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The Tutors
Imogen Barford

Head of Harp at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Imogen Barford's busy freelance career has covered an extremely wide range of activities: concerto soloist at the South Bank and Wigmore Hall, London, and at the Aldeburgh Festival; orchestral work with all the major London orchestras (the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, and English Chamber Orchestras) as well as opera (including English National Opera, and Glyndebourne), ballet (including English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert) and film work; extensive chamber music with her own group JEUX and the Endymion Ensemble; contemporary music (Lontano and the London Sinfonietta) and early music on original instruments; plus regular appearances in all the major concert halls, radio and TV broadcasts, recordings and foreign tours. Most recently she toured in Germany and Spain with the London Symphony Orchestra.


Her commitment to contemporary music has led to numerous first performances, and work with groups such as the Endymion Ensemble in the UK and abroad; New Music workshops; and commissioning awards, most recently a PRS award. In 2013 Imogen began commissioning a series of harp solo works from prominent British composers, starting with Simon Holt and Robert Saxton.

Imogen read Music at Cambridge University and studied the harp with Renata Scheffel-Stein (a pupil of Marcel Tournier in Paris). She continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she won the coveted recital diploma. From 1991-2005 she taught at Trinity College of Music, London, latterly as Head of Harp, and in 2005 she became Head of Harp at the Guildhall School. She has taught in the Junior Departments of the Guildhall School, Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, and the Centre for Young Musicians. Imogen has given masterclasses and workshops at the Szymanowski Academy in Poland, at the Espace Camac in Paris, and for Morley Harps in London, for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Royal College of Music, the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Purcell School for Young Musicians. In 1994 she was made an honorary associate of the Royal Academy of Music 'for distinguished service to the music profession'.

Imogen is much in demand as an examiner and adjudicator. In 2014 she will be a jury member for the Wales International Harp Festival Competitions, and she has sat on panels for the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and the Royal Over-Seas League Competition; examined for the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and the Purcell School; been on the audition team for the Schleswig Holstein Festival Summer Academy and the National Youth Orchestra, and adjudicated numerous Music Festivals. Imogen is also a fully qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Charlotte Seale

Professor of Harp at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Senior and Junior Departments; Royal Academy of Music Senior Department; and the Purcell School of Music.

Charlotte Seale enjoys an international reputation as a renowned teacher and leading exponent of French technique. Her many successful students have graduated as professional harpists, and hold jobs as Principal Harp in orchestras across the world, from Ireland to Brazil.

Her teaching posts have included Trinity College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, Chethams School of Music, and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

She is an experienced adjudicator and examiner, and is unique in training young harpists to teach, both at the Guildhall School of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music.


Charlotte has also enjoyed a busy career as a performer. At the age of 23 she became Principal Harp with the BBC Northern Radio Orchestra, where she stayed for 8 years, also playing regularly during this time with the Hallé Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, and the Scottish National Orchestra.

She subsequently free-lanced in London, and has worked regularly with all the major London orchestras, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Ballet, and Ballet Rambert. She had a flute and harp duo, which performed nationally, and broadcast both on radio and television, She has made countless concert appearances both nationally and internationally, and recorded for all the major record labels. 


Charlotte is the only British harpist to have been awarded the Premier Prix with Distinction from the Conservatoire Royale de Bruxelles, where she studied under Mireille Flour, a pupil of Marcel Tournier in Paris. Prior to this she studied with Tina Bonifacio, and afterwards with Edward Witsenburg in The Hague.

She is currently Professor of Harp at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (Senior and Junior departments), the Royal Academy of Music, and the Purcell School of Music. Charlotte is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

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Keziah Thomas

Professor of Harp at the Yehudi menuhin School and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and founder of Retreat to the Harp and Little Harp Social.

Acclaimed by the New York Concert Review as ‘Stupendous…totally original and engaging’, at her Carnegie Hall debut recital, British harpist Keziah Thomas enjoys a reputation of a lively and engaging performer and educator. At the heart of her work is the belief that the power of music is for everyone, a value which drives a diverse freelance career.

Keziah’s creative programming strives to expand the repertoire and platform for the harp, and she is as equally comfortable performing at major venues and festivals throughout the world such as touring Japan for Aoyama Harps and giving recitals for Astral Artists in the USA as producing educational concerts and playing in healthcare settings as a Breathe resident musician.

In recent years, Keziah has developed a particular interest in arranging which had led to the creation of the first solo transcription of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the album of which was released on Convivium Records in 2022 to critical acclaim.

Her previous album Crossing Waves included newly commissioned works by British composers, James Young, Huw Watkins, and Andy Scott and was hailed as an ‘imaginatively programmed, winningly played recital’; by the BBC Music Magazine.

Keziah is principal harp with the Covent Garden Sinfonia and her work as a chamber musician with the Aoyama Trio and 4 Girls 4 Harps has been described as having ‘Scrupulous attention to the harp’s dynamic and rhythmic possibilities’ by The Times.

The winner of the London Harp Competition, the Camac Harp Competition and the Contemporary Record Society Performing Artists Competition, Keziah Thomas was taught by Danielle Perrett, Daphne Boden and Alison Nicholls and holds an ARCM diploma and bachelor’s degree from the Royal College of Music and a PG Certificate in Performance Teaching in Higher Education from the Guildhall School.

Keziah is a creative educator and entrepreneur and is the founder of two popular harp programmes: Retreat to the Harp, a series of workshops and study weekends that bring together those who share her love of the harp and Little Harp Social, the group learning programme for adults. Keziah is Professor of Harp at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Guildhall School.

“The sheer amount of information and inspiration gained from this course would take weeks, if not months, to process”

Megan, Lancashire

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