Biography I  [243 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, playing single and multi-row European harps from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the baroque era. Siobhán performs and records 15th- to 18th-century music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical musicians, and also collaborates with some of Ireland’s best traditional Irish music performers. She particularly enjoys accompanying vocal music: from plainchant to polyphony to sean-nós song to early opera and chamber music. 

Siobhán was born in Dublin, first played modern harps, read Music at Trinity College Dublin, and was a professional choral singer before specializing in historical harps. 

She founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland, which is spearheading a revival of the playing of the historical harp of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Siobhán also directs the HHSI's annual, international Scoil na gCláirseach—Summer School of Early Irish Harp. She herself plays a replica of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp — the national emblem of Ireland — strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann: The Harp of Ireland, was released in 2004.

In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded Siobhán a three-year research bursary to pursue PhD research into early Irish harp performance practice. 

Thanks to generous support from The Arts Council of Ireland and private supporters,  The Irish Consort, directed by Siobhán Armstrong, will release its debut recording Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 in 2016.

 


If you want to know more, feel free to read this next, longer biography. After that, you'll see shorter and shorter ones. These are all suitable for concert promoters, programme editors etc. I hope you can find one of the approximate length you need for your purposes. If not, please contact me to let me know what you need.


Biography II   [654 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, playing copies of single and multi-row European harps from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the baroque era. With eclectic interests, she is equally at home playing 17th-century Italian opera in some of the world's most prestigious opera houses, performing as a soloist on Hollywood film soundtracks, and gigging at the world's biggest traditional music festivals.

Siobhán was born in Dublin and, from an early age, studied modern harps, piano and voice. While reading Music at Trinity College Dublin, she directed Trinity College Singers, the university's chamber choir. She also worked professionally as a choral singer, singing with Ireland's only professional choir, the RTE Chamber Choir, before she specialized in historical harps.

As an Irish harpist, Siobhán is particularly interested in encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp. Strung with wire and played in Ireland from at least 1000, it died out in the early 19th century. To this end, she founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland and is the director of the Society's annual Scoil na gCláirseach—Summer School of Early Irish Harp. She plays a copy of the late medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp — the national emblem of Ireland — strung in brass and 18-carat gold. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann: The Harp of Ireland, was released in 2004.

Alongside her solo work, Siobhán performs and records 15th- to 18th-century music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical musicians. She particularly enjoys accompanying vocal music: from plainchant to polyphony to sean-nós song to early opera and chamber music. The latter allows her to practise the art of continuo playing i.e. the art of improvising vocal or instrumental accompaniment from a bass line: a performance idiom found in baroque music. She regularly does this in period instrument productions of 17th-century operas and chamber music by Monteverdi, Rossi and Cavalli, among others, in the main opera houses in Europe and the U.S.A.

Siobhán Armstrong performs with some of the most prestigious soloists, period-instrument ensembles, and conductors in the field of early music such as William Christie & Les Arts Florissants, Erin Headley & AtalanteChristian Curnyn & The Early Opera Company, and Jonathan Cohen & Arcangelo. With these, and other ensembles, she records with Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Teldec, Virgin Classics, Erato and Dorian. Playing her arpa doppia, she is also a soloist on the soundtrack of MGM's film, The Merchant of Venice, on Decca.

Siobhan also collaborates with some of the foremost musicians in the Gaelic tradition including, in Ireland: with uilleann piper Ronan Browne and sean-nós singer Róisín Elsafty, in the trio Elsafty, Armstrong & Browne, and in Scotland: with Highland and triple piper Barnaby Brown and sean-nós singer Griogair Labhruidh, in the trio Coracle.

Recent engagements have included an invitation to the Perm State Opera and Ballet in Russia to take part in Peter Sellar’s recent new production of Purcell’s Indian Queen. In 2015 she also participated in the Royal Opera House London’s acclaimed production of Cavalli’s Ormindo at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and represented Ireland at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, the world’s biggest annual harp event. She has also embarked on a ground-breaking project to produce five CDs documenting musical practice in Ireland 1500 to 1800 with her group, The Irish Consort. Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 will appear in 2016. This project is kindly funded by the Arts Council Music Recording Scheme, managed by Music Network, and by generous private supporters.

In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded her a three-year post-graduate research bursary to pursue PhD studies in early Irish harp performance practice. Siobhán lectures at universities and conservatories in Ireland, the UK and the USA as well as at early music events and harp festivals internationally. She particularly enjoys teaching and coaching harpists (beginners to professionals), singers and instrumentalists, in both Gaelic and European music.


Biography III  [355 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, playing copies of single and multi-row harps from the Middle Ages to the baroque era. Alongside her solo work, Siobhán performs and records 15th- to 18th-century music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical musicians. She particularly enjoys accompanying vocal music: from plainchant to polyphony to early opera and chamber music. Siobhan also collaborates with some of the foremost singers and instrumentalists in Irish and Scottish Gaelic traditions.

Siobhán is particularly interested in encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp—the wire-strung high art instrument of the Gaelic nobility—which died out around 1800 after a 1000 year history. To this end, she founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland and directs its international summer school, Scoil na gClairseach—Summer School of Early Irish Harp. One of her own early Irish harps is a copy of the late medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp—the national emblem of Ireland—strung in brass and 18-carat gold.

Siobhán was born in Dublin and, from an early age, studied modern harps, piano and voice. While reading Music at Trinity College Dublin, she directed Trinity College Singers, the university's chamber choir. She also worked professionally as a choral singer, singing with Ireland's only professional choir, the RTE Chamber Choir, before she specialized in historical harps.

Siobhán has embarked on an ambitious recording project, with her group, The Irish Consort, to present a ground-breaking series of five CDs of music in Ireland 1500-1800. Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 will appear in 2016. This project is kindly being funded by the Arts Council Music Recording Scheme, managed by Music Network and also by generous private donors.

In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded her a three-year post-graduate research bursary to pursue PhD studies in early Irish harp performance practice. Siobhán lectures at universities and conservatories in Ireland, the UK and the USA as well as at early music events and harp festivals internationally. She particularly enjoys teaching and coaching harpists (beginners to professionals), singers and instrumentalists, in both early Gaelic and European music.


Biography IV  [194 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, performing and recording 16th-to 18th-century opera and chamber music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical performers, and also collaborating with some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. She plays a large collection of copies of single and multi-row harps from the Middle Ages to the baroque, including a copy of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp, and is happiest accompanying vocal music: plainchant to polyphony; sean-nós song to early opera.

Siobhán played modern harps, read Music at Trinity College Dublin in the 1980s, and was a professional choral singer, before specialising in historical harps. She founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland. In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded her a three-year post-graduate research bursary to pursue PhD studies in early Irish harp performance practice. 

Siobhán has embarked on a recording project, with her group, The Irish Consort, to present a series of five CDs of music in Ireland 1500-1800. Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 will appear in late 2016. This project is kindly funded by the Arts Council Music Recording Scheme, managed by Music Network.


Biography V   [155 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, performing and recording 16th- to 18th-century opera and chamber music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical performers, and also collaborating with some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. She founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland. Her own early Irish harp is a copy of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp—the national emblem of Ireland.

In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded her a three-year post-graduate research bursary to pursue PhD studies in early Irish harp performance practice. Siobhán has also embarked on a recording project, with her group, The Irish Consort, to present a series of five CDs of music in Ireland 1500-1800. Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 will appear in 2016. This project is kindly funded by the Arts Council Music Recording Scheme, managed by Music Network.


Biography VI [102 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, performing and recording 16th- to 18th-century opera and chamber music with many of Europe's most prestigious historical performers. She also collaborates with some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians. Siobhán founded and chairs The Historical Harp Society of Ireland

In 2014, Middlesex University, London, awarded her a three-year  bursary to pursue PhD studies in early Irish harp performance practice. Siobhán has also embarked on a recording project, to present a series of five CDs of music in Ireland 1500-1800. Music of Ireland Vol. I: The Kingdom of Ireland 1500—1600 will appear in 2016. 


Biography VII  [54 words]

SIOBHÁN ARMSTRONG is one of Europe's foremost historical harpists, playing copies of harps from the 15th- 18th centuries. Siobhán performs and records internationally with the main early music ensembles and conductors, mainly in Europe, and also collaborates with some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians.  She founded and chairs the Historical Harp Society of Ireland