Leading up to the 13th World Harp Congress this July in Hong Kong, we’re talking with performers for the ever-popular WHC Focus on Youth showcase concerts. Check in each week as we present insights from these talented young artists.

Give us some background: when did you start playing, what’s your current age, and who do you study with?

“Passion will lead you, and will guide you through,” says Hong Kong native Jasmine Shek.

I am a student of Ms. Dan Yu and began playing the harp at the age of 6. I am 16 years old now.

Tell us about your WHC program. How did you choose your repertoire and what do you like about the music?

Sonate pour Harpe, Germaine Tailleferre
Fantaisie sur un Theme de l’Opéra Eugene, E.A. Walter-Kuhne
Dancing Grain, Yi-Qiang Sun

I have chosen this repertoire as it features music from a variety of cultures. Sonate pour Harpe is a piece written by [the]French composer Tailleferre, at the request of Spanish harpist Nicanor Zabeleta, and therefore showcases both French and Spanish elements. Fantaisie su un Theme de l’Opera Eugene is a piece based on the famous Russian Opera Eugene Onegin by Tschaikovsky, which of course demonstrates the rich colors of Russian music, which is one of my favorite types of music. At last Dancing Grain is a traditional Chinese piece, which describes the busy field work time of the Chinese farmers during the harvest. The piece creates a cheerful atmosphere because grains represent good fortune and happiness in the Chinese traditions. As the first performer in the FOY program and a representative of Hong Kong, I would like to send my best wishes to the [audience] through this traditional Chinese folk piece and to welcome them to Hong Kong.

Have you ever attended a World Harp Congress?

Yes, I was invited to play at the Focus on Youth at WHC Sydney in 2014, it was an unforgettable experience. Not only did I have the chance to play in front of many renowned harpists, but i also learnt a lot from them, through the comments and advices they have given me after the Focus on Youth performance and the numerous talks and performances i attended.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get to Hong Kong?

I am from Hong Kong so the first thing for me to do is to greet my harp friends from overseas when they arrive

Which harpist do you most admire, and why?

I admire Ms. Susann McDonald the most. Not only because she is my teacher Dan Yu’s teacher, but also she has given much advice to me, which has encouraged me much to make fine music.

Which harpist are you most looking forward to meeting in person at the WHC?

I am honestly looking forward to meet all the harpists in person as all of them are so well known and well acclaimed.

What’s your most memorable performing experience?

The Focus on Youth at WHC Sydney in 2014, because I could play my favorite pieces to all the renowned and respected harpists at once—they are Susann McDonald, Isabelle Perrin, Dan Yu and many more.

What advice would you give a young student wanting to start harp?

Passion will lead you, and will guide you through 🙂

What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?

“If you have a dream, go for it!” by Susann McDonald

When you’re not playing the harp what do you like to do?

l like to sing. I am in the school choir and i am quite passionate about choral music as it requires massive teamwork and cooperation, which i find quite satisfying when every member is committed to the music.

What’s on your playlist?

Mostly works by Tschaikovsky, Dvorak, Chopin and Shostakovich. (I am quite a classical fan). I enjoy listening to choral music and Disney music as well.

Finish this sentence: In 10 years I see myself…

…as a young doctor who enjoys making music.

Anything else you want Harp Column readers to know about you?

I will be holding a charity harp concert “Sharing Love * Sharing Dream 2017” in September in Hong Kong. It is my second year to use my music to raise funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres and i would like to invite all the music lovers in the city to come and give support to MSF.

To learn more about the World Harp Congress visit www.worldharpcongress.org.
To register for the 13th World Harp Congress July 7–13 2017 in Hong Kong, visit www.whc2017.org.

Listen to Jasmine Shek

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