Joana Daunyté, Harp

Joana Daunyté, Harp

On 2013 March 22nd I said goodbye to my old faithful Soviet harp. After eleven years of serving, (I already baught it second hand) it gave me last chance to hold the concert for the famous Lithuanian philosopher, writer, journalist and cultural activist Wilhelm Storost (nickname-Vydūnas) on occasion of the 145-year birthday in Kintai (Lithuania). I am mentioning this personality also for the reason, that he was the only known person in Lithuania who owned a harp in the second half of 19th century and felt the magical power of this instrument. While performing the concert I clearly realized that after almost two year studies in Netherlands with professor Erika Waardenburg, my old harp was incapable to express my new skills – musical expression and virtuosity. At that moment I clearly felt and realized that I must set off in search of a new harp. As you will see later, my flair was right.

So, after 1 ½ month, in the beginning of May, my mother, two sisters and me sat in the car and settled off towards the Mouzeil. This is the place in France close to the city of Nantes, where Camac Harp Factory is surrounded by beutiful nature. At that time I focused on one idea – I am going to choose an instrument. I tried to ignore the fact that such instruments do not come cheap and I am not financially prepared to handle this purchase. All the way I tried to convince myself, that the most imortant thing – is a nice and meaningful idea, and the money will come later. And what do you think? It happened so! We spent all day choosing the right instrument from fifteen harps. By the way, I always wanted a bright and elegant harp. Luckely, the best sounding and best matching my expectation harp appeared to be – blond Atlantide Prestige. I was very excited that the instrument – my new life attendant matched me so well. With support of Mr. Eric Piron, I could purchase this instrument by installments. So, after the first payment, the harp was delivered to my hometown – Vilnius.

When I returned back to Amsterdam from the most important trip of my life to continue my studies, I accidentally heared about SEM fund thanks to Yollanda van Loon and Margriet Klingen. This fund literally saved me as a professional harpist. Sometimes I was obsessed by the idea that I will not be able to collect all needed money, and I will need to bring harp back to the factory. This would resulted in the disaster of my career as a proffesional harpist. Can a professional performer exist without his instrument? Up to now I didn’t mention that few moths after the new purchase my old harp splintered to unrepairable condition. I often question myself – who encouraged me to go and ge the new instrument in France. It looks like I felt the end coming to my old and beloved instrument.

In the autumn of the same year I met with Ms Aleid van Beuningen in her beautiful house, where one can hear pasturing sheeps. I realized that there are many people with good will and I was thankful to my fate that I had an opportunity to meet one of them. Thanks to the SEM fund in 2013-2014,  I could fully dedicate my time for competitions, concerts, various orchestral projects. With family ensemble Regnum Musicale I performed solo and chamber music in Los Angeles and Chicago (USA), festival „Festival Classique de la Madelaine“ in Geneva (Switzerland), festival „ Sugrįžimai“, Vilnius ( Lithuania). We won the first prize in IV competitions of chamber music with harp „ Concurso Ibérico“ Madrid (Spain). During the competition in Norway I was selected for Soloist Diploma studies in the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, (Norway). I was given the status of artist in Lithuania. All these great things might not had happen without kindness of the SEM fund staff and the understanding of sponsors.

I wish you all the energy and strength supporting young artists in the future.

Joana Daunytė