Chance to hear the Hospi­tal­field harp

Talk and con­cert to mark restora­tion of in­stru­ment

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - gra­ham brown gbrown@the­

The beau­ti­ful melodies of an Ed­war­dian harp are to ring through the cor­ri­dors of an im­por­tant Angus house once again, af­ter a suc­cess­ful crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to re­store the in­stru­ment.

The Erard Gre­cian harp ar­rived at Hospi­tal­field in Ar­broath in the 1830s, bought by the mu­si­cally-gifted El­iz­a­beth Fraser, whose ar­chi­tect hus­band, Pa­trick Al­lan Fraser, re­mod­elled the his­toric build­ing that is now one of Scot­land’s most suc­cess­ful cul­tural hubs.

Erard was a pi­o­neer of in­stru­ment de­sign in the early 19th Cen­tury but af­ter years of en­joy­ment, the Hospi­tal­field harp fell into dis­re­pair.

Last Oc­to­ber a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign was launched to re­store the in­stru­ment and, with the fur­ther sup­port of other back­ers, enough money to bring it back to its for­mer glory was gath­ered.

The restora­tion project has also un­cov­ered more vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the his­tory of the harp, but proved a ma­jor chal­lenge for ex­perts af­ter its base com­pletely crum­bled due to an­cient, hid­den wood­worm.

To cel­e­brate the restora­tion, there will be a week­end talk and con­cert, tick­ets for which were the main prizes in the cam­paign Hospi­tal­field ran in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Crowd­fund Angus.

The talk is free and will be at 5.30pm to­mor­row, with the con­cert later that even­ing.

Mu­si­cian and scholar Si­mon Chad­wick will give the talk, be­fore es­teemed con­cert harpist Sharon Grif­fiths plays a se­lec­tion of pieces.

Laura Simp­son, pro­gramme man­ager at Hospi­tal­field said: “The pro­file of the restora­tion project has en­abled us to gain fur­ther knowl­edge of the in­stru­ment and its his­tory; just last week we learned the harp was ac­tu­ally bought by El­iz­a­beth Fraser in 1834, soon af­ter she re­turned to Hospi­tal­field af­ter many years away.

“We were able to find this out through a harp his­to­rian, Pana­gi­o­tis Poulopou­los, who had ac­cess to the Erard work­shop ledgers where Se­bastien Erard recorded the sales of his harps. By at­tend­ing the events vis­i­tors will be sup­port­ing our cam­paign to re­store the Erard Gre­cian harp and cel­e­brate its ren­o­va­tion.”

Pic­ture: Lance Aik­man Green.

Con­cert harpist Sharon Grif­fiths will play the or­nate Erard Gre­cian harp to­mor­row even­ing, with some tick­ets still avail­able via the Hospi­tal­field web­site.

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