Early Irish Harp
Siobhán Armstrong is one of Europe’s foremost historical harpists and plays an extensive collection of copies of medieval, Renaissance and baroque harps.
Siobhán was born in Dublin and graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Music in 1987. She directed the TCD chamber choir, was a professional choral singer in the RTE Chamber Choir and played modern Irish harp before she specialised in earlier music.
She has a particular interest in the rediscovery of the early Irish harp and she plays a copy of the medieval Trinity College or Brian Boru harp: the national emblem of Ireland. These old Irish harps – strung in brass wires – died out in the early-nineteenth century after some 800+ years at the pinnacle of courtly Gaelic music culture.She performs and records with many of Europe’s most prestigious early music soloists, orchestras and baroque opera companies and also collaborates with some of the most interesting traditional singers and pipers in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.
In 2003, she founded The Historical Harp Society of Ireland, the resource organisation that is now spearheading an international revival of the early Irish harp. She is also working on a PhD thesis at Middlesex University, London, on the subject of eighteenth-century Irish harp performance practice, for which the university offered her a prestigious, three-year bursary.