Eleanor Hudson (harp)
This Curious Harp features a programme of mainly unrecorded British music for solo harp performed superbly by the distinguished harpist Eleanor Hudson, former Principal Harp with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and recorded in St Saviour’s Church, Wildboarclough, in the heart of Macclesfield Forest in north west England during the earlier stages of the 2020 Covid-19 Lockdown – quite legally with the harp needing no ‘social distancing’! The programme opens with York Bowen’s beautiful Arabesque, the only item on this CD to have been commercially recorded before (once) and features delightful unrecorded music, specially composed for the Harp by Bantock (Sapphic Dance), Hamilton Harty (Two Spring Fancies), Leonard Salzedo, Geoffrey Burgon, Stephen Dodgson, Ian Parrott and Thomas Pitfield.
York Bowen: Arabesque
Stephen Dodgson: Ballade
Leonard Salzedo: Tonada, Op.139
Ian Parrott: Soliloquy & Dance
Thomas Pitfield: Sonatina for harp
I. Allegretto grazioso
II. Variations on a Russian Vesper
Geoffrey Burgon: Three Nocturnes
Hamilton Harty: Spring Fancies (Two Preludes)
I. Vivace, molto grazioso e dolce
II. Con brio ma non presto
Stephen Dodgson: Fantasy for harp
Granville Bantock: Sapphic Dance (Dramatic Dances No.2)
Recorded in St Saviour's Church, Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, UK on 30th June - 2nd July 2020
Design: Hannah Whale, Fruition Creative Concepts
Recording Engineer: David Coyle
Recording Producer: Mike Purton
Total Time: 68:33
Release Date: February 2021
Eleanor Hudson (En) began to study the Harp with Mair Jones, Principal Harpist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, going on to study at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and then at the Royal Northern College of Music. Having won the Guinness Prize for Harp (which partly funded the gold Lyon and Healy harp that she plays on today, En went on to gain a Distinction in Harp Performance at the Royal College of Music in London. After graduating, En worked regularly with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with flautist David Nicholson.
After a period guesting with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, the Hallé, Opera North and the Philharmonia, where she played under the baton of conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Libor Pešek, Sir Simon Rattle, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Vasiliy Petrenko, but managing also to fit in a season with the Malaga Symphony Orchestra, En was appointed Principal Harp with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She had also been fortunate to have worked with such Showbiz celebrities as Bill Bailey, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello and jazz musician Wayne Shorter.
During her fifteen years with ‘The Phil’, En additionally performed regularly in numerous concertos, solo recitals and chamber music concerts. She was also part of the original 10/10 contemporary music series and played a key role in the RLPO’s Education Series. This led En to retrain in Music and Mental Health Education and then to leave ‘The Phil’ to develop a more diverse career visiting high security settings such as Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital on a regular basis to play her harp.
As well as performing regularly with the SCO and the BBC Phil, En regularly tutors the harpists at the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and of Great Britain, together with the latter’s NYO Inspire course. She is also Harp Tutor at Chetham’s Music School where she had herself been a pupil, near the start of her musical journey.
For some years, En has lived with her husband in a house in Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire, and was married in St. Saviour’s Church at nearby Wildboarclough where this recording was made and which region has
inspired the artwork for this CD.
MPR110 View Booklet