// Dutch Harp Festival


Competition FAQ

All the info you need about the 2024 competition.

Who is eligible to apply to the competition?

All harpists, regardless of age and nationality, are welcome to apply! There are no entry restrictions.

What will I need to do if I'm accepted to the video round?

Candidates who pass the preliminary round of the competition will be invited to submit a video preview of their original program. All the details concerning the content, file format, and deadline are outlined in section D2 of the 2024 Rules & Regulations.

What are you looking for in an “original program”?

The "original program" is an adventurous new concept that sets the DHF World Harp Competition apart from all other harp competitions. Rather than asking competitors to prepare a set of required repertoire, we invite everyone to design their own program. Approach it as if you were designing a concert program. Think about your unique strengths as a musician and what you would like to express artistically. Think about what kind of experience you want to create for the audience. The jury will be looking for the best all-around performer: technically, musically, and artistically. For more tips and inspiration, watch this video. We are curious to see what you come up with!

Can I include other performers in my program?

Just like you would for a normal concert, you are welcome to program music that includes other performers or invite colleagues to collaborate with you, as long as the main feature of the program remains you playing the harp. How much collaboration should you do? We don’t have an answer for this, but keep in mind both the costs and the benefits. Collaboration can add dynamic to your performance, but more doesn’t always mean better. And involving extra people can bring in fresh ideas, but it also incurs extra expenses, which are not covered by the Dutch Harp Festival. It’s up to you to strike the right balance.

Can I come with my harp quartet?

In the special case of a program that involves multiple harps, the short answer is yes, but it’s a bit more complicated than that, so keep reading. You cannot actually apply as a group, since there can be only one contestant per application. So if you wanted to perform as a harp quartet (for example), then you would have to select one member to represent you as the official competition contestant.

Will my travel be covered by the competition?

Due to the increase in the number of candidates we are inviting to perform live in 2024, travel to and accommodation in Utrecht will NOT be covered. We do however have a travel fund for competitors needing extra financial assistance. Those selected to the semifinals will receive information about how to apply.

Will I receive feedback from the jury?

Yes! Feedback will be provided starting in the video round (we do not provide feedback following the preliminary round). Since the video round will be held online, we will collect written feedback from the scouting jury members and forward these on to you. During the live rounds, there will be an opportunity to meet with the jury members in person. We believe that receiving feedback is important for musical growth, which is why we make sure to give our candidates the opportunity to hear the jury’s reaction to their performance.

Who will be on the jury?

Check out our video “All About the Jury” to learn how adjudication works at the DHF World Harp Competition. There are three separate juries, consisting each of different jury members, each one responsible for a different round of the competitions: the preliminary round, the regional rounds (now held digitally as the "video round"), and the finals. On these juries will be a mixture of both harpists and non-harpists. We ensure that none of the harpist jury members are teachers of any of the candidates. Non-harpists are professional musicians with distinguished careers in other areas such as performance, conducting, composing, and music business. In order to minimize the amount of contact between the candidates and the jury members, we only announce the names of the jury members once the competition has begun.

Can I bring my own harp to the finals?

Yes! As the competition is open to all kinds of harps, we also allow anyone to bring their own harp if they wish. For those not traveling with their own instrument, however, the competition will provide a selection of harps.

I play folk harp / electric harp / Paraguayan harp. Will there be a harp for me to use at the competition?

We will try our best to provide harps for anyone who requests to use a competition harp at the finals. Just let us know on your application form what kind of harp you would need. Some harps are easier to find than others, however, so if you play a unique type of harp, we may only be able to provide a close approximation.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here?

You can reach out to us using the contact form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!