Imogen Barford MA (Cantab.), Dip.RAM, ARAM, LRAM, MSTAT, Senior Fellow HEA

Key details:

Strings, Harp & Guitar
Head of Harp
Imogen Barford


Imogen Barford's busy free-lance career has covered an extremely wide range of activities: concerto soloist at the South Bank and Wigmore Hall, London; orchestral work with all the major London orchestras (the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, and English Chamber Orchestras) as well as opera (English and Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne and Garsington), ballet (English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet and Ballet Rambert) and film work; hundreds of chamber concerts with her own group JEUX and the Endymion Ensemble; contemporary music (Lontano and the London Sinfonietta) and early music on original instruments; plus regular appearances in all the major concert halls, radio and TV broadcasts, recordings and foreign tours. In recent years she has toured in Germany, Austria, France, Luxembourg and Spain with the London Symphony Orchestra, playing under conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Bernard Haitink. Other recent work ranges from playing the solo harp in Handel’s Saul at Glyndebourne, and Gluck’s Orfeo at the Edinburgh Festival, to appearing at the London Jazz Festival at the Barbican, and premiering pieces for flute-viola-harp trio.

Her commitment to contemporary music has led to numerous first performances, and commissioning awards, and in 2013 Imogen began commissioning a series of harp solo works from prominent British composers, so far Simon Holt, Robert Saxton, Julian Phillips, Mark Anthony Turnage, and Hannah Kendall.

Imogen read Music at Cambridge University and studied the harp with Renata Scheffel-Stein (a pupil of Marcel Tournier in Paris). She continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she won the coveted recital diploma. From 1991- 2005 she taught at Trinity College of Music, London, latterly as Head of Harp, and in 2005 she became Head of Harp at the Guildhall School. Imogen has given masterclasses in Poland, Paris, Belgium and Norway, and all over the UK. In 1994 she was made an honorary associate of the Royal Academy of Music 'for distinguished service to the music profession'.

Imogen is much in demand as an examiner and adjudicator. She has been a jury member for International Harp Competitions in Austria, Poland, Germany and Wales, and has sat on panels for the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Royal OverSeas League Competition; examined for the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, The Hague Royal Conservatoire, Norwegian Academy, Haute Ecole de Musique Geneva, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Birmingham Conservatoire; and adjudicated numerous Music Festivals. Imogen is also a fully qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.