Miriam Overlach, (Germany/The Netherlands) moves between musical genres and scenes, taking on diverse roles as performer, initiator and artistic director.
Challenging collaborations and new ideas about music and performance lead her towards a distinct diversity of projects in contemporary music, music theatre, educational and social initiatives.
Rooted in the classical music tradition Miriam regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician and with together with orchestras at festivals and concert venues throughout Europe.
In 2018 she was appointed professor of harp at the Royal Conservatory Antwerp, Belgium.
Miriam is co-founder and artistic director of Ensemble Lumaka (flute, harp, and strings). Over the past few years, Miriam has initiated several projects such as ‚MoNUmenten’, a concert series in Amsterdam with music from the ’20s performed in iconic architecture from the period. Ensemble Lumaka often dives into archives to find forgotten repertoire from the inter war years. They have released three CDs and were awarded several first prizes in international competitions. www.ensemblelumaka.com.
For many years Miriam has been intensely involved in the contemporary music scene, playing new repertoire, improvising and working closely with composers to explore all different sides of her instrument. This led to a great number and variety of new pieces being written for harp, with electronics, video, and dramatisation, which she has performed at festivals like November Music and Gaudeamus Music Week. She has recorded many of them for her youtube channel. In 2014 she founded www.composingforharp.com, a website with methodological videos explaining the fundamentals of harp playing. They are frequently watched by composers worldwide.
Since 2017 Miriam has performed Stockhausen’s infamous harp duo ‚Freude‘ together with Marianne Smit, for whom Stockhausen wrote the piece. 2018 brought with it a new collaboration with free-jazz legend Anthony Braxton with whom she now regularly tours.
More recent collaborations include a music theater show about Jean Arp and a solo harp concerto written for Miriam by Wilbert Bulsink which was premiered in 2018 and will be played again in 2019 with ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble, conducted by Bas Wiegers.
Miriam works regularly with ensembles and orchestras like Ensemble Modern, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch Opera.
During her studies, Miriam attained first prizes at the ‘International Harp Competition Martine Géliot’, the Dutch Harp Competition, the ‚Grachtenfestival’ Conservatory Competition, the ‘Vriendenkrans‘ Competition (Young Soloists of the Concertgebouw) including the prize of the Dutch Radio to record her solo-debut cd. She was semi finalist of the Harpcontest in Israel and participated twice in the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez.
Originally from Hannover, Germany, Miriam has lived since 2001 in Amsterdam. She graduated with distinction in 2006 from the Conservatory there after studying with Erika Waardenburg. She is frequently a jury member at harp competitions and gives regular masterclasses on contemporary music.
She looks forward to passing on her knowledge of harp playing, music and performance to her class at the Conservatory in Antwerp in the coming years.