Born in 1980, Catrin began the harp at the age of 8 with Elinor Bennett. At the age of 16 she moved to London to attend the Purcell School of Music, and to study with Skaila Kanga. Today, Catrin Finch is recognized as one of the world’s leading harpists, always pushing the boundaries and finding new ways of exploiting the potential of this amazing instrument. She is married to Hywel Wigley, and they have a recording studio
cum performance theatre near their home outside Cardiff, where they live with their two young children.
Catrin has given numerous solo performances, including recitals, radio, and television appearances for BBC, HTV and S4C. She has performed at Symphony Hall Birmingham, St.Davids Hall Cardiff, and has twice been a finalist at the Audi Junior Musician competition. She won first prize in the junior section of the 1991 World Harp Festival, and in 1994 the second prize in the senior competition at the age of 14. Other prizes include the Nansi Richards prize in 1997, and the Blue Riband for instrumentalists at Wales’ National Eisteddfod in 1998. She has also won the Marisa Robles Harp prize in the Royal Overseas League Competition.
Catrin has performed at the 1990 World Harp Congress in Paris, and has toured Denmark and the USA promoting Welsh music. Catrin was the soloist in Gliere’s harp concerto with the Purcell School Orchestra for Prince Charles’ 50th birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace. She was the principal harp of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from 1990-96, and was the youngest member to perform at the BBC Promenade concert at the Royal Albert Hall. On leaving, she was awarded the Arthur Bulgin medal for her outstanding contribution.
In September 1999, Catrin won first prize at the Lily Laskine International Harp Competition in Paris. Her prize included a new harp, and numerous solo engagements throughout Europe. In March 2000, she gave her London debut recital at the Wigmore Hall. She has been awarded the Young Concert Artists (New York) prize, which gives her three years representation in the USA and Worldwide, including debuts in New York, Washington and Boston.
Recent recitals include visits to the “Al Bussan” festival in Lebanon, Val d’Aulnay and Gargillesse festivals in France, and a recital for Salvi Harps in Turin. Catrin featured in BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune”, and in the Times newspaper for the “Great British Hopes” series.
In May 2000, Catrin received a Royal Appointment as Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. This has revived an ancient tradition, last granted to the famous Welsh harpist, John Thomas.
Recent concert appearances have been with BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Debussy’s “Danses”), Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra (Ginastera), in the USA at New York, Boston, Virginia, California, Indiana; also Sri Lanka and Bangkok, as well as recitals in Latvia, Germany, France and The Netherlands.
She has also worked closely with composer Karl Jenkins on several projects, including recordings of his work.
“I’ve never really been stuffy about classical music.. I’ve always been keen to play music that is in keeping with what people hear everyday” – Catrin Finch