It has been wonderful to listen and watch other harpists perform and learn from them at the World Harp Congress, and today (July 25th), I finally got to participate.
María Luisa Rayan-Forero gave a masterclass at the Ballroom at For Seasons Hotel this afternoon on works by Marcel Grandjany (1891-1975). Here’s the program of the masterclass-
Nicolette Chin (Singapore) – Fantasie sur un theme de Haydn
Cindy Qin (USA) – Bach/Grandjany Etude No.3
Mingkyung Choo (South Korea) – Rhapsodie
Ms. Rayan is very passionate about teaching. Even though she’s an extremely lovely and kind lady, she is not forgiving while teaching. She pointed out many important things about playing the harp throughout the masterclass. She focused on finding the best sound, having a precise rhythm, pressing & releasing the strings, controlling one’s playing, etc.
I had the privilege to have a small interview with Ms. Rayan after the masterclass.
Q: How long have you been attending the WHC?
A: The first one I went to was in Denmark in 1993. I pretty much went to all of them since then.
Q: What made you to attend the WHC in Denmark?
A: One of the founders of WHC made me a member when I was little, so I was really eager to participate. It was a wonderful opportunity to see and hear the best harp players in the world, and to have a chance to play in Focus on Youth*, and absorbing and getting to know as much as I can.
*Focus on Youth is a program at the WHC which young harpists can apply, and if they are selected, they are allowed to perform at the Focus on Youth recitals.
Q: Why did you choose to teach Grandjany’s music?
A: That was a mutual decision with the committee, because I have always played his music, and I think it’s a must. He really is a master, I played most of his music, and I enjoy playing and teaching them.
Q: You mentioned in the masterclass that Rhapsodie is your favorite piece of music to play, why?
A: Rhapsodie is one of my absolute favorite pieces in the whole world. I enjoy playing it and teaching it. I never get tired of it. It showcases the harp so well; it is glorious.
It has been a year since I last worked with Ms. Rayan at the Saratoga Harp Colony, and it was such a wonderful opportunity for me to participate in the masterclass and work with her again. I definitely have learned much from Ms. Rayan, and same with everyone else who was present at the masterclass.