PRINCIPLE JURY (FINAL ROUND)
PROFESSOR ELZBIETA SZMYT
A native of Poland, she has made appearances on Polish radio and television, and performed numerous solo and chamber recitals in Europe, Canada, Japan, and the United States. She has been a featured soloist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, the Cracow Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis. She has performed and given lectures for World Harp Congresses in Copenhagen, Prague, and Dublin. Her solo CD, Rhapsody, was released on the DUX label.
Szmyt began her musical training at the age of 11 on piano then began to study harp with Alina Baranowska while attending the J. Elsner School of Music and continued her training with Baranowska at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. In 1987, she simultaneously received two master’s degrees, one from the Academy of Music and another in clinical psychology from Warsaw University. She subsequently received a scholarship to study with Susann McDonald, distinguished professor of harp at Indiana University. Upon earning her Artist Diploma in 1991, Szmyt was appointed to the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music.
In 2012, Szmyt founded The Summer Harp Academy, a week-long program designed to develop versatile harpists. She teaches daily master classes, workshops, ensemble rehearsals, and private lessons along with world-renowned pop harpist Jan Jennings. The Summer Harp Academy is held in Lake Junaluska, N.C., and is open to intermediate and advanced students.
MASTER DEGREE IN HARP
OF GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Belgian harpist Lise Vandersmissen graduated with Magna Cum Laude from her Bachelor’s Degree at LUCA School of Arts, Belgium and with ‘Distinction’ from her Master’s Degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Imogen Barford, London. She is currently a Fellow at the Guildhall.
Prizes and Awards
Lise participated successfully in national and international competitions. In 2019-2020, she won the First Prize at The 5th International Harp Competition in Slovenia, the Second Prize at the Fifth International Harp Competition in Hungary and the Second Prize at the North London Harp Competition 2020. She was awarded the Guildhall Harp Prize and was selected to be a Live Music Now musician. She was awarded a place as a UKHA Emerging Artist.
In the past, she won First Prizes in The Vlamo Concours, The Belfius Competition in Belgium and The North International Music Competition 2018. She was a Prizewinner at The 9th Michał Spisak International Music Competition in Poland, and was selected to perform at the Focus On Youth Platform on the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong in 2017. She won the Special Prize of the Hungarian Harp Duo at the 4th International Harp Competition in Hungary and the Second Prize at the Prinses Christina Concours in the Netherlands.
She won a place at the London Sinfonietta Academy and the Académie Camac in France with Isabelle Perrin. She was selected to be a Concordia Foundation Artist.
In June 2019, Lise gave the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new piece for solo harp: Four Meditations. Lise will be performing her transcription for solo harp of Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” at the World Harp Congress in Wales next summer.
Together with Carys Gittins and Agnieszka Żyniewicz, Lise formed the Aglica Trio in 2017. Bringing their Polish, Belgian and British influences together, they have formed this dynamic trio based in London. They were selected to perform at the Guildhall Chamber Music Festival in Milton Court Concert Hall, and have played in concert tours in Belgium and the UK.
Lise performed as a soloist with The Symphony of Zabrze Philharmonic in Poland, Youth Orchestra Amikejo in The Netherlands, the Symphony Orchestra of Luca School of Arts in Belgium and the Croydon Symphony Orchestra in the UK. She played as a Triple Harp soloist with the Bach Academie Alden Biesen in Belgium.
Amy Tam Wai-Li 譚懷理
Amy Tam is well-known to the Hong Kong audience as a harpist being currently active in regular performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra as well as a pedagogue instructing at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Having graduated at the China Central Conservatory of Music, Amy also received the Professional Diploma with distinction from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and her Master of Music (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the full support of The Molly McAulay Scholarship.
In her early years, Amy was invited to join the China Youth Symphony Orchestra and perform in a series of public performances presented by China Central Television & Radio. She accompanied the China Youth Symphony Orchestra to Taiwan as the Principal Harpist and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra as the China Delegation to the Berlin Music Festival followed by a performing tour to Germany and Czechoslovakia.
Besides being a soloist, Amy is also an avid chamber musician and worked on Ensemble and Chamber Music intensively. Over the last few years, she has also got numerous opportunities to have exchange with and guidance from Louise Johnson, the Principal Harp of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the world-renowned harp soloist Alice Giles from the Australia National University.
INSTRUTOR OF HKAPA
Barbara Sze 施盈琳
graduated with the Diploma in Performing Arts (Music) and Bachelor (Hons) Degree in Music from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majored in harp performance with Mr. Christopher Sidenius, Principal Harpist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She was awarded the Jacky Chan Charitable Foundation Scholarship during her study at HKAPA. Later on, she obtained the Advanced Certificate of Arts and Entertainment Management by the Binghamton University (SUNY), the Postgraduate Diploma in Education by the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and the Master of Arts degree in Music by the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Barbara performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Academy Orchestra, SAR Philharmonic Orchestra, Macau Orchestra, Bangkok Opera, China Film Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, International Orchestra of Italy, KBS Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. From 2009 to 2015, she was invited to be the adjudicator for the harp contest of the Macau Young Musicians Competition and the Hong Kong Harp Competition.
Barbara devoted herself to teaching harp at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Education University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Music Office. In 2004, she established the Hong Kong Harp Academy to further promote harp playing and to groom promising harpists in Hong Kong.
MASTER DEGREE OF HARP IN ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Pun Ka-Kwan, Edith was born in Hong Kong. She began studying harp at the age of sixteen under the guidance of Ms. Michelle Abbott. She was admitted to studied in Hong Kong Baptist University, Bachelor of Arts, Major in Harp in 2006. During those years, she was a frequent receiver of honourable award due to outstanding academic result. In 2009, she was awarded “Special Talent Scholarship” from Arizona State University where she peruses her Master Degree of Music, Major in Harp, under Lynne Aspnes.
After returning to Hong Kong, Edith starts to peruse her dream and start her business. Under her leadership, the Hong Kong Harp Centre has become one of the leading harp dealer in town and also received international recognition. As a passionate harpist, she has done a lot to promote harp to the community by organising different events, HarpWeek®, Harpy-Summer Academy®, HarpyWeel Festival, Teacher Training Programme. The artists that she has worked with are, Catherine Michelle, Elizabeth Hainen, Judy Loman, Maria-Pierre Langlamet, Maria Luisa Rayan, Naoko Yoshino, Natalie Shameyeva, Remy Van Kesteren, Sasha Blodachev, Sivan Magen, Sylvain Blassel etc. Since 2015, she was invited to be committee members of the Friends of the Harp Charitable Foundation to help the underprivileged community to learn the instrument.
Outside the concert hall, Edith is passionate about cultivating the next generation of musicians. She was invited to Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2011 until her resignation in 2019. In 2010, she joins the Kingston University (Hong Kong Branch) as a harp tutor. Pun was invited to be the jury member of the International Harp Contest in 2017 – 2019, together with renowned harpists, Catherine Michel, Natalia Shameyeva, Irina Zingg and Ieuan Jones.
An active chamber and soloist, Edith has played with China Philharmonic Orchestra, City Chamber Orchestra Hong Kong, Kunming Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyric Opera, Asia Youth Orchestra, Arizona States University Symphony Orchestra etc. She is the founder of the Hong Kong Harp Quartet as well as Asia Harp Quartet, which brought her to perform in Holland, Korea, Italy.
JENNIFER LOK MAN HO
MASTER DEGREE OF HARP IN ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC
Lok Man Ho has been one of the most active harpists in her generation in Hong Kong. She is the first ever local harpist from Hong Kong to get admitted to the masters degree program of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, London.
Ho obtained her Master of Arts degree with Merit from the Royal Academy of Music, London and the University of London, majoring in harp performance. Her masters study at the Royal Academy is generously supported by the Nina Young Memorial Scholarship. Jennifer has been the first musician to receive this scholarship from the Friends of the Harp (Hong Kong) as a rising young concert artist.
She is active as a performer and has been successful in competitions including being a prize winner of the First Hong Kong Harp Competition in the professional division (2010).
She works as a harpist for local professional orchestras, freelancing for orchestras regularly such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Macau Orchestra and Shenzhen Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, she also played in Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Young Euro Classic in Berlin Concert House and Concert in Copenhagen as an orchestral harpist. She had also worked with world renowned musicians such as Edward Gardner, Jac Van Steen, Langlang and Jian Wang.
Over the years, Ho has given numerous harp recitals in Hong Kong and in London. Ho has also been invited by a number of orchestras to play as soloist performing Concerto for harp in E flat minor by Reinecke, Danses by Debussy and the Concerto for flute and harp K299 by Mozart in Hong Kong and in London.
Ho is invited to perform in World Harp Congress 2018 for New Music , world premiered the new piece ‘Cantonese Images’ by Paul Patterson in an international platform. She is also the performer for the Leading Professional of Asia concert in Seoul, Korea for the prestigious Asia Harp Festival 2016. And also served as a guest performer in Taiwan Harp Festival 2015.
During the years 2015-2018, Ho has joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in completing the project of “the Ring Cycle” and recorded an album at Naxos.
During February 2020, Ho has accomplished an Europe tour with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and performed internationally in 7 concerts in 15 days in major venues in different countries including Lucerne(Switzerland), Brussels (Belgium), Dresden(Germany), Stuhr(Germany), Bonn(Germany), Budapest (Hungary), Austria.
ARTIST DIPLOMA, MASTER OF MUSIC IN CLEVELAND INSTITUTE
Natalie Man is a professional harpist who is now based in Hong Kong. She was a winner of the Darius Milhaud Performance Prize and the Hong Kong Inter-School International Performance Challenge. She was also the finalist of the American Harp Society Anne Adams Award National Competition where she receipted the Maxwell and Calkins Prize. While studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she was a two times recipient of the Alice Chalifoux Prize and the Jocelyn Chang and Michael Leese Award in Harp. As a soloist, she performed in the World Harp Congress and the Hong Kong Harp Festival. She was featured live on Click2Houston representing the Texas Music Festival.
As an orchestral musician, she performed with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the CityMusic Cleveland, the SAR Philharmonic Orchestra and multiple university orchestras in Hong Kong and the United States. Other summer festival performances include the National Orchestra Institute and the Academie International de Courchevel in France. In 2017, she was invited to give an Asia premiere on the famous composer Paul Patterson’s Mosquitoes with her ensemble the Victoria Quartet at the 13th World Harp Congress.
Ms. Man holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Diploma in Performing Arts from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where she studied with Dan Yu and Ann Huang, and a Master of Music degree as well as an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she is a student of internationally renowned artist Yolanda Kondonassis. Besides being a professional harpist, she also plays the piano and the organ. She got merit on grade 8 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exam for piano and distinction on grade 8 ABRSM exam for organ. A native Hong Kong, Ms. Man began studying the harp at age of 12. In leisure time, she enjoys reading and doing handcrafts.
Harp instructor in the junior program of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Tsz-shun Petite CHAN completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) Degree at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with first class honours. She has developed her interest in harp since young and is currently studying under the tutelage of Dan Yu.
She obtained ATCL in harp and also piano performance in 2014. She is an active harpist in Hong Kong. She was awarded First Prize in the 2018 Concours Francais De La Harpe in France and is also the winner of the Camac Prize Taiwan in 2019. Petite is also invited to play the Ginastera Harp Concerto with the Academy Orchestra in 2021.
Besides, she has rich orchestral experiences. She has been working with several local orchestras. She is also selected as the harpist in the Asian Youth Orchestra 2019 and has toured with the orchestra to Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Chiayi City, Seoul, Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Tokyo.
Apart from performance, Petite is a passionate music educator and she is currently a harp instructor in the junior program of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
MASTER DEGREE OF MUSIC, MAJOR IN HARP, ARTIST DIPLOMA
JUDY, HO CHING MAN
ARTIST FELLOW AND MASTER DEGREE IN HARP
OF GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Judy, Ho Ching Man, Harp
Born in Hong Kong, Judy is one of the most sought-after harpists of her generation. She studied for her master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Under the tutelage of Imogen Barford, she graduated with distinction, and was later awarded an Artist Fellowship. Her early harp training began with Ann Huang at the Music Office and later gained her Bachelor in Arts (Music with honors) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with Amy Tam. She also held a visiting position at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts under the tutelage of Dan Yu.
Judy currently enjoys a diverse career and performed across Europe and Asia as soloist, chamber, orchestral player and cross-arts collaborator. She has worked with orchestras such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Macao Orchestra and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. She has recently completed the 4-year Wagner Ring Cycle Project with the HKPhil, which their live performance was recorded and released on CD by Naxos Label. Other renowned festivals and Orchestral Academy Judy has played include the Salzburg Festival (Austria), Schleswig Holstein Festival (Germany), Asian Youth Orchestra, Oslo Chamber Music Festival (Norway), Young Euro Classica (Berlin), City of London Festival, Singapore Harp Festival, Taiwan International Harp Festival and Asia Harp Festival in Korea etc.
In Hong Kong, Judy has held solo recitals at the St John’s Cathedral, LeeHysan Concert Hall, Chinese Methodist Church and All Saints Church. She has performed the Mozart K.299 Flute and Harp concerto with the Chung Chi Orchestra; Ravel Introduction and Allegro in London and Debussy’s Danses sacree et Danse profane at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre. For chamber music, she is regularly invited to perform at the Hong Kong Museum of Arts as part of the Sound of Arts Series and Musica del cuore Concert Series.
In 2015, she formed Duo Reine with Soprano Jessica Ng. They explored and performed music ranged from French Baroque to contemporary. In 2017 they were invited to perform the works of award-winning young composers Pieter Bezuidenhout and Franco Prinsloo at the Aardklop festival, South Africa and the 13th World Harp Congress in Hong Kong. Her Flute, Harp and Viola Trio (Trois Voix) performed at the Wigmore Hall and led workshops for young children there. They have given a concert at the Kunst Gallery in Norway and recently a recital in Hong Kong.
Jointed with her sister Jennifer, she formed the Symmetry Harp Duo in 2013. They have given performances in many countries. Their appearances with new duo arrangements have won high acclaims at the Taiwan International Harp Festival in 2015 and Korea’s First Asia Harp Festival in 2016. They have continued to be invited to the 2nd Taiwan International Harp Festival in 2019. With the generous support of Tanza Trust, Symmetry Duo has commissioned and premier renowned composer Paul Patterson’s new duo piece at the World Harp Congress 2017 in Hong Kong. In the same year, they gave a double harp concerto performance with the Chung Chi Wind Orchestra at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2019, the duo launched the “Harp Triptych”, a series of harp and chamber music concerts in Tai Kwun; in the same year they were invited to perform at the “The Journey of Greater Bay” concert in Guangzhou, which was their first appearance in mainland China.
Apart from performing, Judy is also passionate in teaching. She has taught in the Macau Conservatory (Junior) and now in Hong Kong Music Office and private music institutions. Her students are prize-winners of local and international harp competitions. Recently she was awarded as An Outstanding Teacher by the China Artist Association HKSAR Secretariat and the Hong Kong Arts and Cultural Foundation.