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Hannah Stone becomes new official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales

Published on 27th June 2011

Welsh harpist Hannah Stone is to become the new Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, making her debut performance tonight at a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales to launch The Cambrian Mountains Ambassadors Scheme.

Hannah will also play at a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on Tuesday 28th June for members of the local Myddfai community and on Thursday 30th June at a tea party hosted by The Duchess for children from Latch, the Welsh children’s cancer charity. The engagements are part of Their Royal Highnesses’ annual summer visit to Wales.

The post of Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales was reinstated in 2000 to help celebrate and foster musical talent in Wales and to raise the profile of the harp as an instrument. Hannah is the fourth person to take on the role, following in the footsteps of the current postholder, Claire Jones,who was appointed in June 2007.

Hannah has already performed on several occasions for members of the Royal Family. Most recently, she played at the opening of the fourth Welsh Assembly for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. She also played for The Queen on Her Majesty’s Jubilee Tour of Wales in 2002.

Hannah is 24-years-old and was brought up in Swansea where her family still live. She is currently living in Cardiff where she furthered her studies under the tutelage of Caryl Thomas at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, through the Victor Salvi Scholarship.

Speaking about her appointment, Hannah said: “I am honoured to have been appointed Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. I am proud to be promoting the harp, a central part of our Welsh heritage, and to follow the fantastic example set by Claire. I am excited to get started and can’t wait for the coming months.”

A keen performer from the age of eight, Hannah studied under the guidance of Meinir Heulyn, Head of Harp at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Dance before moving to London. During this time she was a prize-winner at National Competitions including the Urdd Eisteddfod and the International Eisteddfod, delivering performances at the Wales Millennium Centre and St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

In London, Hannah studied with Imogen Barford, Head of Harp at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree followed by her Master of Music degree.

Hannah performed in many prestigious venues including the Barbican Centre, LSO St. Luke’s, St. John’s Smith Square and the Museum of London. She has played in Masterclasses with Helga Stork, Erika Waardenburg, Cristina Braga, Elinor Bennett and Catrin Finch among others.

In October 2008, Hannah was selected to represent the Guildhall School in collaboration with the Academies Festival Orchestra, Singapore. This project culminated in an opening gala performance for the Singapore Sun Festival at the Esplanade Theatre with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. In 2008 Hannah was awarded the third prize at the Camac Harp Competition, London, and won the first prize at the National Eisteddfod, Cardiff. In 2007 she performed in the European Harp Symposium and reached the semi-finals of the European Harp Competition.

In September 2009, as part of her Masters degree, she accepted an Erasmus Exchange place at the Universitat Mozarteum, Salzburg, to study with Professor Helga Storck for one semester. During 2010 Hannah was awarded the 2nd prize at the Franz Joseph Reinl Competition in Vienna and was appointed principal harpist with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra for the year. Hannah has recently been accepted on to the Live Music Now scheme, which aims to make live music available to those who have very limited access to it. As a result Hannah will be performing regularly throughout Wales.

Notes for Editors

  • Hannah’s appointment runs for an initial period of two years.
  • The post of Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales was reinstated in 2000. The Prince re-established the position of harpist to help celebrate and foster musical talent in Wales.
  • The first player to be appointed to the re-established position was Catrin Finch, who was official harpist from 2000-04. She was succeeded by Jemima Phillips and then Claire Jones in 2007, who held the position until now.
  • Historically, previous postholders have included the Welsh John Thomas (1826-1913) who succeeded the English John Chatterton in 1871 as Royal Harpist to Queen Victoria and continued as The King’s Harper to King Edward until his death in 1913. Nansi Richards (1888-1976) – student of John Thomas, was appointed Royal Harpist to The Prince of Wales at his Investiture in 1911.
  • On Monday 27th June Hannah will be playing The Prince of Wales’s harp which was given to His Royal Highness in 2006 by the Victor Salvi Foundation in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of harp playing.