Some Of What Has Been Said About the Belfast Harp Orchestra

“As Riverdance popularised Irish dancing and Brendan Voyage brought the uilleann pipes to a wider public, so the Belfast Harp Orchestra is animating a huge interest in the Irish harp. And it’s almost entirely due to Janet and her modern mix with tradition….” ANNE HAILES, The Irish News, 22.1.97

“There is , perhaps, no other event in the opening festival of the Belfast Waterfront Hall which reflects so accurately the wishes of the organisers that the prestigious new venue should provide something for everyone in our divided community as much as .. the concert by the Belfast Harp Orchestra, with guests Tommy Sands and the Fieldmarshal Montgomery Pipe Band. While uniting the audience in an evening of music, song and dance, the seemingly opposing elements of our musical traditions .. also unite with one another in a universal celebration of cultures.”…. DAMIAN MURRAY, Music Critic, Irish News, 17.01.97

“a spectacular success story” … “Janet Harbison is an indomitable lady. Having assembled a cast of more than 70 for the Belfast Harp Orchestra’s showcase at the Waterfront, she was not going to let a serious dose of ‘flu stand in her way ….. [the whole cast] more than achieved their stated aim of presenting the music, song and dance of Ulster in magnificent fashion.” GEOFF HARDEN, Music Critic, Newsletter, 23.1.97

“The Belfast Harp Orchestra are carrying on a long association between the harp and the city [of Belfast]. They have performed to great acclaim in France and America and have just returned from a tour of England. Their presiding genius is Janet Harbison who is one of Ireland’s most accomplished – and I can say, radical traditional harpists. ” SEAN RAFFERTY, “29 Bedford Street”, BBC, 12.11.95

“We have to lift the best out of all traditions and that’s what we’re not good at. We’re good at dividing, we’re good at nit-picking, but we have to be prepared to lift and to work to all our strengths rather than to pick on our weaknesses – and this orchestra is doing exactly that. It’s lifting pieces of music from right across the community.” ALASDAIR MC DONNELL Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast SDLP, Belfast City Council, UTV News, 1.11.95

“The CD Carillon is entirely professional, faultless, has perfect sound and acoustic presence and is highly delightful and charming. The music is wonderfully attractive, so intelligently arranged and laid out, and the performances are technically impeccable, neat and always most subtle, musical and expressive. It’s fun to listen and imagine its only one harp playing for tuning and ensemble are so good that one can do just that, and one realises that if it were only one solo harp, then what a great player he or she might be!! “This CD is now certainly one of the loveliest musical treasures we have. I expect it to automatically win many big prizes, to be very well received everywhere and to emboss [Janet Harbison’s] illustrious name firmly throughout the world.” DEREK BELL, Harper with the Chieftains, 26.10.95

“Janet Harbison: the human dynamo dedicated to spreading the gospel of the harp” GEOFF HARDEN, Irish Music Magazine, Vol.1 No.8, 1996

“Janet Harbison is one of Ireland’s greatest champions of harp music…” SEAN RAFFERTY, BBC, 20.6.97

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