Tunstall, Helen


Born in London, Helen Tunstall studied at the Royal College of Music with Marisa Robles and Fiona Hibbert. She is principle harpist of the London Sinfonietta, Endymion and the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square and leads a busy freelance career playing solo, chamber and orchestral music with all the major London orchestras and ensembles.


She has worked on films such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lord of the Rings, Batman as well as music for Guy Barker and pop artists Robbie Williams, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Il Divo, Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua, and Tom Odell.

Recent film scores include Mr Turner, Spectre, Fantastic Beasts, Alice through the looking glass, Julieta, and TV music for Downton Abbey and recordings for Patrick Hawes, Craig Armstrong and Paul Mottram.

She is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music.

Image Credit: 

London Sinfonietta

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.

The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.

The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.

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Helen Tunstall harp


Sinfonietta Shorts is a series of bite-sized pieces of new music from today's leading composers; commissioned and premiered by the principal players of the London Sinfonietta. Each work has enduring relevance and is a great introduction to the best new music of our time. Already in the series are pieces by Anna Meredith, Dai Fujikura, Harrison Birtwistle, Mark Bowden, Jonathan Harvey, Francisco Coll, Matt Rogers, Jordan Hunt, Deborah Pritchard, Samantha Fernando and Elspeth Brooke.

The latest work in this series is Risveglio, meaning 'awakening' in Italian, by composer Richard Baker. It’s a piece for the modern pedal-harp, played by the London Sinfonietta’s Principal Harp Helen Tunstall, in which all of the strings act like muscles, relaxing and tautening as the piece progresses, symbolising its own awakening from sleep into movement.


Risveglio was recorded on 13 June 2016 at All Saints East Finchley, London.

Recording Producer & Engineer: David Lefeber

Catalogue number:
NMC DL3029
Release Date:
24 March 2017