Picture: Rhys Frampton
Catrin Finch is one of the most accomplished harpists of her generation. A childhood prodigy, Catrin studied under Elinor Bennett achieving the highest mark in the UK for her Grade 8 ABRSM exam at the age of nine. She studied at The Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music with Skaila Kanga, graduating with the Queens Commendation for Excellence in 2002. Catrin is the former Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. Holding the appointment from 2000-2004, she had the honour of reviving this ancient tradition last held in 1873 during Queen Victoria’s rein.
Catrin has performed extensively throughout the USA, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Europe, both as a soloist, and appearing with many of the world’s top orchestras, and has recorded for many of the major international recording companies, including Universal Records, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI and Sony Classical, both solo and with notable artists such as Bryn Terfel, Sir James Galway and Julian Lloyd-Webber.
A versatile, fearless and ground-breaking artist, Catrin continues to explore and push the boundaries of her art with award-winning international collaborations with artists such as kora maestros Seckou Keita (Senegal) and Toumani Diabaté (Mali) and Colombian joropo cowboy virtuosos Cimarron.
Showing her versatility in different musical genres, in 2013 Catrin collaborated with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita on an album entitled 'Clychau Dibon', which won the 2014 Critics Poll Album of the Year fRoots and Best Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Songlines magazine, and two BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominations. This successful collaboration continues to this day, with their second album, SOAR, releasing in April 2018 to huge critical acclaim and 5* reviews for their live shows in both The Guardian and The London Evening Standard, and winning fRoots Critics Poll Album of The Year 2018, Songlines Awards Best Fusion Album 2019, The Transglobal World Music Charts Best Transregional Album 2018 and ‘Best Group’ in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. They have performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, Australasia and North America, including at festivals such as WOMAD, Shambala, Sfinks, Hay Festival and Lorient Interceltique Festival.
Known for her work within the community and with the younger generation, Catrin is committed to promoting the harp and classical music through her now successful annual Catrin Finch Academy Summer Harp School, an Annual Harp Fun Day and her 'Classical Café' evenings.