About Rhian Hanson

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Rhian is originally from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and following an illustrious 20 year career In London Rhian has relocated to Northern Ireland with her family. During her time in London Rhian regularly played with the UK’s leading orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera and Birmingham Royal Ballet to name but a few, and has also performed in the West End.

Favourite Experiences

Over the years Rhian has enjoyed an exciting and varied profession. There have been dozens of thrilling performances but here are a few of her most favourite experiences:

  • Playing the national anthems for the Presidents of Poland and Malta at an EU welcome dinner at the Houses of Parliament
  • Playing with the world renowned soprano Renée Fleming and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Opera House in Oman
  • Recording two tracks on Laura Mvula’s mercury prize nominated album ‘Sing to the Moon’
  • Playing Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks for Katie Melua as she walked down the aisle
  • Performing Philip Glass’ 2nd Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall, London, with the academy nominated composer present
  • Working as associate harpist on the West End Show My Fair Lady with the Holywood star and fellow countryman Jonathan Pryce
  • And probably her most favourite anecdote – meeting and chatting with Tom Cruise on the set of the Jonathan Ross show

Favourite Performances

In the short time Rhian has lived in Northern Ireland her career has continued to prosper. She regularly plays with the Ulster Orchestra, and has performed with the orchestra at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Last Night of the Proms on the Titanic Slipway. Her favourite performances include:

  • Reliving her youth at Lush Classical at the SSE Arena
  • Playing with Kenneth Branagh in a ceremony honouring him with the keys to the city
  • The proms at the Royal Albert Hall with the Ulster orchestra
  • Touring with Josh Groban
  • Recording the soundtrack to Pablo from CBeebies which she enjoys watching with her two children

Rhian is also a beneficiary of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, The Clothworkers Foundation, The Grace Williams Memorial Trust and the Craxton Memorial Trust.

Rhian made her concerto debut playing the Debussy Dances with Milton Keynes City Orchestra, and later that year with Southbank Sinfonia at the Cheltenham Festival. Her chamber music recital experience includes the Cheltenham, Brighton, Canterbury and Oundle Festivals.


Rhian studied at two of London’s most distinguished music conservatoires. She is a graduate harpist of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and received a scholarship to study for her postgraduate diploma at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London for which she received a distinction.

A frequent prize winner in her early music years, prizes include:

  • Second prize in the Junior World Harp Contest in 1994
  • The Nansi Richards Scholarship
  • Runner-up in the Blue Ribbon Prize at the National Eisteddfod in 1998.

Rhian’s popular classical experience includes tours with Josh Groban, Il Divo and Katherine Jenkins, and her TV credits to date include the Jonathan Ross Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, and Channel 4’s Jewish Mum of the Year. Rhian’s harp playing can be heard on Laura Mvula, Jonathan Antoine and Chris Moyles’ albums.