Kevin le Pennec wins the World Harp Competition

The World Harp Competition at Dutch Harp Festival in Utrecht held its 2024 edition

The winner of the World Harp Competition has been announced: Kevin le Pennec, harpist and singer-songwriter from Bretagne. On top of that, he also won the audience prize. Le Pennec, a gifted harpist and singer-songwriter, performed a solo program through harp and vocals that embodied his deep-rooted passion for themes such as love, masculism, feminism, homosexuality, inclusivity, and positivity. Le Pennec is delighted with the prize; he will use the monetary award to fund a video for his new album. The second prize went to Amy Nam and the third prize to Ariel Sol. The jury, comprised of prominent music professionals and harpists, including Brandee Younger, Catrin Finch, and Deborah Henson-Conant, praised the diversity and innovation displayed during the competition "We've seen so many different harps, small, large, electric, acoustic," noted jury member Catrin Finch. Speaking to the candidates, she continued, "What’s been wonderful is to see so many of you share your own music with us. For so long, harpists waited for music to be written for them. But now actually a lot of you are writing it yourselves. That is a remarkable achievement. You are all the present and the future of this instrument. I implore you to not stop, because your voice and what you’re doing is so important. It is exactly what is needed in our harp world, to show this diversity. And there really is a future stage for every single one of you; so go and get it."

Kevin Le Pennec

The competition began last October with a pre-selection of 39 talented candidates from around the world. After an intense online video round, which selected 25 candidates for the quarterfinals, the semi-final took place on the 18th and 19th of April. The finale, the highlight of the event, occurred during the Night of a 1000 Strings on the 20th of April at TivoliVredenburg. Finalists Kevin Le Pennec, Ariel Sol, and Amy Nam treated the audience to an impressive display of virtuosity and artistic expression.

1st Prize: Kevin le Pennec, Rennes
2nd Prize: Amy Nam, Minnesota and Tennessee
3rd Prize: Ariel Sol, Los Angeles

Brandee Younger, Catrin Finch, Deborah Henson-Conant, Guido van Oorschot, Joost Neelemans, Martin Fondse, Maya Fridman

©WFIMC 2024