Remy van Kesteren, harp; Harmonia Mundi, 2013.
5 harps

The guy’s got it all—the looks, the chops, and the groove. Even his Twitter profile proudly tells us that real men play harp. He’s the winner of the 2013 International Harp Competition, Dutch musician and storyteller Remy van Kesteren, a player as comfortable with the gentle feminine touch of a pianissimo as he is adding arabesques to the stylings of Naturally 7 or performing for hundreds of thousands as part of the BBC Night at the Proms.
Much has been written about this outstanding musician, but for me my “wow” moment came as I opened up his debut disc—with the most straight-forward and oh-so-right name Remy.—placed it in the player and turned up the volume. From the first notes I melted. An arrangement of the orchestral work, The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana, is an evocative homage to a river that begins like a legend, as two springs cold and hot that finally find each other growing to a massive force. In Remy’s hands, the piece is altogether new, playful, robust, and dancing, while all the while truly a story in music.

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About Author

For the past 10 years, Alison Young has turned her highly trained ear towards the latest and greatest releases as Harp Column's records reviewer. A professional flutist and radio host, she enjoys discovering new music as well as familiar music played in new ways and sharing with readers her points of view in colorful and exacting descriptions. You can email her at

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