Harfenlabor is a platform for critical and open discourse on topics related to the enigma of Historical Harp. This instrument was only revived around 35 years ago—it has not so far received the attention it is due in the music world and beyond, and it is largely invisible to a wider audience.
Already active as an analogue network, Harfenlabor has been initiating research and gathering musicologists, scientists, conductors, singers, instrumentalists, harp makers, string makers, and others through regular workshops, masterclasses, lectures, symposia, and concerts to study and reflect on sources, train in historical harp skills, research the repertory for the harp, as well as commission contemporary works for historical instruments.
Harfenlabor will present and disseminate this valuable content on these pages, its digital edition: a comprehensive, immersive, searchable resource of scientific and artistic research on Historical Harp. This approach reflects Harfenlabor’s research process: individual research results are first shared and discussed in a smaller, analogue circle of a Convening. This process opens new directions for Interviews and Examinations as the second level of research resulting in new contributions. Following careful evaluation, review and scrutiny, the outcomes of this research process become Harfenlabor’s digital content. Scientific commentaries aim to provoke cross-disciplinary thinking and consider the still open research questions and propose new directions. Harfenlabor aims to strengthen the transfer of these advances to new generations of musicians and researchers. Harfenlabor was initiated and founded by Margret Köll in 2016.

Harfenlabor, selected activities:

December 14-16, 2016, Roma
Convening around the Barberini Harp Project, international conference in cooperation with the Istituto Storico Austriaco (Dr. Gottsmann), Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali Roma, Mozarteum Salzburg and the Deutsche Botschaft in Rom, with contributions by harpists, harp makers, musicologists and art historians.

“Between the Strings,” ongoing workshops at the Tiroler Landeskonservatorium and Haus der Music Innsbruck.

Harfenlabor invited Thünen-Institut (Hamburg) to examine the column and other important components of the Barberini Harp at the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Roma, with a new 3D microscope, under direction of Volker Haag, in order to identify the types of wood used in the construction of this harp.

"Investigations of the Barberini Harp," lecture at the Thünen-Institut, Institut für Holzforschung (Hamburg), by Margret Köll (Harfenlabor) and Volker Haag (Thünen-Institut).

“Harp and Myth,” at Le Gallerie degli Uffizi (Firenze), a lecture in collaboration with the art historian Marzia Faetti, analysing representations of harp in a mythological context through drawings in the Uffizi collection.

“Barock bis Galant,” workshop at Studio Linke (Berlin).

“Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger,” online lecture with harpsichord player Anne Marie Dragosits, and lutenist Michele Pasotti; focusing on basso continuo.

“Between the Strings,” online workshop organised by Harfenlabor.

“Haydn’s Folk Harp,” the first edition of Harfenlabor’s new biannual Festival of Historical Harp, titled Between the Strings, is an artistic-scientific duel between the Single-Action-Harp around Haydn and its Alpine counterpart, the Tyrolean Folk Harp. The festival is taking place November 11–14, 2021, at Haus der Musik Innsbruck and Tiroler Landesmuseen Ferdinandeum.

In February 2022, Harfenlabor will officially launch its digital edition, of which these pages are a preview.

Margret Koell — Triple Harp, Single-Action Harp

Margret Köll is a leading international exponent and interpreter in the field of historically informed performance practice, and, in particular, of her instrument, the historical harp, in all its forms and stages of development. An active musician and specialist in early music, she performs worldwide as a soloist as well as a chamber musician and continuo player. Köll performed as the principal harpist with Il Giardino Armonico, Accademia Bizantina and the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble. Köll has performed at events and venues that include the Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, the Theater an der Wien, the Operá Garnier Paris, the Bavarian State Opera, the Teatro alla Scala Milan, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin. Köll’s renowned chamber music partners are Luca Pianca, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Stefan Temmingh, Vittorio Ghielmi, Emöke Barath, Roberta Invernizzi and Philippe Jaroussky. Köll’s debut solo CD ‘L’arpa di Partenope’ with early baroque music from Naples, released in 2014 (Accent), was awarded the Diapason d’Or. Köll has released four solo CDs and participated in CD productions, broadcsts and tours with Cecilia Bartoli, Magdalena Kozena, Sonia Prina, Luca Pianca and Roberta Invernizzi. Köll studied modern and historical harp in Innsbruck, Baltimore, Munich and Milan. In addition, Köll currently heads the baroque harp class at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, and pursues intensive teaching practice through master classes and workshops at various institutions and conservatories across Europe.
As the artistic director of Harfenlabor, Köll has initiated a new, biannual Festival of Historical Harp, titled Between the Strings, with the first edition taking place November 11-14, 2021 in Innsbruck. In 2022 Köll will be on a solo tour of Colombia; in 2023 performing a duo with the tenor Benedikt Kristjánsson at Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin.


The Harfenlabor digital edition enjoys the generous support of the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Abteilung Kultur, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, and Istituto Storico Austriaco and Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Roma.


Rennweg 22
6020 Innsbruck — Österreich
E-Mail: info@harfenlabor.com

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This means that sharing is allowed, provided appropriate credit is given and no changes are made. To view a summary of the licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

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