Scoil na gCláirseach

Tutor, Scoil na gCláirseach

AnnAnn Heymann, a master in the performance and traditions of the Gaelic harp, continues to spearhead the instrument's revival. From the start she chose to play in the traditional manner: resting the harp on her left shoulder so the right hand plays the bass and the left hand plays the treble, striking the brass strings with her fingernails, and damping with the fingerpads. Ann authored the first tutor for the instrument, based upon the first tunes taught to student harpers in the old tradition (Secrets of the Gaelic Harp and A Gaelic Harper's First Tunes). She is the first modern player

  • to interpret fingernail and damping techniques detailed in the Welsh Robert ap Huw harp manuscript;
  • to adapt piobaireachd's highly ornamented variations to the cláirseach;
  • to interpret and perform repertoire of Denis O'Hampsey from the original Bunting manuscripts in Belfast (also using a replica of O'Hampsey's instrument and O'Hampsey's tuning);
  • to interpret and perform the compositions of Cormac MacDermott, an Irish harper at the Elizabethan court;
  • to use monofilament gold as well as silver strings;
  • to establish a plausible role for the cláirseach in the performance of Gaelic poetry.

Ann inspires professionals and learners alike, and is frequently asked to lead workshops and masterclasses. Her definitive solo CDs Queen of Harps and Cruit go nÓr document the virtuosic capability of the Gaelic harp.


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