Scoil na gCláirseach

Director and tutor, Scoil na gCláirseach

SiobhánSiobhán Armstrong is one of a small number of harpists worldwide who play harps from earlier centuries and who research historical playing techniques appropriate to these instruments. She has an extensive collection of copies of instruments from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque era.

Siobhán is particularly interested in encouraging the revival of the early Irish harp. To this end, she founded the Historical Harp Society of Ireland in 2002 and is the director of Scoil na gCláirseach. She plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College Harp - the national emblem of Ireland - built by David Kortier. Her solo recording on this instrument, Cláirseach na hÉireann: The Harp of Ireland - was released in 2004.

Alongside her solo work, Siobhán Armstrong performs and records with the main early music soloists, ensembles, and directors in Europe including William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, and Paul McCreesh and The Gabrieli Consort, with Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Teldec, Virgin Classics, Erato and Dorian. Playing her Italian baroque harp, she is also a soloist on the soundtrack of MGM's The Merchant of Venice on Decca.

Another of Siobhán's interests is the art of 'continuo': the style of improvised accompaniment found in early Baroque music; she regularly participates in period instrument productions of 17th century operas by Monteverdi, Rossi and Cavalli among others in the main opera houses in Europe and the U.S.A.

Siobhán was born in Dublin. She studied harp, piano and voice, singing with choral groups and cathedral choirs from an early age. While reading music at Trinity College Dublin, she directed the university chamber choir, Trinity College Singers. In 1987 - her year of graduation - Siobhán was invited to Germany to establish a harp class at the Schule fuer Musik, Theater und Tanz in Stuttgart-Sindelfingen. Siobhán now works as a freelance performer, lecturer and teacher, mainly in Europe, and lives in Ireland.

Siobhán has performed, broadcast and taught throughout Europe, North America and Japan and has appeared as a soloist or ensemble player at venues including the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Southbank in London, the Opéra Comique in Paris, the Zankel Hall at Carnegie, NY and Izumi Hall in Osaka. She is also a participant at the main Early Music festivals including Boston, Utrecht, Chaise-Dieu and Vienna.

Siobhán speaks English, Irish, German and French.


Visit Siobhan's website for photos, discography, music downloads and more information.