Thu, May 23, 2019 - Page 4 News List

French harpist to perform at Taipei festival

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

National Symphony Orchestra principal harpist Shannon Chieh poses with a harp in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Taiwan International Harp Festival

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s principal harpist, Emmanuel Ceysson, is to perform at the Taiwan International Harp Festival in Taipei on June 27, organizers said.

Ceysson is to perform with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at a concert in Eslite Spectrum shopping mall, they said.

Shannon Chieh (解瑄), the festival’s artistic director and NSO principal harpist, said that Ceysson would play with her and other NSO harpists in a multimedia performance that blends music with images created by travel photographer Hsu Pei-hung (許培).

A graduate of the Conservatoire de Lyon, Ceysson won accolades at the USA International Harp Competition in 2004, receiving the gold medal and a special performance prize before being recruited as principle harpist by Paris Opera the following year, she said.

In 2014, Ceysson became principle harpist at the Metropolitan and he is considered a prodigy in the harp world, Hsu said.

“Ceysson possesses a profound understanding of the harp’s structure and harmonic principles and has created a personal system of musicological notations that allows him to memorize a composition with a speed and accuracy that is the envy of his fellow harpists,” she said.

The festival, which runs from June 25 to June 30, is to highlight Taiwan’s native harp music that has set itself apart from the international harp community with its experimental nature and avant-garde spirit, Chieh said.

The festival’s first concert, Carnival Night, is a reinterpretation of the classical composition The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, which is to feature electronic sounds, improvisations, light shows, percussion and tango performances, she said.

Another iconic contemporary harpist, Isabelle Moretti, is expected to perform in Taiwan for the first time Chieh said, adding that her piece is to include harp music and a recital of Native American poetry.

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