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ClassicsOnline Home » CELTIC Briar, Celia: Dark Rose (The)
By Norman McLeod
"Her wonderful interpretation of classic tunes is a joy to even the most hardened sceptic. In addition to her technical mastery, she plays with real spunk."
Celia Briar was born in Nottinghamshire England in 1950, into a family that had strong roots in traditional music. Both her mother's and father's families were musicians, and Celia began to sing harmonies with her mother when she was just a preschooler. When she was a young adult, Celia was 'adopted' by the local Irish musicians who encouraged her to join in their music and she spent a lot of her leisure time in smoky pubs, playing along with pipes, fiddles and accordions on jigs and reels.
It was not until Celia was twenty seven that she discovered the appeal of the Celtic harp, and although at that time she was studying for her Doctorate in Social Sciences, she was unable to resist the beauty of the sound of the harp. She sought out two excellent teachers, one classical and the other traditional, and began studying harp alongside her university work. In 1983, she was invited to Kilkenny, Ireland to compete in the All Ireland Celtic Harp championships, where she won first place. Her lilting sensitive playing of both traditional and original music for Celtic harp has earned her acclaim both in the British Isles and the Southern Hemisphere.
Celia says, "When I first heard the harp, I was blown away by its beauty. It conjured up all this imagery of an earlier time. I knew little about small harps then, or the traditions of the players. However, it evoked in my mind a wealth of images of stone floored buildings and long wooden tables, and travelling harpers."
Celia moved to New Zealand in 1988, where she writes, performs and records, as well as lecturing in Social Policy at Massey University. She is a passionate advocate of social and environmental issues.
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CELTIC Briar, Celia: Dark Rose (The)