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Oliver Wass holds a First Class Masters Degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he studied with Imogen Barford. He graduated from the University of York with a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry.
He recently won the Suoni d’Arpa International Competition in Italy, and will record a CD with the Tactus Label early next year. In May 2016, he became the first harpist ever to win the Guildhall Gold Medal, the Guildhall’s most prestigious prize. Previous winners of the competition include Jacqueline du Pré, Bryn Terfel and Tasmin Little.
He has performed all the major harp concertos, including with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has directed the Handel Harp Concerto in the Barbican Hall. He gave his Purcell Room debut in June. During the last season, he gave recitals in Rome, Paris, Budapest, and London. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2016, where he was praised for his “tremendous dynamism” and "remarkable range of timbres and warmth of the tone” (Seen and Heard International).
Playing with “verve and polish” (The Times), his flute-viola-harp trio; The Pelléas Ensemble, won the Royal Philarmonic Society Henderson Award, and the 2017 Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the Royal Overseas League competition. In 2016 they won both the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition.
Oliver studied with Charlotte Seale at the Junior Department of the GSMD, where he became the only harpist to have been a prizewinner in the prestigious Lutine Competition, and he was Principal Harp in the National Youth Orchestra. He spent his teenage years making fireworks in his parents’ basement, which is remarkably still standing.
He is a Musicians’ Company Yeoman, and is very grateful for support from the Hattori Foundation.