The Öresund HarpHelg festival will celebrate its 10th edition on the 28th and 29th September, in Kristianstad (Skåne, Sweden). Every year, the festival moves in the Öresund region, between Denmark and Skåne, the southern part of Sweden. Created in 2004 on the initiative of Helen Davies, Lia Lonnert and Susan Enochsson, this musical week-end is the opportunity for all the Scandinavian harp players to gather. The international harp player Susan Enochsson presents this interregional, intergenerational, intermusical festival:
"When Helen Davies (originally from Wales but now living in Denmark), suggested to Lia Lonnert and myself to organise a harp festival in the Öresund region, we immediately accepted. This was ten years ago. At this time, there weren't so many Scandinavian harp players. The idea to create a festival was a way to promote the emergence of new talents. To organise the Öresund HarpHelg, we took as models other harp festivals, such as the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, where we have been invited to perform with my school ensemble a few times."
"People are coming from all of Scandinavia and sometimes from really far away for the week-end. Classical and traditional musicians are gathering to learn with some of the best harp players in the world, to attend concerts, but also simply to meet and share quality time. Fika (coffee break) is very important to us, in Scandinavia! Salvi and Camac are some of the sponsors of the festival. Depending on the year, they come to exhibit and even repair harps thanks to their technicians."
"William Jackson, Gabriella Dall'Olio, Park Stickney, Vincenzo Zitello among others have been invited to teach and perform during the previous years. The theme of this year is early music with Anne-Marie O'Farrell and Helen Davies: Anne-Marie will give a workshop on the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, from Bach to O'Carolan, whereas Helen will teach Danish repertoire from the same time. Both of them will perform on the Saturday still with the same theme. Helen will perform in duet with the low whistle player Poul Høxbro."
"The festival keeps attracting more and more people. In a few years, all of this harp players' generation will become professional and we hope that young musicians will join the festival organisation. Some of them are already getting involved: Rosamelia Andersen will initiate beginners on the harp and Lovisa Wennesz will lead the festival ensemble for a concert planned on Sunday. We will also hold a seminar in the future of the harp in Scandinavia, open to all of us, on Sunday."
"Organising such a festival requires lots of time. Hopefully, this year, we have been able to hire an administrator. This role requires many competences in organisation, practicality and communication. Lynn Thulin was the ideal person, bringing a new impetus to the festival. We would like to thank her a lot for all the good work she has done so far."
The Öresund HarpHelg Festival will be held on the 28th and 29th of September, at the Regional Museum of Kristianstad (Sweden). The full program of classes, concerts and rehearsals of the festival ensemble is available on line here.