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À Deux – Composing for Harp
Workshop Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir & Sarah Nemtsov

Hybrid workshop: Harpists will work on-site in Darmstadt, composers remotely

Tutors: Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir (Harp), Sarah Nemtsov (Composition)
Workshop dates: four days tba: group sessions with the harpists in Darmstadt and the composers remotely. Composers and harpists arrange additional rehearsals individually online.
Workshop times: 9.30–12.30 for all four group sessions
Participants: Composers (already chosen from Call for sketches) & harpists (all participants of the harp studio)


The workshop tutors have chosen composers for active participation from the Call for sketches. The new pieces will be rehearsed in Darmstadt by the participants of the Darmstadt harp studio in close collaboration with the composers and introduced in workshop sessions where contemporary playing techniques, notation as well as general compositional questions will be discussed. Each piece will be discussed at least twice with some days in between, during which the composers/harpists can work together, learn about each others’ perspective, strengthen the bond between performer and composer (also if only online) and also work on changes and alterations suggested by the group. Both, Gunnhildur and Sarah will be available for consultation between the workshop sessions. A final presentation is planned, its concrete form still has to be decided.

Call for sketches

Applicants submitted a sketch of a (short) new composition planned for this workshop or a short text explaining the planned composition. Alternatively, they could also send a PDF of an existing composition for harp solo. Pieces using extended techniques or unconventional performance practice are strongly encouraged. An overview of contemporary harp techniques and notation can be found on:

The proposed works can include electronics, video, amplification or other devices/objects. A small PA system will be in the classroom as well as a small mixer, some microphones and a video beamer. However, composers should be aware that during the workshop there won’t be a sound technician present, so if electronics are included the composers should contact the tutors in advance to make sure everything works even though they only join the class via Zoom. Any other special requirements must also be discussed with the workshop tutors in advance.

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