The music of the Irish Harp Orchestra is created, scored and directed by Janet Harbison and is a mix of Irish traditional and contemporary, classical and rock – sophistocated and ‘funky’, full of vibrance and depth, variety and innovation – all of which has characterised the appeal, longevity and inspiring work of the Harp Orchestra movement.

About the music exerpt from Fiona Tucker’s ‘Portrait of Janet Harbison’ PDF download


‘Janet, your music –it’s wonderful’   BILL CLINTON Former President of the USA

“As Riverdance popularised Irish dancing and Brendan Voyage brought the uilleann pipes to a wider public, so the [Irish] 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

“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 … community as much as the concert by the [Irish] 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

“Ireland’s national treasure”     MARY McALEESE Former President of Ireland

“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.”  (Opening concert of Belfast Waterfront Hall)     GEOFF HARDEN, Music Critic, Newsletter

“The Irish Harp Orchestra …… 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, BBC 3

“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 the heck of a good 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

“Janet Harbison: the human dynamo dedicated to spreading the gospel of the harp”   Irish Music Magazine

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

“Queen of the Irish Harp”    The American Folk Harp Journal

“…[Janet’s work] is considered in some circles as important in musical terms as the late Sean O Riada’s works”  The Irish Independant

“…{Janet] won over the audience with her personable presentation and impressive performance that included tunes of her own… replete with all the tricks of the harpers’ trade”  Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman


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