Princeton Harp Festival
a new festival experience.
Education: Conservatory of Music of Reims
Teacher: Dominique Demogeot
Occupation: Arranger, composer, performer
François Pernel was originally trained in classical music in the class of Mrs. Dominique Demogeot. He is renowned as a versatile musician, equally at home with classical, swing, jazz, traditional and contemporary genres. His musical universe is infused with both rhythms and improvisational music from the oral tradition and the harmonies of twentieth century composers such as Messiaen, Scriabin, and Satie.
As a composer and arranger, François transforms all genres: classical, lyrical, contemporary, Irish, Breton, and delights in switching from one to the other. His music sparks the imagination and inspires visual imagery. His compositions are unprecedented, pushing the boundaries of harmonic and rhythmic lever harp repertoire. His discography, which includes a dozen albums, takes us through the maze of writing and rewriting, including "Gnossienne", his successful tribute to the work of Eric Satie.
François Pernel's creativity is not limited to composition, he also explores sound with the revolutionary Ischell amplification system. Through the use of effects pedals usually reserved for electric guitars, he has opened vast new horizons for the lever harp. No longer an instrument used solely for traditional music, François has given the lever harp a new voice with a unique sound and diverse repertoire.
François holds a number of distinctions including the gold medal from the CRR in Rennes, the first place winner in the Camac InterCeltic Festival of Lorient in 2012, First Prize at the level excellence in the French Celtic Harp Contest in 2010 and the Jakez François International Harp Competition in April 2009, and second prize at the Camac InterCeltic Festival of Lorient in 2009 and 2010.