The beautiful melodies of a Edwardian harp are about to ring through the corridors of an important Angus house once again after a successful crowdfunding campaign to resort the magnificent instrument.
The Erard Grecian Harp arrived at Hospitalfield in Arbroath in the 1830s, bought by the musically-gifted Elizabeth Fraser, whose architect husband Patrick Allan Fraser remodelled the historic building which is now one of Scotland’s most successful cultural hubs.
Erard was a pioneer of instrument design in the early 19th century, but after years of enjoyment the Hospitalfield harp fell into disrepair.
Last October a crowdfunding campaign was launched to restore the ornate instrument and with the further support of other backers, enough money to bring the item back to its former glory was gathered in.
The restoration project has also uncovered more vital information about the history of the harp, but proved a major challenge for experts after its base completely crumbled due to ancient, hidden woodworm.
To celebrate the restoration, renowned musicians Simon Chadwick and Sharron Griffiths will be involved in a weekend talk and concert, tickets for which were the main prizes in the campaign Hospitalfield ran in collaboration with Crowdfund Angus.
The talk is free and takes place at 5.30pm on Saturday, with the concert later that evening, and some tickets are still available via the Hospitalfield website.
There are some spaces available to book for the free talk or to buy for the concert, which people can do online on Hospitalfield’s website.
Musician and scholar Simon Chadwick will give the talk, before esteemed concert harpist Sharon Griffiths plays a selection of piece in the spectacular setting of the historic house.
Laura Simpson, programme manager at Hospitalfield said, “We are excited to be able to share the extraordinary experience of hearing the newly-restored harp with the people who made the repairs possible and others who have been following the project.
“The profile of the restoration project has enabled us to gain further knowledge of the instrument and its history; just last week we learned that the harp was actually bought by Elisabeth Fraser in 1834, soon after she returned to Hospitalfield after many years away.
“We were able to find this out through a harp historian, Panagiotis Poulopoulos, who had access to the Erard workshop ledgers where Sebastien Erard recorded the sales of his harps.
“By attending the events visitors will be supporting our campaign to restore the Erard Grecian Harp and celebrate its renovation.”