Key Events :
1971 Born in Aachen/Germany; grew up in Belgium.
1983 Started to play guitar & recorder.
1989 Started to play the Irish Harp under the guidance of Thomas Breckheimer (Germany), who taught her a creative and individual approach to harping, including vamping & improvisation.
1991 Attended a three week long harp making workshop with the late Frank Sievert where she made the first harp she could call “her own” (several more harp making workshops were to follow during the next years).
1992-94 Studies of musicology, philosophy and Dutch language at Cologne University (Germany).
1994 Moved to Liège, in the French speaking part of Belgium, and decided to become a full-time harpist, supporting herself by busking in the streets. Her repertoire back then consisted of O’Carolan’s music, and of Irish, Breton, French and German traditional music and own improvisations/compositions.
She also took classical harp lessons with Sophie Hallynck for two very inspiring years, but eventually decided that one’s early 20es was too late to start a career as a classical harpist.
Instead she took to the road with a touring group of musicians, actors, storytellers and jugglers, playing in some of the most picturesque places and castles of the Belgian Ardens, e.g. with the association “asbl Rumelin” and storyteller “Tristan le Rimailleur”, while exploring mediaeval and renaissance repertoire. Also solo harp performances at art galleries, inaugurations, festivals & events etc.
1995 first recording experience, featuring with her Irish harp on English singer-songwriter Hugh Featherstone’s CD “Negotiations & Love Songs”. (Belgium).
1995-96 Harpist with the folk group “spirit level” around Hugh Featherstone (voc, guitar, drums, harp).
1996 featuring in the documentary “Les Rues de Liège” (Georges Yu) about the city of Liège (Belgium) past and present.
1996-2001 Harpist with the folk group (Irish & Scottish trad) “Ae Nicht” (Germany) with Thomas Schneider (mandolin/guitar), Kasia Jankowska (flute), Jürgen Gier (fiddle).
1998-2000 Studies at Hochschule fuer Musik Koeln Abt. Aachen (Music college). „Allgemeine Musikerziehung” (general musical education), “Instrumentalpädagogik” (teaching harp), and pedal harp performance with Helga Storck.
1999 Started giving Irish Harp Workshops (“Irish Folk Weekend at Burg Blankenheim”).
1999 After seeing Christoph Pampuch present his newly invented cross strung chromatic harp at the Harfentreffen in 1998, Reidun acquired and began to play a chromatic harp in 1999.
2000 Trophée Awen : 3rd place in the harp competition (improvisation) at “Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique de Dinan”
2000-2005 Duo Dunlin with Philippe Dejace (Belgium). Irish trad on Irish harp & fiddle.
2000-2008 Trio “Fasiré” (Germany). Use of the chromatic harp to explore not only Irish music, but also Swedish, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Klezmer music, with violinmaker Falk Peters on violin (bracciolina d’amore, a 5-string viola/violin) and Silvia Herl-Peters on vocals/percussion. Quick modulations of the Swedish pieces made easy with the extra strings of the chromatic harp!
2001 Short collaboration/recording with the Iraqi Oud virtuoso Raed Koshaba.
2001-2002 Short collaboration with the folk trio Branra (B) with Raquel Gigot (acc) & Rudy Velghe (fiddle).
2001-2008 Harpist with the folk & world music group Amorroma (Belgium) around composer Jowan Merckx. Five piece band Amorroma back then consisted of flutes/bagpipes, double bass, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, percussions and harp, with a repertoire of Jowan’s compositions inspired by European folk traditions of all backgrounds, ranging from Irish to Bulgarian to Galician, Breton or French Musette, with a lot of challenging rhythmical surprises added.
With this group she featured on three CDs and one DVD – “Carduelis” (2003 CD), “Balance” (2005 CD/DVD), “Les Tisserands” (2006 project/CD) – and performed in concerts/festivals mostly in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium and in the Netherlands. The chromatic harp features on Amorroma’s CD cover “Balance”.
“Les Tisserands”: The traditional music group “Amorroma”, the historicalmusic ensemble “Zefiro Torna” and jazz saxophone player and flute player Philippe Laloy (Traces, Tricycle) meet in a program imbued by the spirit of Catharism.
2005 Organised the very first of the annual “Chromatic Harp Meetings” in Germany.
2006 At a St Patrick’s Day Festival in Belgium (Braives/Hannut) she met her future fiancé Barry Lynch (uilleann pipes, whistles, vocals) of the Irish traditional and folk group Tuatha, and projects in Ireland followed.
2007 Lecture/concert about the chromatic harp at the “Open Folk Harp Dag Purmerend” (Netherlands).
2008 Moved to Kerry/Ireland, where she teaches harp and traditional music.
2009 Publication of the German harp tutor “Mein Schlaues Harfenbuch” (120 pages with CD).
2010-2017 Teaching at Killarney School of Music (Irish & classical harp, and kid’s group sessions on various instruments). Extensive teaching activity in national schools & privately (traditional Irish music).
2014-today Duo Amala with Paul de Grae (guitars): regular concerts & touring to various countries (B-NL-F-D) and Newfoundland/Canada (2018).
2014 Publication of a series of workbooks in ABC-notation (“Let’s have a Tune!”) for tin whistle, harp, guitar, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, fiddle, accordion & concertina, to encourage young beginners to play together from a very early stage.
2015-2016 Recording of the CD “Resonance” with duo “Amala” (with Guitarist Paul de Grae). “Music from Ireland & Elsewhere”. This CD got funding from The Arts Council and a smashing review in The Irish Times (Siobhán Long) – check out https://amala.ie/reviews/
2017 Reidun acquires Irish citizenship
2018 Publication of “My Little Irish Harp Book” – a harp tutor for kids (beginners).
2018 Awarded 1st Price Duo Competition at Blossom Harp Festival Tuamgraney (Duo Amala)
2020 Publication of “Making Progress on the Irish Harp” – tutor book (second steps).
Reidun regularly plays in various locations around Kerry with other musicians as well as a soloist on Irish and chromatic harp (Irish & classical repertoire), entertaining locals, tourists & wedding parties.
Recording & arranging work for Radio Kerry (JJ O’Shea) with Duo Amala & Barry Lynch (past & ongoing projects).
During the pandemic:
2020- 2021 (so far): The “free time” during the pandemic allowed her to publish “Making Progress on the Irish Harp” (Oct 2020), to increase her wedding harp repertoire, and to focus on improving her chromatic harp technique.
Workshops/concerts/lectures at harp festivals, Irish trad events & Arts festivals:
FRANCE : “Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique de Dinan” (2006, 2014)
GERMANY : “Harfentreffen” – the biggest harp festival in Germany (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014), “Harfensommer” (2011 & 2013), Klangwerkstatt (2004 & 2005), Rendsburger Harfentage (2017 & 2018), Harfentage an der Mosel/Harfentage im Odenwald (2009, 2010, 2011), Deutsch-Irisches Harfensymposium (2019) and others.
THE NETHERLANDS : Irish festivals “Iers op Texel” (2011 & 2013), “Irish Weekend in de Glindt” (2019 & 2020), “De Zingende Snaar, Leerdam” (2015) and others.
BELGIUM: “Flanders Celtic Harp Meeting” (2015), and with duo Amala: Brussels Trad Fest (2017), Eupen, Alter Schlachthof (2018), Braine L’Alleud (2019) and others.
IRELAND : “The Gathering Festival Killarney” (2011 & 2014), and with duo Amala “Handed Down”- Series (Scartaglen), Trad Fest Dungarvan (2015&2016), NPU lecture/concert (2015), Michael Dwyer Momorial Festival Allihies (2016), Ranelagh Arts Centre (2016), Feile Neidín (2017), Mountshannon Arts Festival (2018), Boyle Arts Festival (2018), Manorhamilton, Glens Centre (2019), and others.
NEWFOUNDLAND: Tour of NL with duo Amala (2018).