Suffolk based Harpist

Danielle Perrett

More about Danielle ..................

Danielle Perrett has a firmly established career both as a soloist and as a chamber music player.
            Something of a prodigy, she gained diplomas in harp playing whilst still at school and the Royal College of Music Junior Department just five years after taking up the instrument which she studied with Daphne Boden and later Renata Scheffel-Stein and she can trace the lineage of her harpist tuition back to several of the great virtuoso harpist-composers of the 19th century. Danielle has received several awards from the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Royal Overseas League Harp Prize and has the distinction of being the first person at Goldsmiths' College, London University to gain a Master's Degree in Music Performance and Related Studies. In the course of those studies she chose to have lessons with pianists Melvyn Tan and Susan Bradshaw whose guidance has proved to be invaluable in her performances of 18th and early 19th century and of 20th century harp music respectively.

   Danielle made her debut recital at the Purcell Room in 1983, since when she has regularly appeared at all the major London venues, festivals and music clubs throughout this country and also in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East.  Many new compositions have been written for her and she has premiered many new works by composers such as Geoffrey Burgon, Keith Burstein, Roger Steptoe, David Snell and David Gough, Danielle’s husband, who is contributing a significant oeuvre of works to the harp repertoire.

            Danielle has contributed to scholarly research of her instrument and its repertoire, and her two period instruments: a single-action pedal harp of circa 1800 and an Erard Gothic harp of 1841 have given her practical insights into the Classical and Romantic harp repertoire which she is rediscovering, editing and performing. Amongst her most important work has been her rediscovery of works for harp and horn dating from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in pursuit of which Danielle, with her horn player associate, Gillian Jones, has scoured libraries across Europe and the USA.  Various arrangements, compositions, articles and reviews by Danielle have been published, perhaps most notable amongst which was her bringing to light of the Howells Prelude for harp of 1915 which she gave its public premiere and edited for publication by Stainer & Bell.  In 1993 she released her first CD (on the Meridian label) entitled Dussek and the Harp  which received outstanding reviews and her subsequent CD: Edmund Rubbra - The Complete Chamber Music & Songs with Harp has also received great critical acclaim. 

            Danielle has been featured a great deal on all the major national television and radio stations and international TV and radio (including an interview in French). Radio programmes include Start the Week, Kaleidoscope, the Today Programme, Woman’s Hour and Outlook and she has been a special guest and performed live on Classic FM in addition to the frequent broadcasts of her recordings.  Danielle can be seen playing her single-action harp in the BBC film of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion', whilst the Austen connection continued with her partnership with the renowned actress Geraldine McEwan, 1995's Evening Standard Actress of the Year, in a touring programme of Jane Austen in which Danielle played appropriate music from the period on her single-action harp.  A recording of this was released in 1995 on the Hodder Headlines audio label.

            Danielle teaches the harp privately and is Head of the Harp Dept. at the London College of Music & Media.  She has taught music history and analysis to foundation students at Goldsmiths College, London University and, since 1981, has taught music history, analysis, harp and musicianship at the Royal College of Music Junior Department.

             As well as examining for Trinity College, London, Danielle has devised the harp syllabus, introducing an unprecedented syllabus for non-pedal harp from Initial Grade to Performer's Certificate. As a result of this Trinity has published a book called Technical Development for Harpists produced by Danielle, her husband David Gough and colleague, Dr. Mike Parker. Danielle and David have also published a number of harp books amongst which is Lift Off for all harps at elementary level and an innovative volume of new advanced pieces for lever harp called Lever Harp 2000. Her examining has taken her to Ireland, Singapore and Malaysia, where she returned in 1999 en route to an examining tour of Australia combined with a number of recitals and radio broadcasts. In 1995 Danielle undertook a recital tour of Japan and Hong Kong with soprano, Charlotte de Rothschild and in 1999 Danielle performed and lectured at the World Harp Congress in Prague.

The year 2000 saw a return visit to Australia followed by New Zealand examining, performing, broadcasting, adjudicating, giving talks, masterclasses, workshops, forums for teachers and coaching ensembles. Also that year Danielle achieved a dream of having an innovatory and stunningly beautiful  sounding harp  specially  built  for her by David of Switzerland.

             January 2001 saw Danielle examine and speak about music examinations in Italian around Northern Italy then later in the year she recorded a CD of chamber music with harp by Elis Pehkonen together with soprano Andree Back and flautist Timothy Kipling due to be released in 2002. Together with Timothy, she performed at the Palace of Versailles in May and with period instrument flautist, Rachel Brown she perfomed  Mozart‘s Flute and harp Concerto at the Wigmore Hall and in Brighton together with the Hanover Band. This also entailed educational work together with able bodied and physically challenged people of all ages. November that year saw Danielle examine and speak about music examinations in Spanish in Tenerife. In January this year Danielle gave another solo harp recital at the Purcell Room involving the modern concert harp, the single-action harp and the lever harp  promoting the innovatory new harp syllabuses which she has devised for Trinity College, London. 2002 has seen her lecture and perform once again at the World Harp Congress in Geneva and tour Japan again with Charlotte de Rothschild. In this country Danielle will also be giving recitals for music clubs, colleges and the National Trust and a lecture/performance for the London Mozart Players Society  as well as adjudicating music festivals. In January 2003, she will part of an international jury for a harp competition in France and in the spring she will be performing in the Czech Republic with Charlotte de Rothschild as well as performing and teaching on several kinds of harps at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. She has recently gained accreditation in Higher Education teaching from the Institute of Learning and Teaching and Associate Teacher status from SEDA.


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