About The World Harp Congress

The World Harp Congress, Inc. a private non-profit organization, was founded in 1981 and incorporated in 1982.  It originated from the Harpweeks in The Netherlands, organized by Phia Berghout and Maria Korchinska, that first met in 1960.  

The WHC is held every three years around the world and seeks to promote the exchange of ideas, stimulate contact, and encourage the composition of new music for the harp.  Concerts, workshops, seminars and exhibits concerning all aspects of harp musicology and performance are offered at these triennial sessions. Past Congresses have been held in Maastricht, The Netherlands (1983); Jerusalem, Israel (1985); Vienna, Austria (1987); Paris-Sèvres, France (1990); Copenhagen, Denmark (1993); Seattle-Tacoma, Washington USA (1996); Prague, The Czech Republic (1999); Geneva, Switzerland (2002); Dublin, Ireland (2005);  Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2008); Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2011); Sydney, Australia (2014); and Hong Kong, China (2017). The next Congress will take place in Cardiff, Wales, UK in 2020 (www.whc2020.wales)..  

The World Harp Congress has members representing over 50 countries.The Board of Directors welcomes all persons who are interested in the harp to join this international organization.



14th World Harp Congress, Cardiff, Wales14th World Harp Congress

Due to health and safety concerns linked with the Coronavirus, we announce the postponement of the World Harp Congress 2020.  As an international organization, we send best wishes to our colleagues and their families throughout the world in this difficult time.  However, we are pleased to announce that the Congress will now take place in 2021 in Cardiff, Wales, UK. 

We are extremely appreciative of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our colleagues in Wales, led by Caryl Thomas, Catrin Finch and Stephen Burkitt-Harrington. We send our continued thanks to our exhibitors, sponsors and friends for their invaluable support.   Now more than ever, we look forward to being together in Wales next year.

Our thoughts are with harpists around the world in this unprecedented time.


A message from The 14th World Harp Congress Organising Committee:

WHC postponed to Summer 2021

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, it is with great regret that we have today taken the decision to postpone the 14th World Harp Congress due to take place in Cardiff this July. All performance venues have been closed until further notice following UK and Welsh Government advice.

As we are uncertain as to when the situation will change, we have decided to make an early announcement that will allow you, our delegates, performers, volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors, as much time as possible to change travel and accommodation plans.

There will be a considerable amount of work involved in rescheduling the Congress and we ask for your patience and cooperation through this process. We have provisionally secured alternative dates with our venues in the Summer of 2021 that will enable a straightforward postponement whilst maintaining this year’s performance schedule as closely as possible. More details will be posted in the coming days on all our platforms and we hope to release the new dates in the next few weeks.

Consequently, we will be making all tickets and delegate passes already purchased for the 2020 event, eligible for transfer to the new dates in 2021, and the Early Bird Ticket Discount Deadline will be extended until 1 st April 2021.

The welfare of our community of artists, volunteers and audiences is our priority throughout this time of uncertainty, and the decision has not been made easily. We are aware that many of you will have already incurred travel costs, and we hope that by making this decision in good time, you will be able to re-arrange flights and hotels for 2021 without any financial implications.

Due to the current workload and local isolation restrictions in the UK, we would be grateful if you do not try and contact us until the new dates are advertised.

We thank you for your support and patience while we work through the finer details, and on behalf of The 14th World Harp Congress Organising Committee, we wish you all well, and look forward to welcoming you to Wales in 2021.

Caryl Thomas Chair
Catrin Finch Artistic Director
Stephen Burkitt-Harrington Event Director

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