Embassy April 2014

The Royal Harpist

The unmistakable and deeply Welsh sound of the harp resonated throughout the official residence of British Ambassador Tim Hitchens to mark St David’s Day.

Held shortly after 1 March, the day honouring Wales’ patron saint, the celebrations coincided with a delegation of representatives of some of the nation’s top food and drink producers arriving in Japan to take part in the Foodex 2014 trade show.

Hannah Stone, who in June 2011 was appointed the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, performed a series of recitals, including two Welsh compositions.

“Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn”, which translates as “watching the white wheat”, was written by award-winning harp player John Thomas, and is based on an 18th century traditional Welsh love song. “St Asaph’s Dance” was a more contemporary composition created by Karl Jenkins.

To complement the Welsh music, Stone also performed Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and “Scintillation”, by the French harp composer Carlos Salzedo.

“I am delighted to be here this evening to celebrate St David’s Day with you all in Japan”, said Stone.

“This is my first visit to Japan and I am only here for a short time, but I have nothing but good things to say about everything that I have been shown so far”.

Stone’s performance was followed by a food reception showcasing Welsh delicacies.