Hello there! I’m Charity Kiew and I’m a harpist from Singapore. The harp has taken me to places I never thought I’d go. Here’s my journey so far…
I started learning the harp with Ms. Katryna Tan, who is the principal of the Rave Harps school in Singapore. She was the first one who inspired me to consider pursuing the harp as a professional career! Here is she with some of her (favourite) students.
I pursued my bachelor’s degree at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, of the National University of Singapore. I studied with Ms. Gulnara Mashurova, principal harpist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
It was a time of learning and growth, and upon graduation I was awarded the Lee Kwan Yew Gold Medal for being the top-performing graduate! That’s me performing at my commencement ceremony.
Then I moved to New York City to pursue my Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. New York City, as romanticised by so many, is an incredibly vibrant city that never sleeps! Great art and music are everywhere in the Big Apple; and the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Broadway theatres, jazz clubs, and the MoMA, were some of my regular haunts. Also being in close proximity to so many great artists, including my then harp teacher Ms. Mariko Anraku, also the associate principal harpist at the Metropolitan Opera, solidified my love for music and my ambition to become a professional musician.
2 years later, I moved to Berlin to pursue a second master’s degree at the Universität der Künste (University of the Arts). My biggest motivation for doing so was that Ms. Marie-Pierre Langlamet, also the principal harpist of the Berlin Philharmonic, was teaching at the school. I had always admired Ms. Langlamet from afar and have listened to her recordings regularly (religiously). After much planning, thought, and correspondence – I was lucky enough to end up studying with her for 2 years! My time in Berlin was incredibly challenging because my musical capabilities were often stretched, but these challenges helped me become a better musician. A highlight was definitely having the opportunity to play a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic alongside Ms. Langlamet!
After 4 years of living overseas, honing my skills and tuning those harp strings – I’m now back in Singapore and excited to share what I’ve gleaned from my musical experiences!
I currently split my time between teaching at the Rave Harps Academy and performing with our local orchestras and music groups.
Please follow me at @the_harphitch on Instagram for updates!