Karen Marshalsay's music draws on a wealth of differing experiences, from work within the Gaelic and Scottish traditions to studies with Paraguayan harp master Rito Pederson. Playing both gut and wire-strung clarsachs (Scottish harp) as well as bray and Paraguayan harps, Karen has developed through the folk world of feisean, festivals and lessons with leading players such as Alison Kinnaird and Bill Taylor.
Karen's credits have included appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, commissioned pieces for Celtic Connections and others, and composer in residence for Harps North West in 2016.
She has taught and performed at festivals in the USA, Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland, as well as numerous home festivals and events.
Karen is an experienced harp teacher, has taught at many feisean and festivals, was the clarsach tutor for 7 years at Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd (The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music) at Plockton, and previously lectured in Scottish and World music and taught wire-strung clarsach and bray harp at the RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she is currently the wire harp tutor.
Karen currently performs with the legendary Irish flute player and singer Cathal McConnell in The Cathal McConnell Trio.
Photos: Left playing modern clarsach, credit Sue Flood.
Right: with Ardival Urquhart bray harp, credit Eilidh Steel.