News and Events
This outstanding concert of Welsh traditional music for solo and triple harp ensemble launches a year of exciting events taking place across Wales to celebrate the centenary of Wales' oldest and most influential musical organisation. Formed in 1906 at the then University College of North Wales, Bangor, the society's aims are to preserve the indigenous Welsh tradition and prevent the native melodies from disappearing.
It is fitting, therefore, that this first concert should be given by a triple harp choir. The triple harp, an Italian invention from the early Baroque period, has three rows of strings as opposed to the more common pedal harp and has survived only in Wales, where it was extremely popular and much cheaper and lighter than the new pedal harps. It became known as the Welsh national instrument in the nineteenth century.
'Rhes Ganol' was formed in 2000 and comprises five triple harp players: Robin Huw Bowen, Rhiain Bebb, Huw Roberts, Wynn Thomas and his son Steffan. It is the first such choir of harps since the Llanover Welsh triple harp Choir which ceased before the outbreak of WWI and the group has gone from strength to strength being well received in concerts throughout Wales as well as having made numerous television appearances. The group is committed to raising the profile of the triple harp so that the next generation of musicians and enthusiasts can appreciate this unique instrument and their CD, Yn Y Gwaed, released in 2004, contains the first ever recordings of a Welsh triple harp choir.
Robin Huw Bowen, whose family roots are in Anglesey, is Wales and the world's most renowned triple harp player as well as a campaigner for its revival He is a professional musician who has performed on many continents and has resurrected many of Wales' traditional airs. Many of Robin's albums have been licensed to record labels in North America, making Welsh music available all over the world for the first time. His influence on the world of Welsh folk music and harping is significant and he ranks among the most important figures that Welsh traditional music has produced.
'The harp has been a constant in Welsh music and culture since the beginning of the 17th century, and this is a rare opportunity to hear it played by such talented musicians who are dedicated to preserving this important Welsh tradition' said Meri Huws, Pro-Vice Chancellor. 'The triple harp has a body of music spanning three centuries to the present day and this concert will be an inspiring and evocative celebration of Welsh tradition and culture.'
The performance starts at 8.00pm and tickets are priced at £8 (£5 concession; £3 student). Family tickets: £9 (one adult and up to two children) and £17 (two adults and up to four children). A full range of interval refreshments will be available. For further information please contact Dr Hazel Robbins at the University on: 01248 388142. A full listing of the Music at Bangor programme can be found at: www.bangor.ac.uk/musicatbangor