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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Royal harpist releases new album
Catrin Finch (picture by David Hiscock)
The album was launched at the International Eisteddfod

With a new album just released on her newly-launched label, and a recital at an international festival coming up, 2002 is turning into a busy year for young harpist Catrin Finch.

Earlier this year, Finch was awarded a first class honours degree from the London Academy, and was also awarded the Queen's Commendation as the year's outstanding student.


My aim is to popularise the harp as an instrument. It is quite unknown really

Catrin Finch
In May 2000, she became Royal Harpist, Harpist to the Prince of Wales - the latest in an illustrious line.

The Prince has labelled her "a credit to Wales".

Carrying on her crusade to "take the harp to her masses", the 22-year-old from Aberystwyth, in mid-Wales, is preparing to jet off to Geneva for the World Harp Congress at the end of July.

"It is like the harp olympics - a huge gathering of harpists descend on one city every four years, with concerts all day," she said.

As a past winner of the prestigious Lily Laskine Harp Competition in France, Catrin will be performing at the festival's International Prizewinners' concert.

"My aim is to popularise the harp as an instrument. It is quite unknown really."

Last week, she starred at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, where she also launched her new album.

Called From Coast To Coast, it was recorded at a tiny church in Pontrhydgroes, and contains works from Bach, Debussy and Mathias.

Internet distribution

It was recorded after Finch returned from an 11-state, 24-recital trip across America earlier in 2002.

"It was a fantastic tour, with appreciative audiences who were very interested in what we were doing," she said.

Catrin Finch (picture by David Hiscock)
Catrin has now moved back to Wales

"Many people came not knowing what to think, and were suitably impressed."

Released on the Kissan Productions label, newly set up by Finch and fiance Hywel Wigley, the album is mainly available via the internet, but the pair are hoping to arrange alternative distribution in the near future.

The label hopes to use profits from this album to release more work from Welsh artists, and Finch is currently looking out for any other musicians who want to make a CD.

To increase interest in the release, a competition was held for a Welsh artist to design a cover.

Describing the winning entry, by Rebecca Kelly, as "perfect for the idea of the CD", Catrin described the process as "very satisfying".

"It is such an honour to be on that list - I am loving every minute of it."

After years studying in London, the harpist has returned to Wales, and has just moved into a new house in Cardiff.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

12 Jun 02 | Wales
11 May 00 | Wales
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