Miriam Overlach,

Ö1 Audio-Porträt
Miriam Overlach
Photo: Sarah Wijzenbeek

Originally from Hanover, Miriam Overlach has been living in Amsterdam for many years. The harpist studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Erika Waardenburg, where she graduated with distinction. In 2007/2008 she was a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy, where she played under the direction of Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös.

Overlach is active in a diverse musical environment both as a performing musician and as an artistic director of projects. She also teaches as a lecturer at music academies and has dedicated her artistic life to contemporary music and chamber music.

Musical activities range from performances as a soloist and chamber musician to engagements with orchestras and ensembles (Dutch National Opera, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, ASKO|Schönberg) and improvisation with jazz and pop musicians (such as Anthony Braxton). For almost 20 years, Overlach has been active in the artistic direction of Ensemble Lumaka for strings, flute and harp. The group has won various international chamber music competitions and specializes in music from the early 20th century.

Miriam Overlach's enthusiasm for contemporary music is also reflected in various collaborations with composers. She has commissioned solo works from Martin Schüttler, Johannes Kreidler, Wilbert Bulsink and Bart de Vrees, among others.

In 2014 she created the website composingforharp.com with methodical videos for composers on harp technique and notation.
Since 2017 she has been playing the harp duo Freude from Stockhausen's cycle Klang for the Stockhausen Foundation.
Always interested in current developments in art and music, Overlach initiates her own projects in the field of new concert formats and musical theater. For example, in 2020/21 she developed 'De Thuisreiziger' especially for the lock-down: an (offline) do-it-yourself music theater performance in two suitcases, delivered directly to one's doorstep.

She was first prize winner of the International Harp Competition Martine Géliot, the 'Vriendenkrans Concours' (Soloist Competition of the Concertgebouw), the Dutch Harp Competition, the 'Grachtenfestival Conservatorium Concours' (Dutch University Competition). Her solo debut CD was released in 2008 on the label of the Dutch classical radio AVRO.

Since 2018 she has been professor of harp at the Conservatory of Music in Antwerp and since 2020 lecturer of contemporary music and chamber music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

As of May 2023, Miriam Overlach has joined the ensemble of Klangforum Wien.


Miriam Overlach