Kilkenny to host Festival of Early Irish Harp in August

Your chance to play the harp!

The early Irish harp

The early Irish harp

Have you ever dreamt of playing a harp and didn't know where to start?

If so, then the opening Taster Session at Scoil na gCláirseach - Festival of Early Irish Harp on Wednesday, August 15, 3 to 4pm is your chance. It will offer he perfect opportunity for you to hear, see and try out a copy of an early Irish harp. “No musical experience is required” says Scoil director, Siobhán Armstrong, “but do book in advance to be sure of a place and to get your hands on a beautiful harp on the day!”

Spaces are also still available 16–20 August for beginners and also for more advanced players for the intensive tuition sessions each morning. A limited number of rental harps are available

Join participants from Ireland – and from around the world – to immerse yourself in the world’s unique festival celebrating Ireland's exquisite, ancient harp depicted on the Euro and on official Irish documents. This rare, very special Irish harp – strung in brass wire – is a different instrument to the modern Irish harp, which is more closely related to the orchestral pedal harp. 


THURS 16 Aug Ceól Mór: The Big Music Of Harp & Pipes

Allan Macdonald, voice & Scottish smallpipes; Ann Heymann, harp; Simon Chadwick, harp.

Iconic Scottish Gaelic music star, Allan Macdonald, joins international pioneers of early Gaelic harping to present the aristocratic music of the Highlands.

FRI 17 Aug The Dawn Of Day: Songs Of The Harpers

Siobhán Armstrong, harp; Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin, voice and harp; Mícheál Ó Catháin, voice and harp.

Ireland’s foremost historical harpist is joined by prize-winning singer, Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin, in evocative songs by 17th- and 18th-century Irish harpers. Also featuring singer-harper Mícheál Ó Catháin, who is almost unique in accompanying his own singing on the early Irish harp.  

SAT 18 Aug Sounds Of Scotland

Allan Macdonald, Scottish smallpipes and voice; James Ruff, harp. Scottish music icon, Allan Macdonald, performs meltingly beautiful Gaelic songs and Scottish small pipes compositions and is joined by historical harpist, James Ruff, playing harp repertory he has unearthed and reconstructed from 17th- and 18th-century Scottish sources.

SUN 19 Aug A Hidden Ulster: Music Of Oriel

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, voice; Sylvia Crawford, harp; Darren Mag Aoidh, fiddle. Renowned scholar-singer Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin sings songs of south-east Ulster and is joined in this gorgeous music from Oriel by harpist Sylvia Crawford and fiddler Darren Mag Aoidh.

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