Chance to hear the Hospitalfield harp
Talk and concert to mark restoration of instrument
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.”
Concert harpist Sharon Griffiths will play the ornate Erard Grecian harp tomorrow evening, with some tickets still available via the Hospitalfield website.