Remy van Kesteren (NL)
Hailed by the New York Times as a “brilliant harpist”, when Remy van Kesteren (1989) plays the harp, it sounds like you have never heard it before. When Remy was five years old and was enchanted by the sound of the instrument while in a garden, he knew straight away that that was it. He developed into an internationally renowned harpist, won all manner of awards and competitions, and played in concert halls all over the world. But then Remy reached the age of 25 and knew: this isn’t it. Not anymore. Not all of it.
This realisation led, in 2016, to Tomorrow Eyes, the genre-transcending album containing a number of pieces composed by Remy himself. He went from soloing with world-famous orchestras to playing in the club and at pop festivals, performing solo, with his band and with The Analogue Robot Orchestra. Using effects and loop pedals on his harp, and combining it with synthesizers and beats, Remy intends to find the boundaries of his instrument and then improve it. This is why he is the only person in the world with a specially designed and crafted harp with 49 strings: the Salvi Réus, funded by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumentenfonds. And he continues to bring the harp to new, uncharted territories: being just as at home at clubs, Mysteryland and Down the Rabbit Hole as at the Royal Concertgebouw. With this harp Remy followed his debut album with the pioneering Shadows (2019), An Alternative Soundtrack to the Motion Picture... (2020), four EP’s (2020-2022) and his latest record Muses (2023), featuring his 9 muses of inspiration including Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Bon Iver, Satie and Sibelius.
Remy loves to collaborate: with dance (The National Ballet in 2014 & 2017), film (Oscar winning director Michael Dudok De Wit), and countless musicians including singer-songwriter Fink who co-produced Shadows. He is the artistic director of the Dutch Harp Festival, held every two years in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht.