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Louise Thomson

Harp

A versatile and experienced musician, Louise’s playing has taken her to prestigious concert venues around the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, Cardiff’s St David’s Hall and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. It has also given her the opportunity to perform with some of the country’s most respected ensembles: the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and Manchester Concert Orchestra. She has been invited to perform live on BBC Radio 3, and made her television debut performing live on BBC 1 for the Heaven and Earth show with soprano Katherine Jenkins.

Some of Thomson’s early notable successes included winning the Harp Finals at the world renowned Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales Competition in 2003 and performing as a Finalist in the London International Harp Competition in 2005. In April 2007 she was short-listed to audition for HRH The Prince of Wales for the position of Royal Harpist at Clarence House and performed for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at The Royal Variety Performance in the same year.

Louise was awarded a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester to study with Eira Lynn Jones. During this time Louise won the Ida Carroll String Prize for outstanding musical achievement, and was subsequently awarded an entrance scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Completing her undergraduate course in 2005, with a First Class BMus (Hons) degree, and her post-graduate diploma (PGDip) with Distinction in Performance in 2006, Louise went on to complete a Masters Degree (MMus) in 2007, again with Distinction in Performance. She concluded her time at the RNCM by winning the Concerto Competition. After graduating, Louise was immediately invited onto the Live Music Now Scheme (founded by Yehudi Menuhin) which involved extensive touring around the country giving solo recitals and educational workshops to an enormous range of audiences.

In addition to her solo work, Louise recently launched a new collaboration with young vocal ensemble the Corvus Consort, featuring music for upper voices and harp. Louise and the Corvus Consort have enjoyed performances for Church Stretton Festival, Whiddon Autumn Festival, and Sounds Sublime Festival at King’s Place curated by The Sixteen. They look forward to continuing their collaboration with a recording of their project ‘Women’s Voices’, for release on Chandos in 2024.

In 2022 Louise was selected to perform at the World Harp Congress in collaboration with presenter Polly Ives. Polly and Louise frequently present in schools and theatres together as part of Concerteenies, an award-winning producer of musical events and activities for young children and their adults in Sheffield and beyond. In January 2024, Louise launched the inaugural Manchester Harp Festival and Competition, which featured world-class performances, workshops, meet the artist events, children’s activities and a competition for harpists of all abilities.

Recent highlights have included Buxton, Ryedale, Ripon and Lake District Summer International Festivals, as well as a residency at the 2023 Whiddon Autumn Festival, which included performances with Corvus Consort.

Louise also takes great pride in her harp teaching and has built up a highly vibrant harp community around the North of England. She teaches harp at Chetham’s School of Music, Withington Girls’ School and The Manchester Grammar School. Louise is also the harp tutor at Huddersfield University and a regular examiner for the Royal Northern College of Music.

“Louise Thomson is a consummate performer. Fluid technique combined with beautiful artistry, compelling programmes, excellent and clear spoken introductions and a personality that audiences love.”  Craig Ogden

Main image by Sara Porter

Last updated: 7 Mar 24
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21/07/2024