Skaila Kanga

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Skaila Kanga (born in India) is a harpist and is Head of Harp Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London, England. After winning a Junior Exhibition to the Royal Academy of Music for piano, she switched to harp studies at age 17. She studied with Tina Bonifacio, Sir Thomas Beecham's harpist in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Early career[edit]

Skaila began with the BBC Concert Orchestra, after which she went on to freelance with many London orchestras under such conductors as André Previn, Sir Georg Solti, Otto Klemperer, Evgeny Svetlanov, Simon Rattle, Sir Adrian Boult, Rudolf Kempe, Carlo Maria Giulini, Pierre Monteux, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez and Daniel Barenboim.[1]

Solo career[edit]

Skaila's solo career has included many performances of concertos and broadcasts in the realms of records, films and television. She has worked for musical artists such as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Michel Legrand, James Horner, Pat Metheny, Michael Nyman, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Barbara Hendricks, Kiri Te Kanawa, Richard Rodney Bennett and many others.[2]

In 1977, Tommy Reilly and Skaila formed a duo for harmonica and harp which lasted 22 years. They performed in concert and on television throughout Britain, Europe and South America, recording on the Chandos Records, the label for whom Skaila also recorded all the major French chamber music repertoire with the Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, as well as Mozart's Concerto for flute and harp with Susan Milan, Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia.

Session musician[edit]

Kanga has also been very active as a session musician in many other musical genres. She has worked with artists such as The Beatles, James Taylor, Pat Metheny, Sumi Jo, James Galway, Joni Mitchell, Cliff Richard, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Northern Line, Girl Thing, McFly, G4, Il Divo, Duel, Zizi Possi, Michael Civisca, José Cura, Slava, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Robbie Williams, Westlife, Samantha Mumba, and Izzy Cooper. Paul McCartney, Boyzone, Eternal, Michael Ball, Jane McDonald, Tony Banks (musician), Sarah Brightman, Björk, Misia, Pharoah Sanders, Milton Nascimento, Manic Street Preachers, Massive Attack and Sting (a solo track for the CD 20th Century Blues).

TV credits[edit]

Film soundtrack credits[edit]

Legend of Bhagat Singh, Life of David Gale, The Four Feathers, Die Another Day, The 25th Hour, Ghost Ship, Nicholas Nickleby, Cold Mountain, Troy, Shrek 2, Bridget Jones, Shark Tale, Alfie, Enduring Love, Sahara, Batman Begins, Fragile, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Constant Gardener, The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, The Mummy Returns, The Hole, Chocolat, End Game, Crush, The Others, Sacrifice, Possession, From Hell, Return to Neverland, Before You Go, The Time Machine, The Guru, Shipping News, The Truth About Charlie, We Were Soldiers, Talk To Her, Ararat, Simon, 101 Dalmatians 2, Swept Away, The Hours, Les Misérables, How to Train Your Dragon 2

Performances[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

Performs on[edit]

  • Elton John: Elton John (UNI Records, 1969)
  • Elton John: Tumbleweed Connection (UNI Records, 1970)
  • Snell: Chamber Music for Harp – (Divine Art CD, DVT 24130, 2008)
  • Bax: Nonet & other chamber music. With The Nash Ensemble. (Hyperion Records CDA66807)
  • Arthur Bliss: Rout & Rhapsody. With The Nash Ensemble, Lionel Friend (conductor), (Hyperion Records CDA66137)
  • Lowell Lieberman: Flute Concertos, with James Galway and the London Mozart Players (RCA)
  • Passion 2: with José Carreras
  • David Mullikin: Oboe Concerto, with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martins Orchestra
  • Serenade Vol 2 – Tommy Reilly, Skaila Kanga
  • Ravel, Debussy, Saint-Saëns: Kanga, Asmf Chamber Ensemble (Chandos, 1987)
  • Tommy Reilly: Works for Harmonica, Harp, and String Quartet (Chandos, 1990)
  • Pat Metheny: Secret Story (Geffin, 1992)
  • Boys Air Choir: Requiem – (Victor/Roux 1997)
  • British folk songs: Tommy Reilly, Skalia Kanga (Chandos, 2001)
  • Shawn Phillips L'Ballad Contribution A&M Records, 1970

Criticism[edit]

  • "...the smoother sound and slower but superbly sustained Chandos performance (of the Bax Harp Quintet, by harpist Skaila Kanga and the English String Quartet on Chandos) has much more atmosphere and drama (than the Mobius, Ensemble)."[3]

Compositions[edit]

(Published by ALAW and included in the Lyon and Healy catalogue)

  • Les Saisons de la Harpe Suite for solo harp
  • Cadenzas for Mozart's Concerto for flute and harp
  • British Folk Songs Vol. 1 and 2, For flute [violin or oboe] and harp
  • Miniatures 1, for harp [with optional 2nd part]
  • Miniatures 2, for harp and solo instrument
  • American Sketches for clarinet and harp (flute version available)
  • Conversations for tuba (cello or double bass or bassoon) and harp.
  • All-Time Jazz Favourites
  • Minstrel's Gallery -Maruka Music (a collection of 30 easy pieces for non-pedal or pedal harp)
  • Pathways, (a suite for solo harp in the classical style) and Harp Songbook.
  • Mozart's Piano Concerto K414 in A major for Solo Harp. (Transcription by Skaila)
  • Cadenza Notebook Vol. 1 featuring Handel's Harp Concerto in Bb, published by Lyon and Healy and Sightreading Tests for Concert and Celtic Harp (Grades 1–8) published by ABRSM.

Collaborations[edit]

  • With Rautavaara in the editing of his new harp concerto and with Gareth Wood with his Concerto for Harp and Brass.

Residencies[edit]

Awards[edit]

Recent activity[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Skaila Kanga". harpmasters.com. Harp Masters. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Skaila Kanga". naxos.com. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  3. ^ Gilbert French, American Record Guide, February 2001