Bethan’s musical training began aged 7 with piano lessons before beginning to play harp aged 10. She later went on to achieve her ABRSM performance diplomas in both harp and piano and since then has performed in various venues across the UK, Europe and the USA both as a soloist and as part of a variety of ensembles. She gained a First Class Honours Degree from the Royal College of Music in 2017 and returned to the RCM for postgraduate studies as an Ashley Family Foundation Scholar. Bethan graduated with a Master of Performance with Distinction in 2019 and upon completing her studies was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother Rose Bowl award.
As a keen competitor in Eisteddfods, Bethan has won many awards including first prize in the National Eisteddfod harp solo as well as being chosen as a finalist in the prestigious Blue Riband competition on two occasions. She has also gained second prize in the piano solo and third prize in the harp solo at the Urdd Eisteddfod. In 2016 Bethan was awarded the Nansi Richards Scholarship for harpists as well as the Royal College of Music Harp Prize.
Since returning to Treuddyn in Flintshire, Bethan is enjoying a freelance career as both a pianist and harpist. She performs with many orchestras across the UK including NEW Sinfonia – resident orchestra at the North Wales International Music Festival, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. This has given Bethan the opportunity to work with world renowned conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Edward Gardner and Rafael Payare. Bethan also enjoys accompanying, she held the position of deputy accompanist for Cantorion Rhos accompanying them on their tour of Portugal in 2015 and has recently collaborated with WNO Community Chorus and WNO Youth Opera. A keen chamber musician, Bethan performs regularly with her Flute and Harp group, ‘Hefin Duo’ as well as ‘Trilogy’, a flute, harp and viola trio. Bethan also teaches piano and harp for Flintshire Music Service, Rupert House School Henley-on-Thames and privately in Treuddyn.
Katherine Betteridge offers tuition in violin, viola and composition. She studied music at Bangor University, specialising in Performance and Composition, where she gained a first class honours degree in 2005. She won the Drapers Scholarship, enabling her to study for a Masters in Performance on the violin, which she completed in 2007. Katherine now plays professionally, and has recorded at various BBC studios, including BBC Maida Vale with the Horizons string quartet, of which she is the leader. Performances of hers and the string quartet’s have been broadcast on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Radio 6, Radio Wales and S4C and she has worked with Bryn Fon, Casi Wyn, Pwyll ap Sion, Guto Puw and many pop and rock bands. After completing her masters in performance, Katherine continued to compose music for short films and for enjoyment and in 2012 composed a piece that was broadcast on BBC Radio. She was subsequently invited to embark on a funded PhD in Composition studying under Professor Andrew Lewis, completed in May 2019. She has had several commissioned works performed by ensembles such as Psappha, Okeanos among others. She also runs the Snowdonia String Quartet and co-founded Exploration in Sound, an experimental arts company, with Sioned Eleri Roberts and Twila Bakker.
Alfred Barker was born in Johannesburg and studied the violin at the Windhoek Conservatoire from the age of eight. During this time he performed a number of concertos with both the Conservatoire orchestra and the Namibia National Symphony Orchestra. In 1993 he travelled to London to study at the Purcell School, continuing his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Yossi Zivoni and graduating in 2000 with a BMus(hons). He also has a Masters degree from Manchester University and a PGCE from Liverpool Hope University.
Alfred was leader of the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, which toured throughout Europe, and later of the King Edward Music Society Symphony Orchestra, performing regularly as a soloist. He also performed frequently as a member of several Manchester based string quartets and was teaching within Salford Music and Performing Arts Service (MAPAS) at the time. The latter involved various music education projects with the Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras and a number of European concert tours.
Since moving to North Wales in 2011, he now teaches violin in schools throughout Denbighshire, conducts the Denbighshire County Strings Group and has been a tutor for the Gwynedd and Anglesey Senior Youth Orchestra for a number of years. Alfred is a director of the Denbighshire Music Cooperative.
Nicki studied with David Smith at The Royal Academy of Music, London and completed her studies with Naomi Butterworth at Trinity College of Music, London gaining a first class honours performance degree. During this time she played with the Britten Pears Orchestra and was principal cellist during 1996-1998.
Nicki has played in master classes with musicians such as William Pleeth, Karina Georgian, Eduado Vassallo (Manchester cello festival 1998), Maud Tortelier, The Alberni String Quartet, the Brodsky Quartet and the Endellion Quartet. Nicki was awarded prizes including the John Barbirolli Memorial Prize for Cello, Guivier Prize for a String Player and the Vivian Joseph Award for Cello. She also won a scholarship to attend the Musical Academia Chigiana in Siena, Italy and to represent the Academy giving concerts around Tuscany.
Nicki has performed in major venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Festival Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Snape Maltings and St John Smith’s Square. She has performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Saint Saens’ Cello Concerto and Faure Elegie with the Exeter Symphony Orchestra. From 1999-2003 she worked at Westminster School, London teaching the cello, conducting and coaching chamber music, as well as spending time freelancing as a performer.
Since moving to North Wales in 2003 Nicki teaches all ages and abilities and finds this very rewarding. Nicki freelances as a performer and is a cellist in the Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Cymru. In January 2014 she was invited by Anup Kumar Biswas to give tuition, masterclasses and concerts at the Mathiason Music School, Kolkata, India. She lives with her husband and two sons and enjoys visiting castles, mountaineering, climbing and cycling.
Originally from the Llŷn Peninsula, Nia Davies Williams graduated in Music at Bangor University, which she followed with a Masters degree that focused on the relationship between music and dementia. For three years, she coordinated the ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups by the Alzheimer’s Society in north Wales. Nia was appointed the Resident Musician at the new Dementia Care Centre Bryn Seiont in Caernarfon, which is part of the Pendine Parc organisation in Wrexham. The harp and piano are her main instruments. She completed her teaching diploma through the Royal College of Music and she has been teaching the piano for over fifteen years.
Neil Browning’s musical interests and teaching activities are extremely varied. As CGWM’s main guitar tutor for over ten years, he teaches all styles from classical to rock, as well as electric guitar groups for Galeri’s Sbarc! project.
He is also in demand in the traditional music scene as a course tutor and workshop leader. Neil has written music for television and played in all kinds of live shows, including touring theatre productions and gigs in Europe and the U.S..
He taught on a variety of music and performing arts courses at Yale F.E. College in Wrexham, where he also gained his P.G.C.E. Most recently, Neil has played and recorded with Cajuns Denbo (accordion), Cardiff-based Rock-roots band Bluehorses (guitar) and Billy Thompson Gypsy Style (guitar), as well as his genre-defying band Never Mind the Bocs, who released their second album in 2014.
Morwen began studying the harp aged 9 and following success at the Gwyl Gerdd Dant and the National Eisteddfod continued her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1988. She then worked as a freelance harpist, performing at many functions for members of the Royal family including the late HRH Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: Diana, Princess of Wales; Prince Philip; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
She also performed at functions within the city of London attended by five different Lord Mayors, Baroness Thatcher, John Major and other dignitaries. Morwen toured the UK and performed in the West End with a number of musicals including The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Some Like it Hot, Sunday in the Park with George and Valentine’s Day and played with various orchestras, opera companies and ballet companies.
As a soloist, she has performed the Mozart Flute and Harp concerto and the Handel Harp concerto and has given recitals and concert appearances in England and Wales. Morwen returned to study at the University of Wales, Cardiff and gained a First Class Honours degree in 1996 after which she began her teaching career, firstly in Wrexham and then joined Howell’s School in 1998 where she held the post of Head of Music and Senior Mistress until the schools closure in August 2013.
Currently Morwen is teaching harp for Canolfan Gerdd William Matthias in Denbigh and for a number of schools in Wrexham. She has a growing number of private harp and piano pupils and has recently begun as accompanist to Cor Cytgan led by Ann Davies. She also accompanies Cerdd Dant for the local and regional Urdd Eisteddfod and performs at functions, weddings and concerts.
A graduate of Bangor University, Mared completed a doctorate in performance on the harp and composition in 2014 with a scholarship funded by the European Union. She studied composition with Dr Pwyll ap Siôn and harp with Elinor Bennett, with additional lessons in Switzerland and Canada. In 2011, she won the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s Chief Composition medal for her work Perlau yn y Glaw for solo harp, which is now performed regularly at different harp competitions and festivals. Mared has received a number of composition commissions, including works for Wales International Piano Festival, Colwyn Male Voice Choir, a work for the Bangor Music Festival premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and a harp concerto for the Beaumaris Festival, performed by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, with Mared herself as the soloist. In 2018, she collaborated with musician Gwenan Gibbard and poet Mererid Hopwood on a commission by the Wales International Harp Festival to celebrate the world renowned harpist Osian Ellis’ 90th birthday. Mared performs in concerts as a soloist, as part of ensembles and as a member of orchestras.
Gwenan is one of Welsh music’s most exciting new talents. Having graduated in music from the University of Wales Bangor, she went on to further her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
She’s performed at several festivals, including The Lorient Interceltic Festival, The World Harp Congress, Dublin, Celtic Connections, Glasgow and The North American Festival of Wales, Cinncinati.
Gwenan has released two CD albums, ‘Y Gwenith Gwynnaf’ (The Whitest Wheat) a ‘Sidan Glas’ (Blue Silk) featuring her own arrangements of Welsh traditional folk songs and traditional music played on the Celtic harp.
Elinor Bennett is one of Wales’ most distinguished musicians, and has been at the forefront of music performance and education for many years. She has travelled extensively giving concerts, recitals and masterclasses, and she is regarded as one of Britain’s most infuential harp teachers.
Although Elinor is recognised mainly as a leading professional harpist in the classical music repertoire, she has always sang and played the national music of Wales – from the early and traditional songs and harp repertoire, to new music of living composers – in her concerts, recordings and music festivals.
Steeped in the musical traditions of Wales, Elinor’s first degree was in Law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, but her career changed course on winning a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London under Dr. Osian Ellis.
Elinor played with all the major British orchestras, and worked with some of the world’s finest conductors and composers, including Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Malcolm Sargeant, Sir Colin Davies, Erich Leinsdorf, Andre Previn and Benjamin Britten. Elinor has made many recordings, ranging from an acclaimed and definitive selection of 20th Century harp classics to collections of traditional music and Welsh folk songs on the Triple Harp.
In 1985 Elinor was awarded a Churchill Scholarship to travel to Australia to study Music Therapy and on her return, was instrumental in promoting its use for people and children with learning disabilities.
Many leading composers have written works for Elinor, including John Metcalf, Alun Hoddinott, Malcolm Williamson, Hilary Tann, Gareth Glyn, Hilary Tann, Rhian Samuel, Karl Jenkins. Her ex-pupils include Catrin Finch, Sioned Wiliams, (Principal Harpist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra) and many other distinguished harpists. In 1988, Elinor established Coleg Telyn Cymru (The Harp College of Wales) and currently organises many acclaimed residential courses for harpists of all ages.
In recent years, Elinor has been Visiting Professor of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music, London. Elinor was awarded the Royal Academy of Music’s Honorary Fellowship (FRAM) in 2006. Other Honorary Fellowships came from the Universities of Bangor, Cardiff and Aberystwyth, as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, and an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Wales.
She has been the driving force behind establishing Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (Music Centre) in Caernarfon and was the Artistic Director from 2002 -2008. Elinor organised and directed the Wales International Harp Festival in 2006, 2010 and the next Festival in April 2014, when she will welcomne artists from many countries to play in Caernarfon.
She has been Special Guest and member of the Jury in Harp Festivals and competitions in Venice, Moscow, Szeged, (Hungary), Soka (Japan) Wellington (New Zealand) and Nantes (France), Schlitz (Germany), and Bangkok, and has played at the World Harp Congress and European and American Congresses on many occasions. She was the Artistic Director of the Tamnak Prathom Harp Festival in Bangkok in 2008 and again in 2012.
In 2002, Elinor was given the highest accolade by the National Eisteddfod of Wales, was the “Celtic Woman of the Year” in the USA, and was awarded the Glyndwr Prize by the Machynlleth Festival in 2003.
Einir hails from Pen Llŷn and received lessons when she was 9 years old from Alwena Roberts. After a year of study with Meinir Heulyn at the Royal College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, she studied at the School of Music at Bangor University, where she gained her BMus degree in 2005.
She recently completed a Masters in Performance and the Music of Wales at Bangor, where she was a pupil of Elinor Bennett. She also won the ABRSM diploma in performing on the harp.
She has performed recently with the Bangor Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wales, Ensemble Cymru and to the Prince of Wales. She is a harpist at William Mathias Music Center and William Mathias Schools Service as well.
Catrin Morris Jones comes originally from Bangor and after twenty years of living and working in London she has now moved to live in Pwllheli. After completing a Performers’ Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Watkins, she began her Postgraduate Studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Skaila Kanga, where she was awarded the Renata Scheffel-Stein Prize for Harp. In May 2014 she was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy. This honour is given to the prominent alumni of the Academy who have contributed to their chosen field.
Teaching children and adults to play the harp has been an important part of Catrin’s career and she has taught many private students over the years in addition to teaching at the London Welsh School, St Albans High School, Watford Music Centre, the City of London School for Girls, St Pauls School for Girls, and Beechwood Park School, Hertfordshire. Catrin has performed in numerous West End shows including Oliver!, The King and I, Notré Dame de Paris, The Producers, My Fair Lady, Napoleon, The Secret Garden (The Royal Shakespeare Company) and South Pacific (Royal National Theatre).
Catrin is currently a deputy on the Phantom of the Opera. Catrin has performed with many prominent orchestras, including: The Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestras, the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Ensemble 10/10 (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary ensemble), Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera Orchestra, the Opera São Carlos in Lisbon, Portugal, London City Ballet, Moscow City Ballet and the Northern Ballet Company.
Recital performances have included Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in the Barbican Hall, Debussy’s Dance Sacrée et Dance Profane at the Minehead Festival and a world Premiere performance of Adam Gorb’s Harps of Gold, for harp quintet, at the Wigmore Hall. During her last Postgraduate year at the Royal Academy of Music Catrin was the only British musician to successfully audition for a place in the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, with whom she toured Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy and Denmark, working with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop and the late Sir George Solti.
Catrin has performed at many prestigious venues including Banqueting House, Westminster Parliament, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington Palace, the National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Society in Pall Mall, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge as well as some of London’s top hotels and many Livery Halls in the City of London. She has also dressed up at as witch and performed on platform 9¾ at Kings Cross Station for the launch of the first Harry Potter DVD! Catrin is the harpist of the Arabesque flute and harp duo, has a private teaching practice at home and started teaching the harp at Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias in 2015.