Anne Denholm is one of Britain’s leading young harpists, and is Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. She is earning a reputation for her interpretations and powerful performances across a variety of musical fields.
Originally from South West Wales and of Scottish heritage, Anne received her Master’s from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London with distinction, graduating with the Renata Scheffel-Stein Harp Prize, the Sir Reginald Thatcher prize and a Regency Award for notable achievement. Whilst at the RAM, she was the first harpist to win the historic RAM Club Prize, twice winner of the Skaila Kanga Harp Prize, and holder of a Headley Trust Award and the John Thomas Scholarship. In July 2015 she was appointed Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, the fifth artist to hold this position since its reinstatement in 2000.
Anne underwent a British musical upbringing, studying at the Junior Department of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Purcell School and Cambridge University before the RAM. However, she has inherited rich traditions from the French and Russian schools of harp playing through her studies with Charlotte Seale and Karen Vaughan, respectively.
As a soloist, Anne has won numerous prizes in local, national and international music festivals and competitions. She won second place in the Texaco Young Musician of Wales 2009 and was a string category finalist in the BBC Young Musician 2010. At the Wales International Harp Festival, she was awarded second prize in the under 19 category in 2010, and second prize in the Chief Musician Competition in 2014. In June 2013, Anne received the Cambridge University Donald Wort Prize for excellence in music performance after achieving the highest final recital mark, and in 2014 won first prize in the Urdd National Eisteddfod 19-25 solo instrumental category, then being selected to compete for the Bryn Terfel Urdd Scholarship 2014. She has performed as a soloist at the Wigmore Hall and across the U.K., including at the Fishguard International Music Festival and the inaugural Cardiff Music Festival. She gives regular solo and chamber recitals across Britain, and concerto appearances have included works by Glière, Mozart, Handel and Pierné.
Anne is increasingly in demand as an interpreter and performer of new music. She has been premiering and recording new works for solo harp since 2006, and in 2013-14 worked with Sally Beamish on a video project of her work for solo harp, Awuya. Anne is a founding member of award-winning contemporary quartet, The Hermes Experiment, who regularly commission new works and arrangements for their idiosyncratic combination of instruments (clarinet, soprano voice, harp and double bass), as well as performing live free improvisation. Anne also very much enjoys working with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Anne freelances with orchestras across England, most recently working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and The Orchestra of the Swan. In 2015-16 she was the harpist for the LPO Foyle Future Firsts development scheme. She is also Principal Harpist with Ensemble Cymru, a group championing chamber music throughout Wales. Anne also enjoys working with choirs; collaborators have included Trinity Boys Choir, The Temple Church Choir, Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir and The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge.
In addition to performing, Anne is passionate about using music in community and education contexts. She has been practising in this field since 2008, when she first started training with the Purcell School’s award-winning IMPULSE music education group. Since then, she has worked with the Cambridge Music Education and Outreach group, the Open Academy (RAM), and the LPO Education Team. She is currently a solo harpist with Live Music Now in Wales and England.
Anne would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Headley Trust, Help Musicians UK, the Arts Council of Wales, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Ryan Davies Memorial Fund, the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, the Craxton Memorial Trust, and the James Pantyfedwen Foundation.
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“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic far beyond all we do here!”‘ – Albus Dumbledore in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, J.K. Rowling