Jean Kelly

“Elegant, stylish and deliciously nuanced playing.” Irish Independent

Jean Kelly hails from an Irish family of several generations of professional musicians Jean studied Irish harp and concert harp with Bonnie Shaljean at Cork School of Music, and with Aileen McArdle at Limerick School of Music. Jean won a scholarship to study harp at the Royal College of Music, London where she studied with Daphne Boden and Hugh Webb. A versatile and pioneering musician, Jean has an eclectic career spanning orchestral, contemporary and world music. Jean specializes in classical, folk and early harps.

She has recorded three CD’s with the Locrian Ensemble, including Handel Harp Concerto and Mozart Flute and harp Concerto. A CD of Chamber Music by Richard Arnell was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine. She has also recorded for the Guild and Stockfisch labels.

Jean has recorded for composers such as Jonny Greenwood, Max Richter and Dario Marianelli. She played solo harp on Michael Kiwanuka’s Mercury Prize winning album.

Jean regularly performs with The Telling and The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, playing medieval, gothic, celtic and triple harps. She loves the freedom of playing and improvising with these groups, extending beyond the printed notes, and drawing on her past musical influences.

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