Composer’s Spotlight: Eleven-year-old Vien Ignacio Wins 4 Top Prizes Playing Deborah Henson-Conant’s ‘Baroque Flamenco’

Vien, an 11-year-old harpist from the Philippines, brings so much energy to her rendition of ‘Baroque Flamenco’ as she captivates audiences across prestigious international venues, showcasing her talent and passion for the harp. She has received accolades from renowned competitions playing Baroque Flamenco’s fiery and intricate melody.

For those considering playing ‘Baroque Flamenco,’ Vien says to own the piece and embrace its emotions. She also expressed heartfelt gratitude to Deborah Henson-Conant for her support and encouragement for young harpists like her.

WAIT! If you also want to play Deborah Henson-Conant's 'Baroque Flamenco', we have AMAZING NEWS for you! Starting Mon. April 8th, Deborah will conduct a FREE 5-day challenge to help you play her world-famous piece 'Baroque Flamenco' at your OWN level - like you were born with it in your hands.

>> Join the free BAROQUE FLAMENCO 5-DAY HARP CHALLENGE <<

PHOTO CREDITS: RICHARD SY-FACUNDA

Vien Kirksten Pia Ignacio

Vien is an 11-year-old classically trained pedal harpist under the supervision of renowned harpist Ms. Olga Shevelevich. She started playing the harp when she was only 3 and a half years old with her first harp teacher, Ms. Rita Sari of Singapore Raveharps Academy. She has performed in notable international concert venues such as the Hong Kong Performing Arts Center for the 13th World Harp Congress and Singapore’s Esplanade, Victoria Concert Hall, and Gardens by the Bay for various harp events.

In 2022, she had her first solo harp recital with collaborating pianist Madeline Jane Banta in the Manila Pianos Artist Series and her first orchestra performance with the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra’s Children of Christmas. She was one of the performers in Martin Lopez’ annual Christmas Concert and Charity event called “Come to the Stable”. In March 2023, she performed in the National Museum of Fine Arts Gala of the Friends for Cultural Concerns of the Philippines (FCCP) called “Ilustrado.” In October 2023, she performed in Far Eastern University’s “Tutti Harpi” which launched The Philippine Harp Ensemble. In November 2023, she represented the Philippines as one of the “Asian Gems in the Arts” of the Federation of Asian Cultural Promotion (FACP) in Taiwan where she showcased on the harp the Katipunero and Musician Julio Nakpil’s musical works.

She has won numerous international music competitions since she learned the harp. In 2020, she won in the Singapore Raveharps Prestige Competition in her age category where she played one of her favorite harp pieces, Ms Deborah Henson-Conant’s (DHC) “The Nightingale.’ She won Top Prizes in the 2021 Vienna Virtuoso Music Competition and 2022 Singapore Harpfest. In 2023, she played DHC’s Baroque Flamenco in four online harp competitions and has won four Top Prizes in her age category: 1st Prize in 2023 JSFest International Instrumental Competition, 2nd Prize in Clara Schumann International Competition, 2nd Prize in Prodigy International Music Competition, and 9th Place in Basel International Harp Competition. She highlighted 2023 with her 2nd Solo Harp Recital in the Manila Pianos Artist Series. This year, 2024, she was invited to perform in a Mozart Concert Project which she is happily looking forward to and preparing for.

Continue reading below for the full interview with Vien Ignacio

Watch Deborah Henson-Conant’s Baroque Flamenco performed by Vien Ignacio – an eleven-year-old harpist.

A Mini-Interview with Vien

How would you describe your experience of playing the piece?

Baroque Flamenco is: Thrilling! Exciting! Intense!

What do people say when you play this piece? Do you have favorite memories of people’s reactions to it?

I remember after I played Baroque Flamenco, people clapped for this piece the loudest, and once during a performance, people did a standing ovation after I played this!

What drew you to this piece – why did you choose to learn it?

I wanted to play Baroque Flamenco because I am a big fan of Ms. Deborah and I loved the piece very much because it has a fiery and interesting melody.

What does this piece add to your repertoire (and/or your life) that you didn’t have before?

Baroque Flamenco adds intricacy and diversity to my repertoire because as it is a flamenco, it’s rhythmical but also has baroque portions which has a fancy, intense waltz feel to it.

What would you tell someone else who’s thinking of learning this piece that you wish you’d known before you learned it?

I would tell them to “own” the piece by feeling the full music and just let their emotions flow in their harp movements.

What do you think you can get from working directly with the composer of the piece that you can’t get from the sheet music?

I believe working with Ms. Deborah will help me learn more about “Baroque Flamenco”, the techniques of performing “Baroque Flamenco” and how to play it like her.

I would really like to say my utmost thanks to the composer and my idol, Ms Deborah, for letting me play her “Baroque Flamenco” piece in performances and competitions and for supporting young harpists like me.

Five-year-old Vien Ignacio with Deborah Henson-Conant at World Harp Congress 2017 in Hongkong.

PHOTO CREDITS: RICHARD SY-FACUNDA

PHOTO CREDITS: FEU MEDIA CENTRE

Please follow this young artist on social media and let her know what has opened up for your own self-expression in seeing and hearing their performance, and please share in the comments below.

Youtube: Vien Ignacio
Facebook: Vien Ignacio

Stay tuned for more artists soon and check out my Composer’s Spotlight blog series, featuring other talented musicians who played my song!

Deborah Henson-Conant & Hip Harp Academy Present

FREE Baroque Flamenco "Make it Easy" 5-Day Challenge!

BOOKING:

For virtual events, speaking, residencies, or performances:

FOR HARPISTS:

Join for Freebies, Stories & News

Join for Freebies, Stories & News

Join to get weekly-ish emails with stories, videos & events like concerts & classes

Yay! You should get my next newsletter within the next 7-10 days. I'm so happy we'll be in touch!

"5-DAY Harp IMPROV Challenge" 

A FREE Training 
from  Deborah Henson-Conant

 

Learn the First Step of Freedom: Free Yourself from Reading the Notes on the Page.  Register here to join the challenge

Woohoo! You'r Registered for the 2022 "5-Day Harp Improv" Challenge!