Celia Harper worked for many years as a keyboard continuo player and latterly double harpist, playing and recording with most of Britain's early music ensembles in concert and opera. She was for many years particularly associated with Kent Opera's baroque productions under Sir Roger Norrington and has worked with conductors such as Harry Christophers (The Sixteen), Paul McCreesh (Gabrieli Consort and Players), Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Christopher Hogwood. She has taught as a singer's style coach on early music at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh and also with the European Union Baroque Orchestra. Her interest in researching 17th and 18th century music led to her devising several series of music programmes for S4C, the Welsh Television Channel.
Celia started composing in 1994 and has had works premiered by Michael Chance and Fretwork, Robin Blaze, Felicity Palmer CBE, Canterbury Chamber Choir, Chiswick Baroque www.chiswickbaroque.com and the Joyful Company of Singers among others. Her ensemble SULIS www.sulismusic.com has been involved in ground-breaking research into music and healing at Bristol Cancer Help Centre.
There are some clips of Sulis performing Celia's music in St James' Piccadilly in Alan Yentob's latest "Imagine" programme entitled "How Music Makes Us Feel", which explores the emotional power of music and was recently shown on BBC1.
There are no credits for Sulis - but you can hear and see Robin Blaze and Michael Chance, counter-tenors, with David Juritz, violin, singing and playing very short excerpts from Celia's music and also the Tashi Llunpo Tibetan monks playing their long horns and dancing in traditional costume. Sulis has joined forces on several occasions with these Buddhist monks. Please click on the following link to view:
In 2007 Celia won prizes in the English Poetry and Song Society's song writing competition, and the ensuing song cycle "Songs of Gloucestershire" to poetry by F W Harvey was premiered by bass-baritone Michael George in 2008.
In 2009-2010 Celia was Composer in Residence at Holy Innocents Church, Hammersmith and her commissioned Mass for Childermas Day was premiered in January 2010 and repeated in January 2011.
Celia's 3rd Sulis CD "The Vision of Enoch" was released on www.magnatune.com in April 2010 and Harper's Hamper Christmas CD "All Hayle to the Days" (music researched and arranged by Celia) was released in December 2011.
Celia has several commissions currently under discussion and, as always, is writing and arranging 3, 4 and 5 part vocal music for Chiswick Baroque which she directs.
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