Thursday, November 15, 2018

Harpist James Ruff to Perform at the Farmstead Arts Center

James Ruff blue wall high res

Harpist James Ruff

WHEN: Sunday, November 18th, at 2 PM
Farmstead Arts Center Farmhouse at 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge
TICKETS: $15 general admission in advance, $20 at the door; $10 seniors, students and Farmstead members, in advance or at the door. Tickets are available at or cash only at the door.

Farmstead Arts presents tenor and harper James Ruff in The Gael’s Honor, an afternoon of centuries-old love songs and formal laments sung in both Scottish Gaelic and Irish. Ruff will transport listeners to the Highlands and Islands while accompanying himself on the age-old traditional instrument of the Gael: the wire-strung Clarsach. Played for a thousand years until it disappeared around 1800, this early harp and its repertoire have been brought back to life only in recent decades.

Currently residing in the Hudson Valley region of New York, Mr. Ruff pursued vocal studies at University of Southern California and Boston University. He has studied Scottish Gaelic song with award winning Scottish singers Kenna Campbell and Mary Ann Kennedy, and early Gaelic wire harp with noted Irish harpist Siobhan Armstrong. He was silver medalist in the Silver Pendant Gaelic Song Competition at the prestigious Royal National Mòd in Oban, Scotland in 2018. James also won the Gold Medal at the U.S. National Gaelic Mòd in 2016 and 2017. 

James Ruff has performed at Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of the Early Irish Harp in Kilkenny, Ireland, the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, Gotham Early Music Scene Midtown Concerts in New York, Beacon Hill Concerts, Stone Church Arts Concert Series, and the Mount Holyoke College and Vassar College Concert Series, and as tenor soloist with such early music groups as the Handel and Haydn Society, Newberry Consort, King’s Noyse, Aradia Ensemble, New York Collegium, Early Music New York, and Music of the Baroque.  He has toured the U.S. and abroad singing the title role in the medieval Play of Daniel with EMNY and GEMS.  He has sung at the Spoleto Festival: Italy, the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Rockport Chamber Music Festivals, the Boston and the Connecticut Early Music Festivals, as well as with the NY City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, St. Louis Opera and the Boston Academy of Music. (

The Farmhouse is wheelchair accessible.  Anyone anticipating the need for additional accessibility services may make a request by sending an e-mail to in advance.

Funds for this event have been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Photo: James Ruff