Caryl Thomas

Caryl Thomas heads an exciting and thriving harp department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. She made her American debut in 1981 at Carnegie Hall, her London debut at the Wigmore Hall a year later, and has performed to critical acclaim throughout the UK, Europe, the USA and the Far East. She graduated from the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and gained a Master’s degree from New York University; her teachers were Ann Griffiths, Marisa Robles, Pearl Chertok and Susann McDonald. At 17 years old, Caryl was the first British harpist to win a major prize at the International Harp Contest in Jerusalem, and in 1996, was invited to give a solo recital at the World Harp Congress in Copenhagen.

Caryl has performed as concerto soloist with the London Philharmonic, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, and has appeared twice as concerto soloist with the Mozarteum Orchestra in the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. During a period as harpist with the London Philharmonic, Caryl worked with eminent conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Klaus Tennstedt, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Bernard Haitink and Sir Charles Mackerras, and played the Bartok Festival at the Royal Festival Hall under the baton of Sir George Solti.

Caryl’s discography includes the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with the London Philharmonic, a solo recital entitled Clair de Lune, and a collection of chamber works with the Prometheus Ensemble named French Impressions. Her broadcasting work includes recitals for Radio 3 and three series of her own television programme for S4C.

In 2007, Caryl was Artistic Director of the 7th European Harp Symposium and in June 2016, sat on the jury of the 10th USA International Harp Competition. Caryl is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Harp Congress, and will Chair the Host Committee of the 14th World Harp Congress in Cardiff in July 2020.

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