Academy Harp Ensemble

Artistic Director - Professor Skaila Kanga

The Academy Harp Ensemble was formed in 1993 by Skaila Kanga. The aim was to give harpists an opportunity to play in a ‘harp orchestra’ and to perform newly commissioned works with other instruments and voices.  The success of the group has been highlighted by the many showcase and chamber concerts given both at the Royal Academy of Music and other venues including the Wigmore Hall, Senate House, Mansion House, Assembly House – Norwich, St Martin in the Fields, Kings Place, Bury St Edmonds and Southwark Cathedrals, Regent Hall - London, Sounds New Festival - Canterbury, Holywell Showrooms and Cardiff’s Millennium Centre.  Both with Academy and private sponsorship, Skaila Kanga has commissioned many premieres for the harp faculty over the years:

Harps of Gold (5 harps); Adam Gorb - 1994

D’Altrivi diluvi una Colombo ascolto (harp, flute, clarinet & string quartet); Paul Pellay - 1995

Firenze (flute, harp and string trio); Melanie Daiken - 1996

Beyond the Windows (flute, viola and harp); Rhian Samuel - 1997

Granite Edge (flute, viola and harp); Joyce T. Koh - 1998

Waterless Seas (6 harps); Gareth Wood - 2002

Nantcol Songs (soprano & 6 harps); Rhian Samuel - 2003

Rivers of Light (tenor & 6 harps); Gareth Wood - 2004

Forbidden Gates (flute, viola and harp); Gareth Wood - 2004

Bugs (solo harp); Paul Patterson - 2004

Carillons (6 harps); Eric Crees  - 2005

Gabriel’s Vision (horn & 6 harps); Richard Bissill - 2005

Twisted Elegy (flute, viola and harp); Richard Bissill - 2007

Mandala (6 harps); Joby Talbot  - 2007

Dance of the Curlews (harp duo); Rhian Samuel - 2007/8

Prelude, Rock Blues and Latin (6 harps); David Snell - 2009

Artemis Artemis (6 harps); Gareth Wood - 2009

Avian Arabesques (for 4 harps); Paul Patterson - 2009

Bedivere (a concerto for solo trumpet and 6 harps); Gareth Wood - 2009

In Olden Times (a suite in the baroque style for 4 harps); Gareth Wood - 2011

Sirens (for violin and harp quartet); Richard Bissill - 2011

Autumn Rain (soprano and 4 harps); Philip White - 2011

Rhapsody (cello and 4 harps); Gareth Wood - 2012

Whitest Moon (4 harps); Ruth Byrchmore - 2012

Canticle (counter tenor and 2 harps); Celia Harper - 2012

Aubade (trumpet, horn and 2 harps); Philip White - 2013

Panoply (flute and 2 harps); Richard Bissill - 2013

A Welsh Fantasy (6 harps); Gareth Wood - 2014

Fritillaries (clarinet and harp); Rhian Samuel- 2014

New Work (harp quartet); Bruce Broughton - 2015

New Work (wind quintet and harp); Richard Bissill - 2015

The Academy Harp Ensemble has also given performances for the Worshipful Company of Musicians and for HRH Duchess of Gloucester’s birthday celebrations.

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