Cardiff Shopping Centre to host a Marathon Harpathon!

Music lovers in the Capital are in for a treat on Saturday 20th May, when the Welsh national instrument is celebrated with 10 hours of free music by some of the best Harpists in Wales.

Led by Anne Denholm, Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, the event aims to raise awareness and funds for the Welsh branch of national musicians development and outreach charity, Live Music Now.

Anne is one of around 300 musicians in the UK, and over 50 in Wales who benefit from being part of the scheme, which trains exceptional early career professional musicians over 4-6 years, and takes them into the community to perform for isolated older people, those living with dementia or other mental health issues, and children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Founded by celebrated concert violinist Yehudi Menuhin 40 years ago, around 3500 concerts and workshops are delivered across the UK, with 450 in Wales each year. LMN Wales is also the only national arts organization committed to delivering work in each of the 22 Welsh counties annually. Care homes, day centres, hospitals, hospices, schools and special needs settings are just some of the places the charity works, changing lives through the amazing therapeutic, social and emotional benefits of engaging with high quality live music.

As Anne commented, “I have wanted to put on a fundraising event for Live Music Now for a while, and the organisation’s 40th anniversary seemed a perfect occasion. We will certainly be making a statement by taking a harp into Cardiff’s busiest shopping centre and flying the flag for LMN, not to mention providing 10 hours of live music in the process!”

Eleven harpists will be joining Anne on the day to keep the music going, including others on the LMN scheme, Bethan Semmens and Tomos Xerri. They will be supported by Welsh Harpists, Marged Hall, Mari Kelly, Inbar Vernia, Elin Kelly, Anna Blumire, Marged Pugh Evans, Rhiain Awel Dyer, Hannah Williams and Katie Baylis, many of whom are currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and will each play for between 30-60mins, with four chances for the public to see Anne herself perform over the day.

Claire Cressey, Director for LMN Wales commented, “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our work and the talents of musicians in Wales. As much of our work is ‘hidden’’ within the community, most of the public will not be aware of the incredible impact LMN musicians have on some of the most vulnerable or deprived areas of Wales. There is a growing understanding of the connection between music and dementia, mental health and special needs, and with over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and that figure due to double by 2040, our work is needed more than ever.”

Anne added, “The work of LMN is invaluable: training and inspiring young musicians to take live music to people that might not normally get to experience it, generating transformative experiences for audiences, participants and musicians alike. I am delighted to have the opportunity to put on this event with the help of LMN Wales, and am very grateful for the generosity of my colleagues that will be donating their time and musicianship to the Harpathon and this wonderful cause.”

Each harpist will be raising sponsorship to take part in the event, and public donations can also be made on the day. Holywell Music have donated rucksacks and composer Christopher Painter a signed score of his Gregynog Suite, which was premiered by Catrin Finch to those who raise the most funds.

The event runs 9am – 7pm, on Level 1 of St David’s 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff outside River Island on Saturday 20th May. To support Anne and the Harpists you can also donate at their Just Giving Page here:

For more information on the work of Live Music Now, visit


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