Short History Of The Belfast Harp Orchestra

  • 1988 and 1992, the Belfast Harpers’ Bicentenary, The Challenge and first concerts The World Harp Festival, Belfast, the Chieftains, Alan Stivel First tours to Brittany, Milwaukee and Garvagh
  • 1993, USA with the Chieftains, Downpatrick Cathedral, the Carolan & the Edinburgh Harp Festivals, A Christmas Cantata
  • 1994, Incorporation, peace is declared, we take on the Lambeg Drum, our Ulster Symphony and the “Reverence for Difference” Award. Bright New Morning for Bill Clinton’s arrival in Belfast
  • 1995, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bonn, a second tour with the Christmas Cantata, and London’s West End; Launch of our first CD “Carillon” and on tour in the UK!
  • 1996, the troubles return and hit our UK tours. Challenges loom and dreams are dashed The Irish National Harp Ensemble and “Spirit of the Dance”
  • 1997, THE OPENING FESTIVAL OF THEBELFAST WATERFRONT HALL January 22, Janet invites Tommy Sands to compose for us with Vedran Smilovitch, the Sarajevo Cellist, and the entire newly crowned World Champions: The Fieldmarshall Montgomery Pipe Band. Launch of the Harp Foundation (Ireland) Limited, sponsorship from Mercury Communications; Celebrity, press, TV and Blue Peter; Janet composes the ‘Columban Suite’ on the 1400th anniversary of St Columba/Colmcille; 22 concerts, 22 choirs from Catholic and Protestant communities; Colmcille, the CD
  • 1998, a difficult legacy from 1997 and the BBC Young Musician of the Year interval film The FESTIVAL OF BARDS at Limavady; Glencraig, Markerey Castle, Sligo and the 1798 Commemoration in Downpatrick; Tour to the Scottish Highlands; The Belfast Harp Festival goes international with the Harp Orchestra and Rudiger Oppermann’s ‘Clangwelten’; To Áras an Úachtaráin for “The 12th Day”;Recording and filming for Polygram’s “Celtic Harpistry” at Lismore Castle, Waterford; Summer concerts and “Lament for Omagh”
  • 1999, “Harping into the Millenium”, tour to Brittany, more recordings and film with the Chieftains Munich Philharmonic Hall, December 22nd and a new orchestra is born – The Irish Harp Orchestra Starring on BBC’s Millennium Broadcast with Brian Kennedy
  • YEAR 2000, the churches’ Millennium with performances on BBC, Downpatrick Cathedral on St.Patrick’s Day; The strange and mysterious Faery Festival of Gilford with Bill Whelan

  • Promotional Video

  • Recent Photos

    The Irish Harp Orchestr ready to play in Munich iho-trafalgar-square-1 iho-trafalgar-square-2
  • Management

    Janet Harbison
    Janet HarbisonHarp

    Phone UK: +44 (0) 7495 644355

  • Sign up for Janet Harbison Harp

    * = required field
  • Testimonials

    Janet Harbison is one of Ireland’s greatest champions of harp music… Sean RaffertyBBC