Claudia Lamanna wins 2019 Camac Harp Competition


Claudia Lamanna won first prize in the Camac Harp Competition held May 5–6 as part of the 2019 North London Festival of Music, Speech, and Drama. Second prize was awarded to Mared Pugh–Evans, and Lise Vandersmissen took home third. “I was very grateful to win the competition,” says Lamanna. “This past semester [at the Royal Academy of Music], I studied some pieces that I loved very much, so I thought that this competition would be a good occasion to try them out.”

Judged by Stephen Fitzpatrick and Emma Ramsdale, the competition was open to pedal harpists of “conservatoire standard and beyond,” studying or residing in the UK or Republic of Ireland and aged up to 30. Round one consisted of two contrasting pieces, and those advanced were asked to present a 20–minute program. Lamanna was awarded a paid lunchtime recital at the Proms at St. Judes, a music and literary festival taking place in June. “This is a highly respected North London concert series, and it gives the young harpist laureate a chance to perform for a wider musical public, not just the harp world,” says Helen Leitner of Camac Harps. “Also, because this concert has always been a success and is therefore now repeated every year, the PASJ audience have become quite the harp cognoscenti. The regular performance of a harp recital in the musical mainstream builds audiences for, and interest in, the harp.” Lamanna adds, “This competition is definitely very exciting, because it gives an opportunity to young harpists to introduce themselves and play to a wider audience, which I love to do.”

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