Clarsach competition: invitation to enter

The prestigious Scottish Harp competition, the Princess Margaret of the Isles Memorial Prize for Senior Clàrsach (UK), is now open for entries. The competition is open to all players aged 18 and over. The competition recital will take place at Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye, on Saturday 12 June 2021 at 2pm. If live performance is not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions the competition will take place online.

The winner will receive a prize of £2000 and the opportunity to perform at the 2022 Edinburgh International Harp Festival through a collaboration with The Clarsach Society. Each finalist will receive an appearance fee of £1000.

The lead adjudicator for this year’s competition is the internationally acclaimed clàrsach player Gillian Fleetwood. The panel will also include two local tutors.

Competition performances will be live streamed on Armadale Castle’s social media channels and a film made available online.

How to enter

Candidates should prepare a 20 minute recital. The recital should include: a variety of Scottish styles, traditional and contemporary; candidate’s own arrangement of a piece from The Patrick McDonald Collection; and a new composition (or compositions) by the candidate.

Please download the How to Enter form (right) for important further information. Deadline for entries is 30 April 2021.

About the competition

The Princess Margaret of the Isles Memorial Prize for Senior Clàrsach is organised by Clan Donald Lands Trust (CDLT) as part of its programme supporting the Gaelic performing arts. The prize is named after Princess Margaret of Scotland, the daughter of King Robert II and the wife of John, Lord of the Isles, who was a great patron of the arts.

The annual competition was launched in 2018. Read a news story about the 2019 competition and watch video highlights. The 2020 competition did not take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.

CDLT would like to thank donors for supporting the competition, and our partners Scotland’s Music and the Edinburgh Harp Festival.