Updated: Sep 25, 2019
I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but summer has arrived and has brought a lot of exciting developments. Honestly, life has been hectic lately, but in a truly wonderful and beautiful way.
Two years ago, I released my last album and then shortly after there was the patter of tiny feet. We welcomed my little angel into the world and life hasn’t been the same since. We moved back to my hometown in Wales and I am delighted with our new haven in the shadow of Preseli Hill. Don’t worry, I haven’t completely said goodbye to London. I love it far too much to let go so we still have a foothold there.
I’m also delighted to say that I have a fresh line up of concert performances. This all begins with The Welsh Proms on 27th July at St David’s Hall which I can’t wait for. It’s going to mark the debut of my brand new harp too. It will be on a UK stage for the first time this summer, beginning with the Proms and incredibly, I’m the first Brit to play it. I will also be playing it with my ensemble on 28th of July in Swansea, and the 29thof July in Aberystwyth. There are links to purchase tickets for all of these events on ‘ticket’ tab of my website.
This is a new Art Nouveau Gold harp from Camac Harps, and I have to say; I am absolutely in love with this instrument. As you know, I’ve been playing the harp for years and Camac really has created something remarkable here. The sound is magnificent, and the style is stunning. It’s intricate, elegant, beautiful and pays homage to the 1880s when after the First World War, artists from both sides returned to nature. There are even engravings of little flowers and leaves. I feel very lucky to be the first UK harpist to play it and cannot wait to perform in the coming days. I’m absolutely indebted to Jean-Bernard Jouteu for carving this magnificent golden beauty.
But that’s not all. I’ve also been helping nurture the next generation of young talented harpists. I now have a new team of young professional music scholars from a range of prestigious colleges. With the Claire Jones ensemble, my goal is to provide experience to these new artists and help them grow their talent. Many have already performed with me through my annual International Harp School while others have taken part on a 7-day concert tour in the US. They’re excited for their London debut in 2020 and I think they’re going to be a fantastic hit.
I have a number of shows on the horizon which I’m preparing for, with Chris and my students. This includes a recital featuring 20 harps performing Vivaldi as well as pieces from John Williams. Yes, we’re heading to a galaxy far, far away, taking you on a trip to Hogwarts and there’ll be plenty more surprises too. If you’re keen to hear my wonderful team of young harpists make sure to listen out for features on S4C, Radio Wales and. Radio Cymru.
I have to say that none of this would be possible without Chris. As my trusted composer/percussionist and doting husband, he’s expertly tailored different ensemble parts for the group. He has written them difficult and virtuosic pieces but they’re more than up for the challenge.
We both feel we’ve found our niche promoting my favourite instrument through popular classics and a range of different mediums.
I feel incredibly lucky to have reached this level of success in my career and I’m thrilled to be working with these young performers. It’s been a crazy couple of years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and can’t wait to discover what else is on the horizon.