S1. E21. Eira Lynn Jones
June 9, 2021
Harpist Eira Lynn Jones joins us to chat about her work with the Juniper Project, a flute and harp duo that performs and records not only the most virtuosic repertoire, but also the approachable repertoire that they enjoy coaching. We speak about Eira’s work as a composer of chamber music, as well as her connection to the Music in Hospitals program. Eira shares some of her background as someone who “did everything backwards”, having gone from a full-time orchestral position to a freelancer’s career.
ABOUT EIRA LYNN JONES:
Welsh harpist Eira Lynn Jones is a versatile musician, who has a passion for creativity and originality. Her eclectic career ranges from orchestral work, recordings and commissions to chamber music collaborations. She is known equally for her committed, dynamic playing and her innovative, dedicated teaching.
While a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, Eira won numerous awards, including a Guinness Foundation Scholarship and an I.S.M. Performer Award, resulting in her BBC Radio 3 debut on the ‘Young Musicians’ series. Further studies with Kathleen Bride at the Manhattan School of Music in New York led to a Masters Degree. Invited to join the Manhattan Contemporary Music Ensemble, she premiered new works for harp, which ignited her interest in researching unusual and varied repertoire. She did indeed take her harp to the party; to Carnegie Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre of Performing Arts and Creativity, and even to the top of the Empire State Building!
On returning to the UK she was appointed Principal Harp with Northern Ballet Theatre. She now regularly freelances with the UK's leading orchestras, including Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. As soloist, she has performed Debussy Danses with Manchester Camerata and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with Northern Chamber Orchestra.
Eira is also widely recognised as one of the UK's leading harp teachers. As Head of Harp at the RNCM she loves inspiring young musicians, receiving many invitations to run workshops worldwide, including USA, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Sweden and Iceland.
She achieved notable success with her solo album ‘... from within’, which is a mix of classical and folk pieces on both pedal harp and clarsach: "I love the album ... a diversity of music, a very accomplished technique, and your heart coming through" (Alan Stivell).
From performing at the Hollywood Bowl to under the much loved “Dippy” dinosaur at the Natural History Museum; from appearing in Coronation Street to playing for HRH Prince of Wales in Spain; from recording with the heavy metal band “Venom” to accompanying Kiri te Kanawa; from directing the music of John Cage for 20 harps to leading the RNCM Young Harps Project, Eira approaches each project with passion, and is a true ambassador for this most magical of instruments.
LISTEN & LEARN:
Full Episode on Anchor