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Welsh harpist has high hopes for Pittsburgh debut

American Harp Society
Harpist Claire Jones

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By Bob Karlovitz
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The Girl With the Golden Harp won't have her gilded instrument when she performs April 21 at Calvary United Methodist Church in the North Side, but that doesn't bother her.

Claire Jones earned the nickname because of the instrument she played during her four years as royal harpist for Prince Charles.

“You can't really travel with your harp,” says the Wales native. “They are nearly 6 feet high. I've been pleased with all the harps that have been provided. All the instruments have been special in their own ways.”

She will be here as part of a three-city tour sponsored by the American Harp Society and in conjunction with the North Side's Allegheny Historic Preservation Society. Jones, who played at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, considers herself “an ambassador of the harp” and says she focuses her work on introducing listeners to the instrument.

She plays well-known classical- and romantic-era harp material, as well as some works by her husband, arranger Chris Marshall. She is excited about the tour, which also includes Washington, D.C., and New York City, but particularly likes the visit here for ethnic reasons.

“I understand there is a big Welsh society there, and I hear they probably will be coming out since the harp is our national instrument,” she says.

Music begins at 4 p.m. Admission is $15; $10 for seniors and $7 for students. Details: 412-323-1070

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