Rhinegold

Melissa Bradshaw

Former royal harpist Catrin Finch keeps promise to festival after recovering from cancer

4:17, 13th March 2019

World renowned harpist Catrin Finch, who was forced to pull out of a major festival last year due to battling breast cancer, is keeping her promise to perform at this year’s event instead.

The former royal harpist will have a starring role at the Wales Harp Festival, which takes place at Galeri in Caernarfon on April 17 and 18. Since becoming the first person since 1782 to hold the post of royal harpist in 2000, Finch 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.

After being diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer, she had seven rounds of chemotherapy over four months and underwent a double mastectomy at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.

Finch said: ‘It was a horrible time, there’s no question of that. Unfortunately I have a faulty gene that left me susceptible to breast cancer. The worst thing, in some ways, was that I couldn’t play the harp for a couple of months, between September and October. That was difficult as I try and practice every day when my schedule allows. It was strange not playing but I can now put that behind me and get on with my life. I just have to be thankful.’

The theme of this year’s festival is the June 1919 signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which helped bring an end to the Great War. Finch will be performing works by French harpists who were composing at the time of the Treaty 100 years ago, as well as music by Bach, Piazzola and William Mathias.

For more information and tickets visit www.walesharpfestival.co.uk.

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