Mark began his training in 1976 with Arnold Dolmetsch Ltd as a harpsichord, spinet and clavichord maker. He married harp player and composer Savourna Stevenson and returned to Scotland in 1981 to establish his own workshop in the Scottish Borders town of Peebles. Savourna’s creative harp compositions, performances and virtuosic recordings required high-quality instruments, so Mark decided to specialise in the design and construction of professional harps.
Almost four decades later he is renowned worldwide for fine craftsmanship, the exceptional tone of his harps and the precision of his unique semitone levers; all qualities that have led many leading players, students, teachers, performers and recording artists to regard Mark Norris Harps to be some of the finest instruments available.
His many professional customers often fed back that there was a need for a good quality, yet inexpensive harp for teaching purposes. His design experience convinced him that he could create an affordable starter harp, using simple components and inexpensive materials, which would retain the essential playing qualities of his professional harps. That collaboration led to the development of The Nifty Harp Project.