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Skaila Kanga

Skaila Kanga

born on 8/1/1946 in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India

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Skaila Kanga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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

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

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

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), Lucio Battisti

TV credits

Film soundtrack credits

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, The 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


  • With the Nash Ensemble (for over 25 years) including works by Ravel, Bax, Debussy, Françaix, Saint-Saëns and world premieres of Gordon Kerry's Blue Latitudes, John Tavener's A Sacred Dream and her own transcription of the Sonatine by Ravel for flute, viola and harp, first performed in 1994..
  • 1977– 2002, 32 premieres of new works and countless series at the Wigmore Hall.
  • Four solo appearances at the Proms.
  • Appeared at the Meltdown and London Jazz Festivals with the Matrix Ensemble.
  • Performed Britten's Ceremony of Carols at the Barbican with Carl Davis.
  • Toured Germany with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in seven performances of Debussy's Danses for solo harp and orchestra.
  • The Nash Inventions series at the Purcell Room in 2001, performing works by Henze, Simon Holt, Heinz Holliger, Sally Beamish and Raising Sparks by James MacMillan (recorded for Black Box Records).
  • In 2002, works by Holt, Anderson, Debussy and Dallapiccola.
  • 2002 series with the London Mozart Players.

Solo albums

  • Britten: Ceremony of Carols (Naxos, 1995).
  • Duos by Heifetz and Kreisler: with Maxim Xue Wei
  • Kaila Kanga with Emma Johnson, clarinet
  • Kaila Kanga with Philippa Davies, flute
  • Invocation: with Julian Lloyd Webber (1998)

Performs on

  • 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


  • "...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]


(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.


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


  • April 2001 -Princeton University


  • Fellowship: Royal Academy of Music, 1994

Recent activity

  • Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto with Edward Beckett and the London Festival Orchestra.
  • The recorded works of Mark-Anthony Turnage.
  • August 2002, judge at the Lily Laskine Harp Competition in Paris.
  • Guest of Honour at the International Harp Competition in Bloomington, Indiana, 2004 (featuring a recital of her own compositions.)
  • August 2004, gave a Masterclass at the 6th European Harp Symposium in Lyon.
  • Toured the Baltic Capitals as a recital soloist.
  • Spring 2005, Skaila gave the Opening Recital of the Russian Harpists' Festival in Moscow.
  • 2005 coast to coast lecture/recital tour of American universities.
  • July 2005, gave a presentation on 'The Harp in the Film and Recording Industry' at the World Harp Congress in Dublin.
  • Featured soloist with Richard Baker on P&O Oriana in October 2006.
  • Jury member of the new composition award for the 2007 USA Harp Competition in Bloomington.


  1. ^ "Skaila Kanga". Harp Masters. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Skaila Kanga". Retrieved 22 September 2015.
This page was last modified 15.09.2020 12:02:39

This article uses material from the article Skaila Kanga from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.