SOOTHING HARPS: The Power to Heal
Royal Irish Academy of Music
Sunday 19 November, 10am-3pm

Cruit Éireann | Harp Ireland hosts its annual symposium, Soothing Harps, in the Organ Room, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Westland Row, Dublin on Sunday 19th November, 10am-3pm.

The power of the harp to heal, sooth and restore wellbeing  is well documented through the ages. 2500 years ago, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras recommended lyre music to keep his patients healthy and King David was said to play his harp (lyre) to raise the spirits of King Saul. Irish legend immortalises the magic powers of the harpers to induce joy, sadness and slumber in anybody who listened to their music.

Explore this unique harping phenomenon, which continues to transform lives and help people to connect with their inner selves in hands-on workshops, presentations and performances with :

Jessica Harris (Music Therapist, RIAM) – Keynote Address
William Jackson (Music Therapist and harper) – Using the harp in a music therapy setting
Dr Mary Louise O’Donnell (harp) and Teresa O’Donnell (harp) – Shared Experience: Performance and Practice
Dominic Cogan (Mindfulness and Wellbeing Facilitator) – Workshop for Harpers: Music and Mindfulness: A therapeutic partnership for performers and audiences
Aisling Ennis (harp) – Shared Experience: Performance and Practice

Admission €25, Students and Concessions €15 at

Download a PDF of the schedule here.

Sheila Larchet  Cuthbert at 100 – Her Life and Harping Legacy
Sunday 19th November, 4.30pm
Pepper Canister Church, Mount St Crescent, Dublin 2

Featuring words and harp music from Cliona Doris, Denise Kelly McDonnell and Andreja Malir, with special guest Mary Cuthbert

Sheila Larchet Cuthbert has led a remarkable life of harping, both as a performer, teacher, author and advocate for the harp in Ireland. Her international contribution at World Harp Congress level, her seminal publication The Irish Harp Book, featuring new works by many of Ireland’s leading twentieth century composers together with her teaching and distinguished performing career as the RTESO (NSO) principal harpist for many years, have contributed significantly to a resurgence of interest in harping during the twentieth century, and undoubtedly set the scene for our vibrant harping tradition today.

Cruit Éireann | Harp Ireland’s 2023 annual lecture marks Sheila’s remarkable achievement in her 100th year. With harp music and words, Denise Kelly McDonnell, Cliona Doris and Andreja Malir discuss her pivotal role and share personal insights into the life and harping legacy of a crusader who transformed the harp in Ireland, and who exerted a profound influence on Irish musical life throughout the twentieth century.

Register at (Free admission)

Supported by the Arts Council, the Heritage Council and RTÉ lyric fm