silence of a song. Through his texts, Kevin expresses himself on the themes that are dear to him: love, masculism, feminism, homosexuality, inclusivity, positivity.

Llywelyn Ifan Jones, Wales

Llywelyn Ifan Jones“This is no demure tinkling. Expect to be drawn to the very edge of your seat by the commitment, warmth, and fluency of his playing.” A powerful description by BBC’s Hinterland composer John Hardy to describe Lyon & Healy Award recipient and 1st prize winner of the 2020 Camac Harp Competition at the North London Festival. Llywelyn Ifan Jones performed at the World Harp Congress in 2022. He was scheduled to perform at the Wigmore Hall in June 2020 as an H R Taylor Trust Scholar at the Royal College of Music.

Towards the Dawn

A recital exploring the passion, the pathos, and the eternal deliverance of the human spirit. Through pain, suffering, and heartache, the human spirit has a way of expressing great tenacity. It is when one is faced with circumstances of great adversity that the human spirit uses it as a catalyst for growth and an opportunity to change. Peter Marshall so beautifully wrote, “When We Long for Life without Difficulties, it reminds us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and that diamonds are made under pressure.” In a short sentence, the human spirit was encapsulated.

Ariel Sol, USA

Ariel SolAriel Sol is an adventurer in sound as a cutting-edge composer/producer/harpist. Based in Los Angeles and hailing from Chicago, he is passionate about channeling musical innovation to foster community both on and off stage. Storytelling, ancestry, technology, and rebellion intersect to inform his dynamic approach to the music of today. Winner of the 7th USA International Harp Competition Ruth Inglefield Composition Contest and 2023 SEAMUS Allen Strange Award, Ari’s work can be experienced worldwide. A musical phenom, his performances include a 2022 Young Artist Residency on American Public Media’s “Performance Today” and two spotlights as Featured Young Composer of the American Harp Society.

Stronger Together

Stronger Together is an expression of synergy: a whole whose impact is greater than the sum of its parts. The program features three original premieres that draw from themes of collective action, personal bonds, and multicultural synthesis. The first two pieces integrate live technology- motion and light sensors- to create an interactive soundscape that explores body language, crowd psychology, and more through audience-informed improvisation. The final piece is a traditional concerto (contemporary classical) in which each movement is influenced by a different genre formative to the composer. The final movement combines themes from all three into a tapestry of cultures and sounds.

Dafne Paris, Netherlands

Dafne ParisDafne Paris is a Dutch-Italian harpist based in Amsterdam. Dafne is currently completing her master studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with a focus on contemporary repertoire. Dafne works with interdisciplinary projects and explores the different possibilities and sonorities available to the harp, combining the traditional harp repertoire with music theatre performances, live electronics and visual arts. She performed at the 66th International Festival of Contemporary Music during La Biennale di Venezia and was awarded “Best Performance” of the Festival. For the current fall semester, Dafne is participating in a graduate exchange program at the Mannes School of Music in New York.


VOCE is a curated program featuring story-telling pieces united by their narrative. The harpist emerges as a symbolic embodiment, exploring her connection with the instrument, the music it creates, and the journey of self-discovery. By including the harpist’s physicality and spoken or sung voice, the performance explores new possibilities in sonorities and theatrical presence. The curated works all depict some aspect or phase of male gaze and relationship between the man and woman on stage. The program will also include a newly commissioned piece for Harp(ist) and Live Electronics based on the mythical transformation of Daphne into a tree evading Apollo’s advances.

Océane Minder, Switzerland

Océane MinderPassionate and determined to combine my favorite instrument – the harp – with my favorite musical genre – jazz, I am pursuing my music studies at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) in the Bachelor’s program for jazz harp. Integrating the harp into the jazz program at a Swiss University of the Arts is a goal that is very close to my heart. Supported by numerous recognized professional musicians in both classical and jazz genres, I will be the only harpist in Switzerland studying jazz harp at the Bachelor’s level. I aspire to contribute, in my own way, to further popularizing the harp in jazz scenes and pushing the boundaries of the instrument even further.

A taste of Harp

I will interpret some of my favorite jazz standards and have fun reinventing them, sometimes as a quartet, trio, duo, and solo. Each standard is a little universe that I have imagined, colored, and made my own. I am touched to share with you my first steps as a young jazz harpist.

Katia Mestrovic, Australia

Katia MestrovicKatia is a modern classical harpist-composer and performer from Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of The Sydney Conservatorium of Music (High Distinction, 2022), and student of Alice Giles AM. Her performing accolades include; third place in the BASEL International Harp Competition (2023), the Quinquin Foundation Scholarship (2021-2022), The William and Marie Souter Encouragement Awards (2018-2020), and the Bachelor of Music Scholarship (2017). Her goal is to contribute as much new harp music to the repertoire as she can, and to spread knowledge of how to write for the instrument idiomatically.

The Sonorous Harp

I am passionate about the harp because I think it is one of the most multi-dimensional and expressive instruments in existence. I arrived at this premise largely due to Carlos Salzedo’s ideas of “essential resonance,” “instrumental esthetics” and his 47 extended techniques. Through my harp composition, I aim to demonstrate and expand upon these concepts, whilst also adding my unique voice to the mix. I am an Australian woman from a Croatian migrant background. I am interested in portraying the harp as an instrument which can be inspired by the music of diverse cultures and contrasting musical styles. I want my music to have a transformative approach to historical traditions and be capable of making ugly, frenzied, impressionist, transcendental, warm, romantic… you name it, any sound! My ambition is for people to hear a harp performance and to say, “Wow, I didn’t know the harp could do that?!”

Fiona Rutherford, Scotland

Fiona RutherfordFiona is a Scottish harpist and composer from Edinburgh, who mainly performs her own eclectic work. Fiona learned harp with Sophie Askew, Isobel Mieras and Savourna Stevenson. She studied at The City of Edinburgh Music School and holds degrees in Composition from Dartington College of Arts and Edinburgh University. Fiona has published several volumes of her own harp compositions and has written for theatre and film including the award winning feature film ‘The Inheritance’. ‘Seed’ was released in Spring 2023 and features her original music for harp and chamber ensembles. “breathtaking…a sign of wonderful genre bursting melting pot in current Scottish music” (Folk RadioUk)

The Scottish Harp: An Eclectic Tale

An exciting and eclectic blend of original compositions for the Scottish Harp. Fiona’s composition style is always melodic at its heart, but encompasses many genres: folk, contemporary classical, film and world. Expect to hear music that is both unusual and beautiful. Fiona’s compositions take inspiration from film music, the African Kora, Gaelic slow airs and French impression. The result is music that sounds fresh and original, but totally honest.
“A beautifully composed listening experience” (Songlines Magazine)
“A sign of a wonderful genre bursting melting pot in current Scottish music” (Folk Radio Uk)

Emma Thomazeau, France

Emma ThomazeauEmma Thomazeau, born in 1999 in France, started playing the harp in Claire Le Fur’s class. At the age of 17, she entered the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne in the class of Letizia Belmondo and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2019, her Master’s degree in Pedagogy in 2021 and her Master’s degree in Soloist in 2023, all awarded with the highest distinction. She is involved in various projects, bringing together arts and styles, notably with AVELUNE, a harp and electronic duo. Emma is the winner of several international competitions, she performs with several orchestras and is regularly invited to play recitals in Switzerland and France. She teach since 2021 at the Montreux Conservatory.


Performed by Avelune, harp and electronic duo, this program offers a reflection on the balance between materials, sounds and feelings. By combining the natural timbre of the harp to sound treatments, we wish to bring sonic worlds together. Classical, experimental, minimalist and current music come together around our compositions for a journey beyond borders. We are both classically trained, Baptiste on trombone and myself on harp. Our pieces bring our two instruments into dialogue around various styles in search of balance. Sometimes dreamy, or powerful and energizing, other times very determined and passionate or even conciliatory and moved, we are constantly looking for a gravity point.

Amy Nam, USA

Amy NamMinnesota-based harpist and musical artist Amy Nam writes and performs music out of a desire to nourish curiosity —both her own curiosity as well as that of her listeners. Her original music has garnered support and accolades from Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, the American Harp Society Grants Program, the BMI Foundation, the Eastman School of Music, and the Lyra Society, and her works have been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Hats+Heels duo, Tennessee Valley Music Festival Orchestra, and the American Composer’s Orchestra. Currently, Nam teaches harp and composition at Luther College in Decorah, IA.

Cosmic Fragments: Words and Music about Life, the Universe, and Everything

A sweeping and quirky musical-poetic survey of human experience and the universe we inhabit, “Cosmic Fragments” grapples with the most profound aspects of our existence: impermanence, imagination, suffering, wonder, and potential—among others! Poems and prose alternate with short works for solo harp, all written within the last century, including the premiere of a movement from a commission for electric lever harp and electronics. At times aggressive, personal, whimsical, or meditative—and always sincere—this idiosyncratic program displays as many characters of the contemporary harp as it offers insights into humanity’s miraculous, impermanent appearance in the cosmos.

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