World Harp Congress Sydney’s Welcome – Opening Gala Concert

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Hi everyone! My name is Cindy Qin. I am currently at the World Harp Congress in Sydney right now. The exciting congress is mainly being held at the Four Seasons Hotel, while the evening concerts and some recitals are being held at other concert venues.

The Opening Gala Concert on Sunday, July 20th was at the beautiful Sydney Town Hall. The concert started with a warm welcome from Alice Giles, the World Harp Local Committee Chair, Patricia Wooster, the WHC (World Harp Congress) Chair, and Isabelle Perrin, the WHC Artistic Director.

The program was very unique and eye-opening; it showcased different style of harps and harp music from all over the world.
It was started with Harp Mantras by Ross Edwards (b. 1943), which was a world premiere played by the Seven Harp Ensemble from Australia (Melina van Leeuwen, Laura Tanata, Ingrid Bauer, Alice Giles, Rowan Phemister, Hannah Lane, and Genevieve Lang) and William Barton on the Didjeridu (traditional Australian instrument).

The second performer was Ann Heymann from the United States. She played two pieces arranged by herself on a very petite medieval Gaelic harp with gold strings.

Following Mrs. Ann Heymann, Dan Yu gave an amazing performance of the Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major by Johann Sebastian Bach and a traditional Chinese piece, Dancing Grain by Yi-Qiang Sun.

Last but not least, Rüdiger Oppermann from Germany performed a variety of different style of music on his celtic and bardic harps. His performance was joined by Cynthia Oppermann (harp), Sally Clarke (viola), Brett Hirst (electric bass), and Andy Gander (drums). Combined with electronic effects, his performance gave a grand ending to the concert and brought much excitement for the events in the coming week.
The concert was definitely a fantastic start for this extraordinary world harp event.

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