“I want to let the world hear what the harp is capable of; it is an instrument with which you can tell the most beautiful stories. And that’s what music is all about: telling a personal story! The power of a musician, who plays honestly and purely, without compromises, but with a large degree of risk-taking, is what inspires me in music. It is this ‘creation’ of music that is the core of my desire to perform. And this conviction I want to share with the audience.”
When one thinks of a harpist, presumably images of delicately strumming nymphs with long blonde hair come to mind. But now there is Remy van Kesteren. He has won the 2013 US International Harp Competition, the largest harp competition in the world, has reached 500,000 visitors during the Night of the Proms and has taken on numerous ambitious projects, including a collaboration with the famous ballet choreographer, Hans van Manen, in 2014. At the age of five, Remy was lured off the swing by a mysterious sound from an open window – the sound of the harp. Aged ten, he entered the Conservatory of Utrecht and before he had finished his studies with the highest distinction, he could already look back on two successful editions of his own Dutch Harp Festival. Remy attributes his rapidly developing career to his former teacher, Erika Waardenburg, the purveyor of the Dutch harp scene. He does not feel bound to ‘prevailing ideas’ about the harp.
Remy van Kesteren (1989) is regarded a world-class harp talent and one of the most adventurous harpists of the moment. At the age of ten, he was admitted to the Conservatory of Utrecht in the class of Erika Waardenburg where he graduated with the highest distinction in 2010. He further pursued his studies at the Conservatoire Natoinal Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he worked with the famous harpist Isabelle Moretti. In 2012, Remy received his master diploma ‘summa cum laude’ at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. At age twenty, Remy founded the Dutch Harp Festival, of which three successful editions have taken place in Utrecht. The Festival will be held for the fourth time in 2016.