Aug 25 2008
“the most intelligent, sensitive and technically accomplished harpist I have ever met” – (Luciano Berio)
Alice Giles has been acclaimed as one of the world’s leading harp soloists. The Australian-born musician first attracted international notice in 1982 when she won the First Prize in Israel’s International Harp Contest at the age of 21. Since then she has performed extensively both in recital and with
orchestra in Europe, America, Australia, and Israel.
She studied in Sydney with June Loney and presented her first solo recital at the age of thirteen. In 1980, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship and an Australia Council Grant to study with Alice Chalifoux in the USA. She made her New York debut at Merkin Hall in 1983, and was invited by Rudolf Serkin to participate for three summers in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, USA.
She has been a featured artist at numerous festivals, including the Salzedo Centennial in Austin, Texas, World Harp Congress in Copenhagen, 1997 Edinburgh Harp Festival, Bath Mozartfest, Scotia Festival, Adelaide and Sydney Festivals, Schleswig-Holstein and Insel Hombroich Festivals in Germany, the 1998 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, and 1998 Barossa Festival in South Australia.
Concert highlights include solo recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Berlin Philharmonie and concertos with the Collegium Musicum Zurich, Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, the English Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Concert Orchestra, Hamburg Mozart Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, and a tour with the Australian Youth Orchestra, including a concert in Carnegie Hall featuring the first performance of a new concerto by Barry Conyngham. She has toured regularly in Australia since 1984 performing with all major Australian symphony and chamber orchestras and the Australia Ensemble.
Alice Giles is regarded by Luciano Berio as the foremost interpreter of his Sequenza II and has taken part in tributes to Berio at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, Salzburg Mozarteum and at the 92nd Street Y in New York to honour his 70th birthday. She has given many first performances of music for her instrument.
She has an international reputation as a teacher, having given masterclasses in the Salzburg Mozarteum, Den Haag Conservatorium, Royal Academy London, Cleveland Institute USA, at the International Youth Festival in Bayreuth 1987-89, and annually in Alf/Mosel, Germany since 1989. From 1990 to 1998 she was harp teacher at the Hochschule fur Musik in Frankfurt, Germany, and has recently been appointed to the Canberra School of Music in Australia.
In 1999 she performed Gliere’s Harp Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony, Spohr Violin and Harp Concerto with the Queensland Symphony, and Henze’s Concerto for Harp and Oboe with the Sydney Symphony. In 2000 Alice will perform in concert with the West Australian Symphony and Ginestera’s Harp Concerto with the Sydney Symphony. She will also tour in Europe, including performances of Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto in Zurich and Basel, in the Insel Hombroich Festival, and in the United States, including recitals in San Francisco and Philadelphia and master classes in the Curtis and Julliard Schools.
She was on the jury for the 1998 International Harp Contest in Israel. She performs in many different chamber music ensembles, including the ‘Duo Corda’ with her husband Arnan Wiesel, piano, and the German based ‘Ensemble Animabile’. She is co-founder and director of ‘EOLUS – International Salzedo Society’.
Alice Giles’ discography includes two solo harp discs, a disc with ‘Duo Corda’ and a disc with the Budapest Brass Quintet all on the Koch label; a flute and harp disc with Geoffrey Collins for Tall Poppies Australia; and chamber music discs for the Marlboro Recording Society, CDI and TMK. In 1999 an ABC Classics CD of concertos by Gliere, Jolivet and Ginestera with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Porcelijn was released to critical acclaim and in the same year Alice began a series of recordings for ARTWORKS. These CDs will feature the music of harpist Carlos Salzedo (1885-1961), a composer Alice has championed all over the world both in recital and on CD