Biography

Described as "a sensitive chamber musician as well as a virtuoso soloist" by the New York Concert Review, Irantzu has played as a soloist at the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, the Weill Hall- Carnegie Hall in NYC, the RioHarp Festival in Brazil, Casa de America in Madrid and at the Old Theatre Royal in Bath. At the end of 2020, she was unanimously awarded the Aixe!Getxo Classical and Contemporary Music Prize

An advocator of contemporary music, she has premiered more than 40 pieces for ensemble and solo settings, among them Paul Burnell’s Robot Picking Raspberries. Her performance of Technicolor for Harp and Electronics by Angélica Negrón can often be heard at the WQXR, the free radio of NYC. As a member of the Olyver New Music Collective, Irantzu premiered Pastoral Dream, a harp trio by M. Olyver, at St. James’s Church in London. Most recently, Afterglow for harp, cello da spalla and viola, composed for her by Olyver, had its online premiere to great acclaim. 

After discovering multidisciplinary performances during her studies at New York University, Irantzu started using literature and images in her performances, including: Notes on Words, her NYC Debut recital at Weill Hall -Carnegie Hall, Reflections in Spain, Merriment at the Artist Residency at Skimstone Arts in Newcastle, Illusions in High Wycombe with Violinist Dr. Sabina Rakcheyeva and Dawn of Shadows and Scintillation at the Fringe Festival in Bath presented by The Old Theatre Royal. Nowadays, Irantzu is collaborating with  Imperial College in a new multidisciplinary performance. 

An active orchestra player, Irantzu has played with the Philarmonia of the Nations and Middletown Symphony in the USA, the Bilbao and Basque Symphony Orchestras, Galician Symphony Orchestra, the Real Fhilarmonia of Galicia in Spain as well as Opera Piccolina, North London Sinfonia, the Watford Symphony Orchestra, the London Video Game Orchestra, Opera Up Close and the Guernsey Symphony Orchestra in the UK. From orchestra and opera repertoire to video game music and soundtracks, Irantzu enjoys performing all kinds of music for large-ensemble.  As a chamber musician, she has intensively performed in NYC and Spain, where she was a founding member of the Belle Époque Ensemble for contemporary music. 

Irantzu has been a teacher for more than ten years and she is keen on introducing the harp to all the communities. In NYC, she was a teacher at the Police Athletic League program and the Harbour Music Conservatory in low-income neighbourhoods. Later, she worked as Head of Harp at a Spanish pre-college music conservatory for nine years. Her storytelling harp performance for children has been presented at The Oliver House School in South London as well as by The Little Concert at Canary Water Studios and Richmond. Irantzu teaches at Fireworks Music School and also holds a private studio. Her students have got distinction at the ABRSM exams. Irantzu also works with composers (professional and students) on writing for the harp. She has delivered workshops at pre-college and college degree music conservatories in Spain and for the American Harp Society in Long Island, lectures for the Jane Austin Society in NYC as well giving feedback to composers in the USA and London. 

Originally from the Basque Country, Spain, Irantzu studied at the Reina Sofia Superior Music Conservatory in Madrid, at The Juilliard School (Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees) and New York University (Advance Certificate in Music Education). International prizes include: Best New Artist of the Year by Cultura Viva Association in Spain, First Prize at the Superior Category of the UFAM International Harp Competition in France and First Prize at the Artist International Special Presentations Awards in New York City. She was a Fulbright Grantee and the only harpist to win the Nicanor Zabaleta Scholarship. Moving to the UK in 2018, Irantzu  is a harpist for Music in Hospitals and Care, a deputy at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel and a freelance performer enjoying diverse  opportunities. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Musicology at the Valladolid University, Spain. 

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