Guildhall School of Music and Drama Harp
Strings, Harp & Guitar
Violin | Viola | Cello | Double Bass | Guitar | Harp
Individual lessons and masterclasses • Chamber music • Orchestra • String Ensemble
The Department of Stringed Instruments emphasises individual tuition underpinned by chamber and orchestral coaching. Led by Louise Hopkins, the Department is supported by a staff of pre-eminent performers and teachers, including Imogen Barford as Head of Harp and Robert Brightmore as Head of Guitar, with David Takeno as the School’s first International Chair of Violin.
Recent visitors include Midori, DaXun Zhang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Thomas Riebl, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos and David Alberman.
If you wish to arrange a consultation lesson with one of our string professors, please contact Lucy Butcher, the Strings Manager, in the first instance.
Performance is a core component of the Strings Principal Study pathway and students receive at least 30 individual lessons a year. Intensive chamber music coaching is also central to the Department’s ethos and, as such, is made available to all string players.
The Harp Department combines individual teaching of the highest calibre with a stimulating and extensive course of study for harpists. Work in weekly classes covers every aspect of harp playing, including orchestral, chamber music, practising and teaching skills, jazz and improvisation, contemporary musicianship, light music and contextual studies.
The Guitar Department offers comprehensive training at the highest level in both solo and chamber music performance. The central part of the programme is the solo repertoire of the last four centuries. During the second year students take theorbo lessons which lead to continuo work. And in Year 3 and 4 chamber music and concerto playing are essential parts of the syllabus.
Read more about the BMus course structure.
MMus/MPerf in Performance
Read more about our Masters in Performance, or choose from the specialisms below:
Orchestral Artistry in association with the London Symphony Orchestra
Find out more about this exciting specialism.
Advanced Instrumental Studies
This specialism is for players wishing to focus intensively on instrumental and musical progression. It involves a high number of contact hours in terms of individual lessons with your Principal Study professor. In addition to the optional chamber elective there are a range of chamber music performance opportunities as this is a primary focus within the School. You can also participate in a number of orchestral projects where a wide variety of ensembles can be explored.
This specialism focuses on the development of core chamber music skills. Regular coaching is provided by a mixture of departmental staff and visiting artists. The specialism is designed for individuals and existing groups with considerable chamber music experience, with the aim of developing students’ skills to a professional level.
Read more about the Artist Diploma programme
Read more about our doctoral programmes
Activities and Ensembles
- Principal Study lessons
- Intensive chamber music coaching (inter- and cross-departmental)
- Participation in New Music Ensemble (by audition)
- Second Study (by audition)
- Repertoire orchestra
- Chamber and Symphony Orchestra projects
- Workshops designed to enhance performance and boost confidence
- Jazz, Early and Contemporary Harp
- Harp Teaching Skills
Individual Lessons • Masterclasses • Chamber Music • Orchestral and Repertoire Studies • Jazz, Early and Contemporary Harp • Teaching Skills
The Harp Department combines individual teaching of the highest calibre with a stimulating and extensive harp course, designed to give students all the skills they need to be confident, versatile professional musicians.
Imogen Barford, Head of Harp, leads a team of distinguished professional harpists, including Charlotte Seale, Bryn Lewis (Principal Harp, London Symphony Orchestra), Helen Tunstall (Principal Harp, London Sinfonietta), Dr Andrew Lawrence-King (early harp), Monika Stadler (jazz harp), each with individual areas of expertise. Their work in weekly classes covers every aspect of harp-playing, including orchestral, chamber music, practising and teaching skills, jazz and improvisation, contemporary musicianship, light music, and historical and contextual studies.
Regular masterclasses are given by guest harpists pre-eminent in the UK and abroad. Recently these have included: Nancy Allen (US), Sivan Magen (Israel/US), Sylvain Blassel (France), Marie-Pierre Langlamet (France/Germany), Isabelle Perrin (France), Helga Storck (Germany), Erika Waardenburg (The Netherlands), Anneleen Lenaerts (Belgium) and Chantal Mathieu (Switzerland).
Postgraduate harp studies at the Guildhall School are tailored to the precise needs of each student.
Alternatively, for a copy of our Harp Studies brochure, and for all harp enquiries, please email the Harp Department.
Individual lessons and masterclasses
The Guitar Department offers comprehensive training at the highest level in both solo and chamber music performance.
The course is led by the eminent and highly experienced international soloists, Robert Brightmore and David Miller, and takes advantage of David Miller’s expertise as one of Britain’s most distinguished early music specialists. William Carter teaches plucked instruments as well as core subjects in the Department of Historical Performance.
The central part of the course is the solo repertoire of the last four centuries. During the second year students also take theorbo lessons which lead to continuo work. In years 3 and 4 chamber music and concerto playing are essential parts of the syllabus.
During the course there will be frequent performance opportunities and masterclasses by pre-eminent guest guitarists.