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Full programme out for Harpes au Max

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Harpes au Max have now released their full programme in French and in English, and you can explore it here. You can also read about the festival ethos, browse photos and videos from 2016, read relevant news, and sign up to volunteer (which is really fun, guaranteed). You can follow the event’s Facebook page for francophone running updates, and their YouTube collection of videos from Harpes au Max artists past and present. 

On the Harpes au Max website, you can also read about how the partnership between us, the regional authorities (COMPA) and the town of Ancenis was formed. I recently wrote a note about strong home bases – in many different contexts.

The chance to come together in our home region of Ancenis is both joyous and important. All our harps are made in the same ateliers they have always been made in, in the hamlet of Mouzeil. This does not make it easy suddenly to increase production – that can only be done by outsourcing to a large factory. But it does give you a community, who work together, enrich each other’s expertise, and who retain a consistent overview of the quality of the instruments. 

On the artistic side, we harpists can sometimes end up playing for audiences of harpists. There is value in that too, but music is for everyone, and it is always the beginning of the end when music is only interesting for musicians. There is no artistic or organological reason for the twenty-first century harp to be a niche instrument! Electroacoustic developments mean we can hold our own in the largest stadium; traditional instruments have been reworked fully to take part in – for example – the chromaticism necessary to today’s world/jazz fusion; harpists of all genres become more virtuoso all the time, and even conductors are learning something. We are also very grateful to Ancenis and the COMPA for their engagement in bringing the wonderful artists whom we know well, to a wider audience. 

Tickets can also be booked on the website – reserve your places here


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