Following a series of quarterfinal rounds taking place in Hong Kong, Utrecht, and New York in January, the Dutch Harp Festival has announced the eight semifinalists in its 2018 World Harp Competition. They will each perform an original program at the Dutch Harp Festival, May 12–13, 2018, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and three finalists will be chosen to compete for the top prize. The semifinalists are (pictured above, clockwise from top left):
Alice Belugou, France/Switzerland
Abigail Kent, USA
Aimee Hang Yu Lam, Hong Kong/UK
Rosanna Moore, UK
Pia Salvia, Belgium
Cesar Secundino, Mexico
Uno Alexander Vesje, Norway
Oliver Wass, UK
A three-member scouting jury listened to 32 candidates in person as well as videos submitted as part of the competition’s “YouTube Wildcard Option.” The jury consisted of Remy van Kesteren (featured in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of Harp Column), Maeve Gilchrist (featured in the May/Jun 2017 issue of Harp Column), and Robert Paterson (contributor to the article Composer Connection, from the May/Jun 2015 issue of Harp Column).
The World Harp Competition—previously called the Dutch Harp Competition—does not include required repertoire and instead asks candidates to create their own program.
“We were struck by the high quality of the performances,” says jury chair Remy van Kesteren. “The versatility of the programs and the charisma with which the candidates presented all of it.”
For more information visit harpfestival.nl.