Harping on about music


A harem of harpists was spotted at a concert in St Patrick's Hall in Dublin Castle this week. As Marisa Robles, the Spanish concert harpist got ready backstage, guests filed in for the fourth gig of the Music in the Great Irish Houses Festival.

Anne-Marie O'Farrell, who plays at Castleward House in Co Down later this month in the Donizetti opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, explained that she and many fellow harpists are already getting ready to host the World Harp Congress in Dublin in 2005. Other harpists there to enjoy the concert were Sheila Larchet, Andrea Malir, Denise Kelly and Cliona Doris.

Lady Meath was with her daughter, Corinna Brabazon, "a starving fashion designer" over from London for a few days to help out when the festival moved to Kilruddery House later in the week. The the family has has been involved since 1980 in the festival - tonight's closing concert is at Castletown House in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

The Hon Desmond Guinness came along too. No, he had not been invited to the McCartney wedding in Castle Leslie. And pianist Iarlaith Carter directed guests upstairs like a young seminarian showing the way through the Vatican.