€10.85 – €22.20

International Festival for Irish Harp: Oscail an Doras

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Highlanes Gallery

36 Saint Laurence Street

A92 F7PH Drogheda

Ireland

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Oscail an Doras featuring Maria Christina Cleary (early harp) with Emily Cullen (poet)

About this Event

Maria Christina Cleary (early harp)

The extraordinary harpist Maria Christina Cleary has been described as “a true virtuoso”, a “brilliant player” and “a pioneer of period harp practice”. She is noted for her improvisatory skills and ingenious basso continuo playing, combined with a particular care to create a beautiful sound on a perilous instrument. Specalising in historical harps, Maria performs on medieval harps, the Italian arpa doppia, the Spanish arpa de dos ordenes and the 18th century harpe organisée. She promotes a pedal technique that was exclusively used on harps with a single-action pedal mechanism. She has developed several innovative tunings for performing medieval and renaissance music, some which can heard on recordings with Ensemble Tetraktys on the Olive Music label.


She has performed as soloist with, among others, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Bayerische Staatsoper, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Arion Ensemble Montreal and the RTE Concert Orchestra. In the 1990’s, Maria performed at the Playboy Mansion in LA and while living near Milan for the last 15 years, she has never played at La Scala. In 2014, Maria was invited to perform a Concerto by J. B. Krumpholtz with the Orchestra of the Antipodes at The World Harp Congress in Sydney. This was the first time the harpe organisée was featured at the Congress. As a basso continuo player, she has performed in most festivals in the world including the Boston, Utrecht, Montreal, Salzburg festivals, with historically-informed orchestras and ensembles. Maria performs regularly with Davide Monti under the name Arparla, a violin and harp duo specialising in repertoire from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

Emily Cullen (poet)

Emily Cullen is a Galway-based poet, scholar, curator and harper. Emily’s first collection, No Vague Utopia, was published in 2003. In 2004, she was the Programme Director of the national Patrick Kavanagh Centenary celebrations and was also selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. Emily was awarded an IRC Government of Ireland fellowship for her doctoral study on the Irish harp. She frequently publishes essays on Irish music and cultural history. A former member of the Belfast Harp Orchestra, Emily has recorded on a number of albums and also as a solo artist, giving lectures and recitals nationally and internationally. Emily’s second collection of poetry, In Between Angels and Animals, was published in 2013. For the past two years she served as Programme Director of Galway’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Emily launched her third collection of poetry, Conditonal Perfect, at the Achill International Harp Festival in 2019.

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Highlanes Gallery

36 Saint Laurence Street

A92 F7PH Drogheda

Ireland

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