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Biography

The Cherry Stone Duo

As students of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Will Crawford (Guitar) and Emily Hopper (Harp) formed the Cherry Stone Duo in 2017 and have been playing together ever since. They deliver an original and innovative sound aiming to explore the potential these two instruments can create together and to share this rare chamber ensemble with audiences everywhere.

They have spent the last few years building up repertoire for this rare combination of instruments, including original compositions, transcriptions, commissions. They now have a large repertoire consisting of classical, romantic, contemporary and even some jazz and pop arrangements. The Duo regularly perform in masterclasses to visiting professional, in 2018 the Duo had the privilege of performing to Anne Denholm (Hermes Quartet and Former official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales) who said about the Duo:

“The Cherry Stone Duo are a very promising young duo of two sincere musicians. I greatly enjoyed listening to their music and continue to follow their onwards journey.”

The Cherry Stone Duo regularly perform in different venues across Birmingham such as The Museum and Arts Gallery, The ICC and Birmingham Central Synagogue. In Summer 2018 the Duet won the annual Henrietta Renié Harp and Chamber Prize. In 2019 The Cherry Stone Duo released their debut EP “A Dance of Mermaids” which can be found on all major streaming services including iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. The EP consist of an original composition and transcription by guitarist Will Crawford and two pieces written by Eric Marchelie for Harp and Guitar. Most recently the Duo have founded a charitable fundraising programme called Music For the Trees which hosts bi-monthly concerts across Birmingham raising money for reforestation programmes.

Emily Hopper, Harp

Emily took up the harp in 2010 and has progressed through her professional career ever since. She currently studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under Eleanor Turner.

She was principle harp of Kent County Youth Orchestra for five years. She performed the Handel Harp Concerto with the St Edmunds Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Emily won Canterbury Festival Bursary competition in 2015, winning the chance to be an ambassador of the arts for the year. She was chosen to perform and be presented as an inspirational young woman at the Turner Contemporary for International Woman’s Day and has also taken part in Kent Cultural Celebrations. Her most recent success is being elected to be part of Town Hall-Symphony Halls first youth panel.

Will Crawford, Guitar

Will has been playing the guitar since the age of seven. He is studying classical guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with Mark Ashford.

He was first guitar of a Gypsy Swing band who performed at events such as the launch of the Jaguar F-Type, supported guitarist John William in concert, and made it to the final of Music for Youth. He was part of a singer-songwriter duo for four years – playing various venues, parties, and many popular wedding venues, all the while progressing through his solo classical career. He gained his ATCL Diploma in 2017 and recently won the 2018 Leicester Classical Guitar competition.

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