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Friday, March 31, 2006

Concert harpist plays by invitation

Award-winning 26-year-old harpist Keziah Thomas has been invited by the family-run harp manufacturers, Aoyama Harps, to give three recitals in Tokyo, Fukui and Osaka, after impressing at the Ninth World Harp Congress in Dublin last year.

News photo
Keziah Thomas comes to Japan is April

The London-born musician was previously the winner of the 2003 London Harp Competition, an international contest sponsored by the U.K. distributors of Aoyama Harps.

Thomas started learning the harp at the age of 10, and gave performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London while still at school. She went on to study at the Royal College of Music under Daphne Boden before embarking on a successful career as a solo artist and chamber musician.

She has performed live on BBC Radio 2 and Classic FM and has given concerts throughout Europe.

Next-door to the Aoyama Concert Hall where Thomas will be performing in Fukui is the Aoyama Harp Factory, which was renovated in 1992 and now houses a museum of antique harps. The Aoyama family business dates back to the 1880s when the firm began life repairing violins and organs before becoming one of the few international manufacturers of harps.

For her Japan tour, Thomas will be performing harp classics by Marcel Tournier, Elias Parish-Alvars, Handel and John Parry, as well as "Spiders" by British composer Paul Patterson and Latin American music. Thomas will be performing with guitarist Alex Gayle.

The schedule for Keziah Thomas' tour is as follows: April 11 at 7 p.m. at Ota Kumin Hall, Ota Kumin Plaza 3-13 Shimomaruko, Tokyo (for tickets, call [03] 3479-0597), a short walk from Jiyugaoka Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line; April 13 at 7 p.m. at Aoyama Harp Company Concert Hall, 15-62-1 Yoshinozakai, Matsuoka-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui (tel. [0776] 61-4182; and April 14 at 7 p.m. at Aoyama Harp Osaka Showroom, Dai-ichi Soki Mansions, 1-4-7 Shima-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka (tel. [06] 6966-2388).

Tickets are 3,000 yen for adults and 2,000 yen for children.

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