People don’t suddenly decide from a young age that they want to become skilled with an instrument such as the harp. Instead, they must be inspired by role models, and experience what it means to be a virtuoso with their own eyes and ears. This is a duty that Claire Jones has taken on with gusto….the responsibility of inspiring the next generation of harpists.
Who is Claire Jones?
At the age of 10, Claire Jones embarked on a journey with the harp that led her to become Britain’s best-selling classical harpist, earning multiple prestigious accolades along the way. She performed for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 16 and in 2007, she was one of the inaugural winners of The Prince of Wales’s Advanced Study in Music Award. This led to her being appointed as the Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales from 2007 to 2011. Thanks to her significant contributions to the profession, Claire was awarded an Honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music London in 2016.
These honours are a testament to Claire’s passion for the harp, but perhaps her biggest contribution has been establishing her own international harp school and two touring ensembles; the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble and Nouveau ensemble, both of which have performed in the United Kingdom and the United States over the past two years. With the harp school now in its fourth year, it has become the primary source of inspiration, education and opportunity for budding harp players across the country. Claire expects that the harpists from her courses and ensemble will be seen by thousands of spectators, giving them an invaluable and memorable opportunity to study and thrive under her guidance.
Inspiring a New Generation of Harp Players
The Claire Jones International Harp School is a place for harp players of all ages and ability. It’s a positive environment that supports and encourages new musicians while also helping to refine the skills of more experienced harpists. The courses include everything from basic rhythm keeping to theory and improvisation techniques. Whether it’s to introduce someone to playing the harp for the first time or to rekindle one’s passion for the harp, Claire has inspired and instructed countless students through her courses. Courses typically end with a public concert in the Frenni School which is well-supported by the locality.
Founded by Claire Jones and Chris Marshall, the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble is currently one of the UK’s leading harp ensembles, capturing the hearts of audiences in the UK and America. It consists of young professionals, scholars from London’s leading conservatoires, National Youth ensembles and national award winners from the National Eisteddfod of Wales. The concerts are described as passionate, unique and diverse while highlighting some of the nation’s most talented multi-instrumentalists.
In 2020, Claire will be taking the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble and Nouveau ensemble to new heights, performing at St James’ Piccadilly for their London debut, a private performance at one of the Historic Royal Palaces, a performance at the Welsh Proms, Aberystwyth International MusicFest, Winchester Cathedral and at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff.
Claire Jones is truly an inspiration, she not only loves the harp, but is doing all that she can to pass down her knowledge and skills to future generations.