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gothic harp, double harp


Kirsty Whatley is a specialist early harp player. She studied music at Manchester University, achieving firsts at both Bachelors and Masters levels whilst learning modern harp with Eira Lynn Jones. During this time she became increasingly frustrated with the stereotypical “fluffy” image of the harp and was drawn initially to the works of twentieth century composers such as Britten, Hindemith and Berio who, in their different ways, managed to trancsend and subvert this image. However, her interest in exploring the different facets of the harp led her logically to the instruments of earlier centuries and to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis - Europe’s leading conservatoire for early music - where she studied harp with Heidrun Rosenszweig and continuo with Nicola Cumer. Kirsty now has a growing collection of instruments and is increasingly in demand as a player of gothic harp, baroque triple harp and early 19th century pedal harp.

Kirsty is playing with several ensembles for early music including her own ensemble in Echo that she is co-directing with the cornetto-player Gawain Glenton.


Kirsty’s gothic harp was built by Simon Capp, and is a reconstruction of an instrument from the late fifteenth century, now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremburg.