Christelle Berthon, “the harmonica queen” in Pärnu from July 7th to 10th

July 7, 2017 / July 10, 2017


From July 7th to 10th, come to Pärnu and discover the fascinating and festive world of harmonica. At the Pärnu Harmonica Festival, the French queen of harmonica, Christelle Berthon will give a unique performance.

Christelle Berthon began playing music at age 4 in her home town of Chateauroux in the centre of France. Playing her recorder along with everything on the radio, including pop songs, set the stage for her eclectic repertoire, which now includes everything from Bach concertos to down-home blues. After playing her first gig with renowned French folk band Malicorne, at age 14 Christelle began six years of classical oboe studies, passing the exams for the national schools of Paris and Lyon. At the age of 24, completely by chance, she bought her first harmonica and found that it provided a welcome diversion from four hard years of oboe studies. Almost straight away she fell in love with this instrument.

One decisive day in Ireland, a lady offered her a diatonic harmonica, knowing that Christelle had once been a musician. Until then, life  had obliged Christelle to give up playing music for twelve years. Returning to France, Christelle committed to being the musician that she was meant to be, practicing up to eight hours a day. To share her work with people, she opened her now-renowned YouTube channel and has gathered more than 55 270 subscribers and 24 million views so far. She has been featured at the SPAH Convention and she has won the second place at the World Harmonica Championship 2009.

From the start, she was successful in covering a broad range of genres, Blues, Celtic and Jazz.  She has worked a lot at the new technique called overbending which allows one to play the full chromatic scale on a diatonic harmonica. Christelle currently tours in Europe and has acquired many American fans who are eagerly waiting for her US tour. The brand-new album “Breathe to Me” was released in June 2017.
Christelle Berthon is an official endorser of the Dannecker Harmonicas, ZT Amplifiers and Audix Microphones.

Jerry Portnoy: “Christelle Berthon’s playing is superb in every aspect: wonderful musicianship, technical mastery, but most importantly, a beautiful sound that conveys feeling and emotion.”

Source: "Christelle Berthon, the Harp Queen" on

The PÄRNU HARMONICA FESTIVAL is the main festival of its kind in northern Europe and the Baltic countries. In this 16th edition, eleven artists from all around the world will make you discover the marvellous world of harmonica. 


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