Music for the Harp: Elizabeth McNulty at St Luke’s – 31 October 2014

    Miss McNulty said that a set of professional-grade strings can cost around £200, but they last up to two years. © Andrew Burdett 2014
  • LRxprt-IMG_8595_ARB
    Elizabeth McNulty's harp, following the musician's lunchtime concert at St Luke's. © Andrew Burdett 2014
  • PhotoRemovedImage-Sep17

Celebrated harpist Elizabeth McNulty gave a 45-minute recital at St Luke’s this lunchtime, the latest in a series of Friday afternoon concerts.

With music by Handel and Fauré, as well as lesser-known composers Dussek and Spohr, the programme gave the audience a flavour of harp music from the last four centuries.

The concert began at 1:00pm, after a simple sandwich lunch, available to buy and enjoy at the back of church from noon. With the plates and teacups put away, attendees migrated to the front of the building where McNulty, who is Principal Harpist with The Kantanti Ensemble, then played her beautiful instrument, opening with the three movements of GFH’s Concerto for Harp. The full running order for today’s concert can be downloaded here: Elizabeth McNulty Programme (October 2014).

After the concert, Elizabeth invited the audience to move forward to see her harp in closer detail. An informal questions-and-answers session let attendees find out how the pedals affect the sound produced by the strings; how Elizabeth’s fingers became blistered  when she returned to the instrument, having not played for a short period of time; and how Elizabeth transports the large instrument to concerts, at home and abroad.


Some images have since been removed at the request of the artiste (September 2017).

  • TICKLING THE INSTRUMENT Elizabeth McNulty gave a lunchtime concert at St Luke’s today (31 October 2014). LRxprt-IMG_8495_ARB.jpg
  • ACCEPTING THE APPLAUSE Miss McNulty’s recital – delivered entirely without music – lasted around 45 minutes. LRxprt-IMG_8522_ARB.jpg
  • POST-CONCERT CHAT An interesting discussion was given by the celebrated harpist after the concert had finished. LRxprt-IMG_8540_ARB.jpg
  • HANDFUL OF HARP Elizabeth McNulty answered questions from the audience in an informal conversation after the concert. LRxprt-IMG_8542_ARB.jpg
  • THE STRING THING Miss McNulty said that a set of professional-grade strings can cost around £200, but they last up to two years. LRxprt-IMG_8544_ARB.jpg
  • A LOGISTICS EXERCISE One question asked by an audience member inquired how Elizabeth transports the harp when touring. With difficulty, the reply. LRxprt-IMG_8555_ARB.jpg
  • TUNING KEY With 47 strings, tuning a full-sized harp – like Elizabeth’s – can be a time-consuming business. Here, she showed the tuning peg she uses. LRxprt-IMG_8574_ARB.jpg
  • Elizabeth McNulty’s harp, following the musician’s lunchtime concert at St Luke’s. LRxprt-IMG_8595_ARB

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.