Mary Reid

Mary is a harpist who performs as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestrally, and in the community. She loves to share music that showcases the harp’s full potential, everything from pieces written in the 1600s arranged for the modern pedal harp (which wasn't fully invented until 1811!) all the way to music commissioned by Mary herself in recent years, plus a taste of most things in between. French music from the early 20th century like Debussy and Ravel, and forgotten or unpublished gems from the Romantic era are particularly favourite genres for Mary to bring to the public.

Mary began the clarsach in Edinburgh, wanting simply to get out of P5 Maths class, but quickly it became her main hobby. After moving with her family to Los Angeles and Chicago, with a change onto the pedal harp after a couple of years, by the time she finished school in the suburbs of London, Mary knew she wanted to apply to music college. She spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying under Skaila Kanga, and enjoyed freelancing in and around the capital and the UK, joining Live Music Now straight away. During the covid pandemic, Mary volunteered as a vaccinator and errand runner at her local hospital in London and when wards opened up again, she enjoyed two years as musician-in-residence at St Mary's Hospital in London. In 2024 Mary moved back to her homeland and joined Live Music Now Scotland, very much looking forward to continuing working in hospitals, additional support needs schools, and dementia care homes.

When she's not leading a class workshop or similar with her harps (and bag of assorted percussion) in tow, it's a special joy for Mary to give concerts in communities, and previous performances include Isle of Arran Music, Classic Music Live! Falkirk, the Bowes Museum, Ripon Cathedral, Music at Junction 50, Holkham Hall in Norfolk, and Hove Music Society, as well as in big city venues like London’s Wigmore Hall and the Moscow Harp Festival. Working in a team is also very much part of Mary's freelance life and recent orchestral work has included performances with Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Opera House, Aurora Orchestra, the CBSO, Opera North, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, and the RSNO at the Edinburgh International Festival.

What they play...

J S Bach – arrangements of various keyboard, violin and lute pieces
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz – Los Árboles de las Mariposas (The Butterfly Trees), Un Vals para Soñar (A Waltz for Dreaming), 
El Pájaro Campana (The Bell Bird)
Félix Godefroid
 – Étude de Concert Op 193, Carnaval de Venise
trad Scots A Red Red Rose, Ae Fond Kiss, Ye Banks and Braes
trad Welsh arr John Thomas – Watching the Wheat
Gabriel Fauré – Impromptu Op 86
Alessandro Scarlatti – Sonata in A, K113
Jean-Philippe Rameau – Le Rappel des Oiseaux, L’Egyptienne
Louis-Claude Daquin – Le Coucou
Franz Liszt – Liebesträume
Claude Debussy – Valse Romantique, Rêverie, Clair de Lune
Henriette Renié – Pièce Symphonique
Benjamin Britten – Suite for Harp
Mikhail Glinka / arr Balakirev – The Lark
Mikhail Mchedelov – Variations on a Theme by Paganini
Elias Parish-Alvars – Variations on Themes from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Variations on Themes from Bellini’s Norma
Marcel Tournier – Images Suite
Albert Zabel – Fantasy on Themes from Gounod’s Faust

LInks & Channels

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