Laurie Riley has received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Somerset Folk Harp Festival. The award is bestowed annually by festival director Kathy DeAngelo, and recognizes prominent folk and lever harp players.
“Laurie Riley’s primary instrument may be a double-strung harp, but she has achieved a triple crown in the folk harp world by her creative contributions three distinct areas of harp-making and playing: by study of the harper’s direct physical approach to the harp; by initiating efforts to collaborate with a couple of harp-makers to develop a double-string lever harp; and by developing a place for the harp in a therapeutic environment,” says DeAngelo.
Riley’s career spans decades. She started as a folk musician in the early ’70s before becoming a pioneer in the folk harp movement of the early ’80s. In the ’90s Laurie teamed up with Chicagoan Liz Cifani to lobby harpmakers to produce a contemporary double-strung harp, which is now her instrument of choice. Laurie co-founded the Music for Healing and Transition Program in 1994 and in 2002 she created the Clinical Musicians’ Home Study Certification Course, now known as Harp for Healing.
Read more about Laurie Riley at laurierileymusic.com.