The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.

SOME REASONS WHY ORIGINAL ART IN THE HOME IS AS IMPORTANT AS A BED

1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!

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The Congress will be host to a dazzling array of the great names of the harp world. Over the next weeks and months we will be posting information regularly about our artists and their programs.

Soloists include Andrew Lawrence-King, Sivan Magen, Isabelle Moretti, Gwyneth Wentink, Naoko Yoshino and Dan Yu as well as great names in the wider realm of harp playing Nicholas Caballero, Ann Heymann, Motoshi Kosako, Catriona McKay, Rüdiger Oppermann and Albert Ssempeke.


Featured Artists

Isabelle Moretti
Artistic Biography

Isabell Moretti is one of the most appealing figures both among harpists and in the musical world today. Bright, enthusiastic and with real temperament, she imbues her instrument with inimitable style, made of generosity, sincerity and nobility.

Crowned with prizes at international harp competitions in Geneva, Munich and Israel, Isabelle Moretti is invited to the greatest concert halls all over the world. She appears with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra...

 


Sivan Magen
Artistic Biography

The only Israeli to have ever won the International Harp Contest in Israel, Sivan Magen is a recent winner of the Pro Musicis International Award and the 2012 Award Winner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.

Recent performances include recitals in NY (Merkin hall, Carnegie’s Weill Hall), London (Wigmore Hall), and solo appearances in the US, South America, Europe and Israel including the world premiere of Haim Permont's Aviv concerto with the Israel Philharmonic.... 

 


Andrew Lawrence-King
Artistic Biography

Baroque opera & orchestral director, Early Harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, specialist in baroque gesture and Historical Action, Andrew Lawrence-King is one of the world’s leading performers of Early Music and the most recorded harpist of all time. In 2012, he opened the new hall of the Natalya Satz theatre, Moscow with a production of the earliest surviving opera, Cavalieri’s Anima e Corpo, which won the Golden Mask, Russia’s top theatrical award, as the Jury’s Special Prize in all categories of music-theatre (opera, operetta, musicals, ballet etc)...

 


Bernard Andres
Artistic Biography

Bernard Andres was born in Belfort in 1941. He received a teaching degree in music at the age of21, studying both at the Besançon and Strasbourg Conservatories. Subsequently, Andres pursued brilliant Harp studies at the Paris Conservatory.

In 1969, after a three years stint with Musique de l’Air, he joined the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France as a soloist.

Bernard Andres began composing at the age of eight. Despite a sensible...

 


Naoko Yoshino
Artistic Biography

Being one of the most outstanding harpists in the international platform today, Naoko Yoshino’s solo engagements with the world’s top orchestras have included the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Concentus Musicus Wien, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Renowned conductors with whom she has shared the stage include Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa...

 


Catriona McKay & Chris Stout
Catriona McKay is from Dundee on the east coast of Scotland and Chris Stout is from Fair Isle, one of the Shetland Islands. Catriona & Chris have their roots in Scottish traditional music. They are driven to use this grounding as a starting point to challenge their instruments and to develop and explore new music. The result is a dynamic and adventurous sound “Sonically exquisite” (The Guardian)

“The one fact that seems to momentarily escape you throughout this musical journey, is that you are listening to just the two instruments. The harp and fiddle have so much to offer in terms of depth and range, that anything else would be an intrusion apart from the silence between the tracks. Breathtakingly beautiful stuff.” (Northern Sky). ...

 


Rüdiger Oppermann
Artistic Biography

Rüdiger Oppermann, born 1954, began playing the Celtic Harp in 1973 and has since virtuosically surpassed the existing standards on this instrument. Rüdiger has been an untiring inspiration to the Celtic Harp scene, playing hundreds of concerts on harps of all sizes and shapes with his unique, improvisational free-style.

As Founder of the Folk-Harp Society in Germany, he has also brought harpists from all corners of the world together for International Harp Festivals and Harp Compilation...

 


Dan Yu
Artistic Biography

Since winning the Gold Medal of the prestigious 5th USA International Harp Competition in 2001, Dan Yu’s lyrical interpretations, profound musicality, and technical mastery have captivated and dazzled audiences across three continents. She has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and appeared to great acclaim at Alice Tully Hall, New York, and Wigmore Hall, London.

She has been featured twice at the World Harp Congress in Geneva and Amsterdam. As a soloist ...

 


Ann Heymann
Artistic Biography

According to Comunn na Clarsaich (The Scottish Harp Society) Ann Heymann is ‘the pioneer who has returned the Gaelic harp to a living tradition.’ From the first time she picked up a Gaelic harp to sound a metal string with her fingernail in 1974, Ann’s dream has been to put the instrument ‘back on the map’ and clearly she has succeeded.

As a girl Ann studied keyboard and pipe organ with Diana Lee Metzger. After becoming a professional equestrienne, she played tin whistle for several years in a St. Paul ceili band led ...

 


Motoshi Kosako
Artistic Biography

Born in Matsuyama, Japan, Motoshi Kosako started his musical training on piano and guitar. In Tokyo he played acoustic and electric guitar in professional jazz bands and the Swing Journal Magazine described him as ‘one of the most remarkable young jazz musicians.’

In 1997, Motoshi moved to the United States and soon after he started playing the harp. He is primarily self-taught with a few lessons to learn fundamental harp technique. He was the principal harpist of ...

 


Maria Christina Cleary
Artistic Biography

The extraordinary Irish harpist Maria Christina Cleary, “a pioneer of period harp practice” has been described as “a true virtuoso”, a “brilliant player, “a rare breed ... with a soloist's personality”. She is noted for her improvisatory skills and ingenious continuo playing, both combined with a particular care to creating a beautiful sound on some perilous instruments.

Specialising in historical harps, Maria is the only harpist in the world that performs on the Italian arpa doppia, the Spanish arpa de dos ordenes and single-action harps. ...

 


Alice Sadikova
Artistic Biography

The winner of the Award of 2012 of maestro Temirkanov, the scholar of fund of maestro Vladimir Spivakov, three times the winner of the International competitions Alice Sadikova, was born on March 30, 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Nowadays Alice is studying at High special music school of the St. Petersburg conservatory named of N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov. The Teacher is Karina Georgiyevna Maleeva.

February 2010 – the first award and the Grand Prix in the International Youthful Competition in New York...

 


Louise Johnson
Artistic Biography

Louise Johnson began her harp studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School, and later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Salzedo Summer Harp School in the United States with Alice Chalifoux.

At 18, she was appointed Principal Harp of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, before deciding to spread her wings and continue a freelance career overseas. For several years in the 1980s, Louise performed with the London Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal Harp and Second Harp under the baton of Claudio Abbado and Richard Hickox...

 


Albert Bisaso Ssempeke
Artistic Biography

Albert Bisaso Ssempeke is a Ugandan-born performing artist and the son of the former royal court musician of the former King Muteesa II of Buganda. Albert’s father, the late Dr Albert Ssempeke, was a world-renowned multi-instrumentalist, and teacher of traditional music.

He was also one of the few contemporary musicians with knowledge of the former music traditions of the Kingdom of Buganda....

 


Paul Hurst
Artistic Biography

Paul Hurst’s mastery of varied musical interests brings a unique style to his art. His talents include concert harpist, pianist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, voice and piano and composition teacher, pop and jazz artist, director of musical theatre, accompanist, recording artist, and music publisher, all of which he continues to cultivate. Paul began studying harp with De Wayne Fulton, who became his best friend, mentor, and partner in concert, travelling the world under the auspices of Columbia Artists. Mr. Hurst’s WHC concert is dedicated to his memory ...

 


Alex Cronin
Artistic Biography

Multi-instrumentalist Alex Cronin trained at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. He furthered his Lute studies at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam assisted by a Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Award and an Australia Council International Fellowship. As a lutenist and guitarist he has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Brandenburg Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 Alex took up celtic harp. After a decade of playing and composing for this instrument, and inspired by historic harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, Alex began playing baroque triple harp. He performs regularly for Musica Viva in Schools with his ensemble ‘Pastance’ ...

 


Heidi Lehwalder
Artistic Biography

“The main thing to tell you about Heidi is that she is simply a genius.” – Leonard Bernstein. Heidi Lehwalder was the last student of master harpist Carlos Salzedo. They worked intensely together for two summers, as he prepared her for the 2nd International Harp Competition in Israel where she won a major prize at the age of twelve. She has performed as guest artist with more than 65 orchestras throughout the United States and Canada, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Montreal Symphony. She has made 55 appearances as soloist with the Seattle Symphony and has collaborated with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Erich ...

 
 


Anaïs Gaudemard
Artistic Biography

An internationally recognized soloist, Anaïs Gaudemard is one of the world’s foremost harpists. After graduating as a harpist and a pianist at the Conservatoire National de Région in Marseille, she studied further with Fabrice Pierre at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon and was unanimously awarded the first prize by the graduation jury. Anaïs won the first prize at the prestigious International Harp Contest in Israel in 2012 and the special award for the best interpretation of The Crown of Ariadne by Murray Schafer. ...Read more
 

Harp Lounge Featured Artists

Atlantic Harp Duo (Marta Power Luce and Elizabeth Jaxon)
Artistic Biography

Based in Paris, France, timeless source of artistic inspiration and cradle of the modern harp, the Atlantic Harp Duo ventures beyond the possibilities of a single instrument, enriching their music with the combined sonority of two harps. Founded in 2006 by Marta Power Luce and Elizabeth Jaxon, both natives of the Great Lakes Region of the United States, the harp duo performs regularly on each side of the Atlantic. ...
 
d Olga Andreeva
Artistic Biography

Anna Antonova was born in 1987 in Moscow. She started her musical education in 1994 in the Children's Fine Arts School named after Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1998 Anna was accepted into Svetlana Paramonova's class – first in the Central music school at the P. I. Tchaikovsky Moscow state Conservatory and from 2002 in Gnesins State Musical College. In 2006 Anna entered Gnesins Russian Academy of Music in the class of professor Milda Agazaryan. In 2013 she graduated with a Master's degree. Anna participated in different concerts, festivals and competitions and received several diplomas – Anna is a prizewinner in the V Concurso Internacional de Arpa “Arpista Ludovico”; Moscow Open Harp Competition "The Teacher and the Student” ...

 


Duo Scorpio
Artistic Biography

Duo Scorpio is a New York City based harp duo on a mission to expand the duo harp repertoire by commissioning new works and exploring existing repertoire. In 2010, harpists Kathryn Andrews and Kristi Shade began searching for music for their newly formed ensemble and realized this particular part of the harp repertoire had yet to be fully explored in a contemporary setting.

Duo Scorpio was awarded the American Harp Society Grant in 2011, which they used to commission composer Robert Paterson. His work, Scorpion Tales, was premiered by Duo Scorpio at the AHS National Conference ...

 


KATEŘINA ENGLICHOVÁ
Artistic Biography

Originally a pianist, Kateřina Englichová is a dedicated adapter of keyboard music of all kind for the harp. Harp, she says, is a wonderful instrument which has many things to offer, but has also limits. There is a lot of bad repertoire for the instrument and Kateřina seeks to inspire composers as well as harpists to present harp in the best possible light....

How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, Art.com director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."

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