We are delighted that Karen Vaughan LRAM, FRAM , Professor of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music, has agreed to become Patron of the Foundation for Music and the Arts, and of the development of the Cathedral’s Music Programme.  Karen’s family lived in Peel and have a long association with the Cathedral.

Karen was a founder member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and then principal harp of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for six years before her return to London in 1984, when she was appointed Co-Principal Harp of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for more than 30 years. Karen played with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis and Valery Gergiev, and collaborated on projects with Sir Paul McCartney, John Williams and Elvis Costello. She can be heard on numerous recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra and on soundtracks for films such as Braveheart, The Queen and the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises. From 1999 to 2008, she was Professor of Pedal Harp at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and she has also taught at The Purcell School for Young Musicians. She served on the jury for the 7th USA International Harp Competition in Bloomington in 2007 and for the first European Lyon & Healy Award s, held in Cardiff in 2013. She was president of the jury for the Slovenian Harp Competition held in Belgrade in 2016 and the Chamber Music with Harp Competition in Poland in 2017. She also served on the panel for the Chief Musician category in the 4th Wales International Harp Festival in 2018. She has coached the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra and Spanish National Youth Orchestra, and has given masterclasses in China, Japan, Portugal and Thailand as well as the UK. She co-founded the Harp Masters Summer Academy FUTURES in Switzerland and the Hong Kong Harpy-Summer Academy. A participant in all the World Harp Congresses since 2002, Karen serves on the Corporation and Board of Directors of the WHC and is its Associate Artistic Director. The next one will be held in the UK for the first time: Cardiff 2021. Karen studied piano, flute and harp at the Royal Academy of Music, where she held the Baume (Manx) Scholarship, and continued her studies with the great Russian harpist Maria Korchinska.  These connections made her an obvious choice to act as hostess at the Maria Korchinska International Harp Competition and Workshop held in the Isle of Man in 1983.  She has performed at venues across the island.

We also invite music supporters to consider becoming a ‘Friend’ of the Cathedral Music. ‘Friends’ receive a termly glossy update of the what’s happening in the music department; preferential advance details of concerts, events and special musical services and an annual Evensong with drinks all for £100 per year, which helps support the development of music in the Cathedral. Contact Elisabeth Dellborg for more details.

Our treasured Choral Heritage - now, and for tomorrow ......