Nancy Thym-Hochrein

Nancy Thym is well-known for her programs which combine harp music, songs, dance and stories. In her native California she studied theater, dance and archaeology and holds a master’s degree in folklore from UCLA with a main emphasis on ethnomusicology and traditional music. Her particular specialty is the accompaniment of song on the harp.
Her Archive and Museum for Harp History houses a collection of over 30 historical harps and harp reproductions as well as iconographical material, music and manuscripts from all over the world on the history of the harp. She is a former president of the International Historical Harp Society and has written many articles on various aspects of harp history and music archaeology. Her exhibit “With our harps upon our backs” about the 19th century wandering harp ladies of Germany and Bohemia has toured various European museums.

Her extensive research forms the basis for her programs which are both entertaining and educational – storytelling combined with songs and harp music or one-woman theater pieces in which she portrays harpists of the past, such as the wandering harp ladies of 19th century Germany or Louise Reichardt (1779-1826).

From her large collection of harps she chooses the appropriate instrument. She has performed and taught at festivals for traditional and early music as well as storytelling festivals throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the United States and is the artistic director of the festival for early music and concert series at the Gotisches Haus Burgheßler in Germany.

Recently she has published a Christmas children’s book, “The Angel Juliane or Why Angels Play the Harp”, illustrated by her daughter Alliene Hochrein Gunn. When she is not playing the harp or singing, you will find her at the ice skating rink..