The Harp Competition – the first in the world – was founded in 1959 on a shoe-stringby Aaron Zvi Propes. It takes place every three years and is considered themost important world harp contest contributing to Israel's prestige.
Thirty-six entrants up to age 35 are accepted for every competition; in thefirst two stages they give solo performances; they play chamber music at the third stage. The three finalists perform concerts for harp and orchestra.
The first prize is a harp made by Leon & Healy. The remaining prizes are money grants; one prize is awarded for an Israeli work named for Aaron Zvi and Mara Propes and written especially for the competition. The contest finances the entrants 'stay during the competition as well as the stay of the international jury panel.
An Israeli entrant, Sivan Magen, was the first-time winner of the 2006 competition.
The International Harp Contest celebrated its 50th anniversary in October 2009.