Edward & Christopher Witsenburg

Edward & Christopher Wistenburg

Photo: Edward & Chris WitsenburgEdward Witsenburg is the doyen of Dutch harpists. His career extends over more than half a century. He continues the tradition set forth by the celebrated Dutch harpist, Rosa Spier, who was famous for her expressive style of playing. After ten years of playing in various symphony orchestras, he devoted himself to teaching the harp, together with a solo career. He was a member of the teaching staff at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague for forty years. He was appointed Professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, a position which he held for fourteen years. He is much sought after internationally as a teacher and has given numerous master classes and courses in many countries all over the world. He has made many recordings, using instruments from his extensive private collection. He was one of the founder members of the Netherlands Harp Society, which he chaired for six years. Edward Witsenburg was made a knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his services to music and, in particular, to the harp.

Chris Witsenburg came into contact with the harp at a very early age and soon developed an aptitude for the instrument. He began to study seriously while at secondary school, although hampered by the fact that he had no instrument of his own. During the early sixties he acquired his first harp and began to perform in public such works as Handel's Harp Concerto and Britten's A Ceremony of Carols for boys' voices with harp accompaniment. In 1981 the Dutch composer Nico Hermans wrote a harp concerto for him, which he premiered in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. For ten years he was a member of a harp trio, together with Edward Witsenburg and Toos Stotijn-Heuwekemeijer. Now Chris Witsenburg performs in a harp duo, harp trio and a harp quartet.