Eleanor Turner has recently taken over from Catherine White as the new Head of Harp at Birmingham Conservatoire. She loves sharing her wealth of experience with her students and her particular strengths lie in solo performance, contemporary ‘living’ repertoire, creating and realising original projects involving the harp and other musicians and the development of the harp throughout the 19th century.
Eleanor’s own musical career began at the age of fifteen with a life-changing performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where she made her concerto debut conducted by Daniel Harding. Since then, Eleanor has forged a unique path through life, creating and commissioning new acoustic and electronic music. Eleanor is grateful to The Tillett Trust, the PRS Foundation for New Music, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Wingate Scholarship for having facilitated many of her creative projects.
Eleanor studied with Daphne Boden at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, then later with Alison Nicholls, which was inspiring preparation for a lifetime of music. She has earned a worldwide reputation for her recital, concerto and chamber music performances, as well as combining diverse performance arts such as spoken word and hip-hop dance with the harp. Eleanor also composes music for concert, ballet, radio plays and theatre, with one of her first commissions being from Ballet Wales in 2007.
In 2011, Eleanor’s passion and specialty for contemporary music was played out when she won Second Prize in the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam. Eleanor also has awards from numerous international harp competitions and won First Prize the 2007 European Harp Competition. More recently, Eleanor performed in New Orleans and Sydney under the baton of her inspirational mentor, harpist and composer Deborah Henson-Conant, in DHC’s concerto, Soñando en Español. Eleanor used this work as the centerpiece of her new ‘Wild Bird’ show, which celebrates the artistic freedom (not to mention eight superb colleagues) Eleanor has found and nurtured over the past eighteen years.