Page Type: Profile

Profiles of those involved

Alex Petcu

Contemporary flautist Brendan Rowan grew up in Co. Meath and first developed his passion for traditional flute while studying with one of the masters of Irish traditional music, Catherine McEvoy. Awarded at both provincial and all-Ireland level, his unique style and flare for Irish Music has established and grounded his playing firmly on a national level.

Brendan also studied the classical flute under the renowned William Dowdall, as a scholarship recipient to the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is seated as a principal member and is a scholarship recipient of the UCD Symphony Orchestra and has been placed at national competitions on numerous ocassions. Recently, he was publicly announced as deputy flute/whistle player in the Irish Memory Orchestra, where Rowan’s taste for contemporary flute playing was first noted during their 2014 Apprentice Scheme .

Performances in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, and North America, as a soloist and chamber musician, have further developed his international career. At home, Brendan inspires young traditional flute players as a private and group tutor with Ceoltóirí Chluain Tarbh. Brendan is currently a fourth year medical student at University College Dublin, and spent the summer of 2017 completing a research project in cancer biology at Harvard University.

Aidan Dunphy

Aidan Dunphy studied drums and percussion at Trinity College of Music in London. Whilst in London he played Jazz and Classical music (English National Ballet, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra) and appeared at both the ‘100 Club’ and Ronnie Scott’s legendary jazz club. Since moving back to Ireland he has worked as a freelance drummer, playing with a number of bands and singer-songwriters, including Paul Casey, Maeve Dunphy, Siobhan Pettit and Declan O’Rourke, with whom he toured and recorded on the multi-platinum selling album ‘Since Kyabram’ (2006). He has also accompanied visiting Jazz stars Digby Fairweather, Lee Koenitz and Scott Hamilton.

Aidan lives in his native Omagh where he teaches and maintained a residency in McCann’s bar as drummer in the band of legendary Irish guitarist Arty McGlynn.

As principal percussionist of the Irish Memory Orchestra Aidan has performed with some of the leading Irish traditional musicians including Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Mairtín O’Connor, Liz Carroll, Mary Bergin and Johnny Óg Connolly.

Billy Mag Fhloinn

Billy Mag Fhloinn is a native of Limerick, Ireland. He holds a PhD in Irish Folklore, and a B.A. in archaeology, from University College Dublin. As well as lecturing and tutoring at university, he occasionally works in television and media, and makes and plays replicas of prehistoric musical instruments from Ireland. He also plays traditional music on the bouzouki, and is a tutor with the Online Academy of Irish Music.

Billy is one of the few living people who play and make the Bronze Age Irish Horns that were revived by Simon O’Dwyer in the 1980’s. A member of Ireland’s Bronze Age recreation society ‘Umha Aois’, Billy built his own replica of an Iron Age-style trumpet and can be heard playing it in the clip posted here. This is an experiment with four tracks, as the surviving Iron Age trumpet of Loughnashade was one of four identical instruments recovered from the lake near the mythic and archaeological site of Emhain Macha. Evidently, this type of instrument was meant to be played in concert with each other.

tradition.ie

Alex Borwick

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Growing up in New Zealand, he spent his early years studying jazz trombone, receiving multiple awards at national jazz competitions, and performing with New Zealand’s premier big band, the Roger Fox Big Band. After studying at the New Zealand School of Music, Alex discovered Irish traditional music and picked up the banjo.

Since relocating to Ireland, Alex has dug out his niche in the local music community, performing regularly with groups such as indie-folk group The Young Folk, contemporary Irish ensemble The Irish Memory Orchestra, urban/trad group Aldoc, and Jamaican ska band Interskalactic. He has opened for Imelda May and South African legend Hugh Masekela, and shared the stage with musicians such as Lisa Hannigan, Martin Hayes, Villagers and Jape. Alex has toured internationally throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Alex also works as a recording engineer and producer, and is the house engineer at Grouse Lodge Recording Studio in Westmeath. When not working at Grouse Lodge he works as a freelance engineer/producer in Dublin..

Alex was invited to become Principal Trombonist of the Memory Orchestra after successfully completing the 2013 Apprenticeship Scheme.

Neil Yates

Multi-instrumentalist composer, arranger and educator Neil Yates studied music at Salford University and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He stepped out into the professional music business in 1991, as a London-based jazz trumpeter working most notably for the BBC Big Band and Johnny Dankworth Orchestra. He moved on to higher profile session musician work in 1994, performing and recording with The Brand New Heavies, Supergrass, Black Grape, Lighthouse Family, Alison Moyet, Will Young, Raw Stylus, Suggs, Matt Bianco and Robbie Williams.

To address his own creative urges in 1999 Neil moved out of London and travelled the festivals of UK and Ireland for a year in a caravan, eventually settling in a North Wales beauty spot to write and record his award winning first solo jazz album “New Origins” and his new album “Five Countries”, released on Edition Records November 2011. He also became much involved in Celtic music, performing, writing and arranging for traditional music legends Michael McGoldrick and Kate Rusby. Through this work he has developed a unique ability to perform traditional Irish music on the trumpet.

As an educator Neil lectures in music at Salford University, Leeds College of Music, and previously taught at Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has also receives large scale commissions as composer, including an hour long suite for brass called “Sketches of a Northern town” and two hour antiphonal suite for jazz orchestra entitled “Surroundings”, nominated for British Composers Award 2011. Recently Neil returned to some commercial session work, including performances with Elbow, Katie Meluah and Rumer. He has just completed a four year PHD in Musical Artistry and is the winner of Arts Council Wales’ Creative Wales Award 2012.

Matthew Berrill

Matthew Berrill hails from Headford, County Galway, in the West of Ireland. He grew up with a rich musical education, learning various styles of music from his parents. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Music Performance in May 2010, where he specialised in jazz saxophone, clarinet and composition, studying with John Ruocco at the Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag, The Netherlands.

He teaches in numerous music education projects throughout Galway County, is conductor of the NUIG University Orchestra and is a founder of the ‘Headford Music Works’ teaching and performing scheme in North Galway.

He is Artistic Director of the Galway Jazz Festival and a member of many music ensembles in the jazz, improvised and traditional Irish worlds including Ensemble Ériu, Cuar, and the Irish Memory Orchestra.

​Matthew was invited to become Principal Sax and Clarinet player for the Irish Memory Orchestra after successfully completing the 2013 Apprenticeship Scheme.

Jack Talty

Jack Talty is a traditional musician, composer, producer, and educator from Lissycasey in county Clare. As a performer Jack has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, and has contributed to over 50 albums to date as a musician, producer, composer, arranger, and engineer. A regular contributor to traditional music programmes on television and radio, Jack has worked with musicians such as Tommy Peoples, Finbarr Dwyer, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane, Sharon Shannon, Mairtín Ó Connor, Téada, Steve Cooney, Séamus Begley, Brendan Begley, Le Chéile, Bobby Gardiner, Jesse Smith, Colm Gannon, Alec Finn, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Geraldine Cotter, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra with conductor David Brophy, and Dave Flynn’s Irish Memory Orchestra.

In 2011 Jack released the critically acclaimed Na Fir Bolg with fellow concertina player Cormac Begley on his own Raelach Records label, and also formed Ensemble Ériu with double bass and flute player Neil O’ Loghlen. The band’s eponymous debut album, released by Raelach Records in October 2013 was described by Jim Carroll of the Irish Times as “one of the best Irish albums of 2013”. In January 2015, Ensemble Ériu were announced as winners of the prestigious Gradam Comharcheol TG4 (musical collaboration award presented by Ireland’s national Irish language broadcaster).

jacktalty.com

Etain McCooey

Etain’s interest in traditional music began in Wexford where she learned tin whistle and worked with innovative band ‘Dorchadas’, which combined classical and traditional music and instruments performing original compositions through the Irish language.

Etain has won eight all Ireland titles including the President’s Award at Slogadh and a number of national Feis awards, winning the Tara Shield three times, and has appeared on the Late Late Show and RTE’s Puirini. Her interest in traditional and folk music further developed while living in Dublin, where she introduced the oboe to trad music sessions. Etain also works as a session musician and recording work includes Frank Cullen’s traditional music album “And All Points West” and Tony Boylan’s “Life’s the Teacher”. She was commissioned to compose music for the Hidden History TV series – “Duffy’s Cut”. Etain teaches oboe with Coole Music in Gort.

Mark Redmond

With a musical upbringing in purely traditional uilleann piping, Mark Redmond has gained vast experience in recent years as a performer who fuses with a range of various genres. He has performed as soloist on numerous occasions with the RTE Concert Orchestra; The RTE National Symphony Orchestra (including the historic state visit of Queen Elisabeth II to Ireland); Camerata Ireland (under the direction of Barry Douglas);
The Savannah Philharmonic, USA and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, France.

Mark has also toured globally as a soloist performer in his own right as well as with renowned stage shows, namely Riverdance and Celtic Legends.

Over the years he has also joined other touring ensembles such as The Irish Memory Orchestra, The Irish Harp Orchestra and a host of provisional ensembles on behalf of Culture Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs to promote Ireland overseas and demonstrate its rich culture.

Mark was appointed Principal Uilleann Piper of the Irish Memory Orchestra in 2017 on the recommendation of his predecessor and mentor Mick O’Brien.

Aisling Agnew

Aisling was born and raised in Belfast and is now based in Glasgow. She started learning the flute at an early age with Billy Dunwoody and played in the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. Aisling went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she also won a scholarship to the Lake Placid Institute for Arts in New York and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her studies were generously funded by awards from the Belfast Classical Music Bursaries, BELB and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

Aisling has a keen interest in chamber music and also working with composers. She regularly performs around the UK and Ireland and has appeared in concert across Europe, North & South America, Asia and the Middle East. Her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio and RTE Lyric FM and include many high profile concerts such as a Wigmore Hall chamber music recital, the British Flute Society’s International Convention and the National Flute Association’s 40th International Convention in Las Vegas.

​As Concerto Soloist she has appeared with various orchestras including the Ulster Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In 2006 she released her acclaimed debut album Recital with Natural Studio Records and has continued this affiliation with the release of two further chamber music recordings Histoire du Tango and Standing Stones.

www.aislingagnew.com

Niwel Tsumbu

Congolese guitarist, composer and singer Niwel Tsumbu has emerged as an engaging and innovative musician in constant demand and has gained many admirers around Ireland and Congo.

Since moving to Ireland in 2004 from the Democratic Republic Of Congo Niwel has settled with his wife and three children and has quickly become a prominent face on the Irish music scene.
He has been hailed as ”an exceptional guitar player” by Europe’s leading online Jazz magazine All AboutJazz and his music “enchanted” The Irish Times.

He has collaborated with many celebrated Irish musicians such as Sinéad O’Connor, Liam O’Maonlai, Donal Lunny, Glen Hansard, as well as international stars such as Ma Xiaohui (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack), Senegalese legend Baaba Maal, Richard Bona and Nigel Kennedy amongst others.

With influences from far and wide, his elegant and fluent guitar playing draws from his past excursions with African rhythms, rumba, jazz, classical and much more besides.

After working with the Abbey Theatre and performing with a number of Opera productions in the last 5 years, 2018 sees Niwel focusing on his own music, working with his long time collaborator Eamonn Cagneyon percussion.

His debut appearance with the Irish Memory Orchestra at London’s Cadogan Hall in 2018 was the latest in a line of collaborations Niwel has had with Dave Flynn including the supergroup DFF and a performance with the Crash Ensemble in Cork Opera House.

Anne-Marie O’Farrell

As the leading exponent of the Irish or lever harp as a recital instrument, Anne-Marie’s development and expansion of its repertoire have led to performances and recordings for TV and radio throughout Europe, the USA, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia and Africa. A prolific recording artist, she has released numerous recordings including Just So Bach, Heads & Harps, Harping Bach to Carolan, The Jig’s Up My Lagan Love and Double Strung with Cormac De Barra.

Anne-Marie is especially noted for the unique levering techniques which she continues to develop on the harp, as a result of which she was consultant to Salvi harpmakers on the design of their Irish harp, the Livia. She is regularly invited to give lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses at international festivals in addition to acting as jury member for international harp competitions.

​She has performed and recorded at home and around the world with among others Aylish Kerrigan, Moya Brennan, Ellen Cranitch, the Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Anúna and Cormac De Barra.

www.annemarieofarrell.com

Neil Ó Loclainn

Neil Ó Loclainn is a musician and composer from Ballyvaughan, Clare. His work is dedicated to exploring the contemporary and the universal in the local. He has been described as “a musical seeker” (The Irish Times) and his work as “redefining the possibilities of Irish traditional music” (All about Jazz)

He is co founder of Ensemble Ériu, an award winning (TG4 Gradam ComharCeoil award 2015) group dedicated to developing new conceptualisations in Irish traditional ensemble playing.

He leads his own chamber ensemble group Cuar which explores composition and improvisation within the framework of Irish traditional music. Their debut album Roscanna has been described as “an ear craningly beautiful missive from the new post genre frontier.” (The Irish Times)

He began learning Irish traditional music on the flute and tin whistle at a young age and studied double bass with David Whitla at the Cork school of Music. As a jazz musician he has been bassist of choice for many of Ireland’s leading musicians including Myles Drennan, Richie Buckley, Hugh Buckley, Meilana Gillard, Mike Nielsen. He was a member of the Louis Stewart quartet from 2012 until the guitarists death in 2016.

He has studied Karnatic music at the Brhaddvani Institute, Chennai, India and Ewe music at the Dagara Centre, Medie, Ghana. He has won numerous scholarships and bursaries to attend workshops and residencies including the Banff Centre creative music workshop, Canada, the School for Improvisational Music (S.I.M) workshop, New York and the Cill Rialaig residency, Ballinskelligs. His music has been released by Irish labels Raelach and Diatribe Records.

www.neiloloclainnmusic.com

Maria O’Connor

Maria holds both a B.Mus and an MA from the Cork School of Music (CSM). She has been a prizewinner in numerous competitions including Feis Ceoil, Feis Maitiu and the CSM Concerto and Chamber Music Competition and has been invited to perform as a soloist with the CSMSO. Maria played with the National Symphony Orchestra as part of their mentoring scheme and also as a deputy player.
Along with fellow members of the Chiral Quartet, Maria was awarded the 2014 CSM Directors Prize. The quartet were subsequently named Ensemble in Residence in the CSM. They have been winners of the CSM RTE Vanbrugh Quartet Chamber Music Competition, the KBC Great Music in Irish Houses Residency competition and the Music in Drumcliffe Strings Attached Competition and have studied with both the Vogler Quartet and the Vanbrugh Quartet.

Maria has performed in numerous venues and festivals at home and abroad including the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Killaloe Music Festival, the Music in Drumcliffe festival and in the RDS Rising Stars recital series, the Jenneusses Musicales Festival and Guildhall, London. Maria is also a traditional fiddle player and has been playing fiddle since the age of 8.

She has played in numerous competitions in the Fleadh Cheoil over the years and has received medals at both local and national competitions. As well as preforming, Maria teaches cello and fiddle in the Kerry School of Music and in Cork.

Ciara Ní Bhriain

Ciara Ní Bhriain was born into a very musical family in North County Dublin. Following in the footsteps of her older sister Aoife, Ciara started violin classes a the age of three.
Ciara started learning the harp at the age of seven with Michael Rooney who encouraged her to apply for a place in the College of Music with renowned harpist Denise Kelly with whom Ciara is now studying both Irish harp and Concert Harp. While still studying violin in the R.I.A.M. Ciara was asked to try the viola and so she changed instruments and has been studying viola with Ms. Liz Csibi for the past 5 years, obtaining scholarships each year.

She has been awarded prizes in the E.S.B. Feis Ceol Dublin and the Sligo Feis Ceoil on both harp and viola. She won the 2012 Senior All-Ireland competition for miscellaneous instruments, performing on viola and she won the Under 18 All-Ireland Fiddle title in 2013. In 2011, she was a member of the National Youth Orchesta of Ireland under the baton of Gearóid Grant, where she was a member of the viola section. She has a an active recording schedule and she has also performed in many concerts and on radio. She recently worked with the Grammy Award-Winning producer Judith Sherman recording the viola parts for Dave Flynn’s work ‘Stories from the Old World’.

A founder member of the IMO aged just 15, Ciara has since performed in Moscow and South Korea with us. She assumed lead fiddle duties on our South Korean tour.

Róisín Donohoe

Róisín Donohoe is a harpist, fiddler and singer from Kinsale, County Cork.

Born into a musical family, Róisín began learning the fiddle at the age of three. As her passion for music continued to grow, so too did her interest to master a broader range of instruments – she is now an accomplished musician on the violin, harp, concertina, viola and voice. Her first solo TV performance was at the age of ten where she sang self-accompanied on harp in a family talent show on TG4, called “Glas Vegas”. Since then she has performed numerous times on TV alongside her brother Darren (also an accomplished fiddler), fellow musicians of the group ‘Lasair’, as well as the Vienna Youth Orchestra (Austrian TV). Róisín has also been interviewed and performed on radio multiple times during her career.

Róisín studied classical violin and viola in the Cork School of Music under Ruxandra Petcu, Adrian Petcu and Constantin Zanidache and was awarded an LTCL with distinction. Róisín was selected as the main singer for the Irish Memory Orchestra’s debut of Mná Brian Ború at the age of 17 ; she also played fiddle and viola during the various performances of Mná Brian Ború in Ireland and South Korea.

Róisín has been a member of many orchestras including the County Cork Junior where she was the leader, County Cork Youth, Cork Youth, Cork School of Music Symphonic, National Youth, Vienna Youth and most recently the IMO. As a member of ‘Lasair’, an Irish traditional group, she also performed in the National Concert Hall. She has won multiple All Ireland Medals in various disciplines at all age levels.

Currently, Róisín Studies in Université Grenoble Alpes in France as part of her Commerce and French degree in UCC. Her Senior All-Ireland medal in 2017 was complemented by one of her Harp students winning the All-Ireland U12 Slow Airs.

Róisín Donohoe is a harpist, fiddler and singer from Kinsale, County Cork.

Born into a musical family, Róisín began learning the fiddle at the age of three. As her passion for music continued to grow, so too did her interest to master a broader range of instruments – she is now an accomplished musician on the violin, harp, concertina, viola and voice. Her first solo TV performance was at the age of ten where she sang self-accompanied on harp in a family talent show on TG4, called “Glas Vegas”. Since then she has performed numerous times on TV alongside her brother Darren (also an accomplished fiddler), fellow musicians of the group ‘Lasair’, as well as the Vienna Youth Orchestra (Austrian TV). Róisín has also been interviewed and performed on radio multiple times during her career.

Róisín studied classical violin and viola in the Cork School of Music under Ruxandra Petcu, Adrian Petcu and Constantin Zanidache and was awarded an LTCL with distinction. Róisín was selected as the main singer for the Irish Memory Orchestra’s debut of Mná Brian Ború at the age of 17 ; she also played fiddle and viola during the various performances of Mná Brian Ború in Ireland and South Korea.

Róisín has been a member of many orchestras including the County Cork Junior where she was the leader, County Cork Youth, Cork Youth, Cork School of Music Symphonic, National Youth, Vienna Youth and most recently the IMO. As a member of ‘Lasair’, an Irish traditional group, she also performed in the National Concert Hall. She has won multiple All Ireland Medals in various disciplines at all age levels.

Currently, Róisín Studies in Université Grenoble Alpes in France as part of her Commerce and French degree in UCC. Her Senior All-Ireland medal in 2017 was complemented by one of her Harp students winning the All-Ireland U12 Slow Airs.

Tara Connaghan

Tara Connaghan is from Glenties, Co. Donegal, in the North West of Ireland. Her principle influences are Vincent and Jimmy Campbell, Danny Meehan, the late James Byrne and the older generation of fiddle players in the area, including the distinguished recordings of travelling fiddle maestro John Doherty.

Along with fellow Donegal fiddler, Derek McGinley, she released a well-received recording, Far Side of the Glen – Derek McGinley & Tara Connaghan, focusing on the fiddle style and repertoire specific of the southwest Donegal region, grant aided by the Arts Council Ireland.

‘This is not the “flashy” playing so often heard today; each note is given its chance to express itself properly – the music talks to you, as it should. No excessive speed, no attempts at fusion with other styles, just good, honest Donegal fiddling as we used to hear it years ago…’

John Waltham, The Living Tradition Magazine, UK

She has made a number of guest appearances on CDs including Dr. Liz Doherty & Fiddlesticks (2000), Leonard Barry Mind the Pipes (2002) and Eoin O’Neill In Session (2003). She also presented a TG4 Geantraí programme from Carlow in 2010 featuring musicians from the south east of Ireland.
She completed an uilleann pipe making course with Na Píobairí Uilleann.

Tara has been with the IMO since 2013, initially as project manager and then she joined became 1st Deputy Fiddle player. She’s performed with the IMO on numerous occasions since, including a memorable trip to South Korea in 2015.

Liz Coleman

Liz Coleman is a fiddle player from Clondalkin in Dublin now living in Galway.

Liz’s early musical training included classical violin lessons with Una Lawlor allied with traditional fiddle lessons from Terry Crehan and Michelle O’Brien. As well as numerous traditional music groups, she has also played in the Dublin Youth Orchestra.

She is a graduate of Ceoltoír, the traditional Irish music course directed by Paul McGrattan through Ballyfermot College of Further Education. As a member of traditional group, Nábac, Liz has toured throughout Europe. Liz is currently living in Galway city.

She was featured fiddle player on Dave Flynn’s debut album ‘Draíocht’ and toured Ireland in 2008 with Dave Flynn, Hugh Buckley, Mairtín Tourish and Ciarán Swift as part of the Trad Connections tour.

In August 2013 she joined the Irish Memory Orchestra for the IMO’s performance with Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill & Mairtín O’Connor at the Feakle International Traditonal Music Festival. She was then appointed principal fiddle player.

Liz is also holds a Doctorate in Physics from the National University of Ireland in Galway where she worked as a research scientist and lecturer before becoming a full time professional musician.

Bjorn Bantock

Bjorn has performed in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, China, South Africa, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Russia, Malta, Ireland and the UK. Some of his recent engagements include the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, the European Bienniale in Naples, the Svanker Music Festival, the International String Orchestra Festival in Malta and the Open Strings Festival in Denmark.

Bjorn is also the principal conductor of the St Albans Symphony Orchestra and the London Medical Orchestra.

He is also principal conductor for the London Chamber Strings with David Juritz as leader, the Europa Ensemble and the Film Score Spectacular Orchestra. Bjorn is regularly invited to give master classes, most recently for Pro Corda, King’s College Wimbledon, the European String Teachers Association at the Royal College of Music, the Amersham Music Festival and Crantock Bay Summer School.

Bjorn studied conducting with Colin Metters, Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He has won numerous prizes, bursaries and scholarships including first prize in the Sir John Barbirolli competition, RNCM Contemporary Music Performance Prize
 and a Full International ABRSM Scholarship.

Bjorn regularly conducts the Hertfordshire Philharmonia and worked as conductor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London Contemporary Dance School and the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.

Bjorn has recently accepted the role of musical executive for the Sir Granville Bantock Society and has recorded and produced CD’s for the Kingsway and EM Record labels.

He is Head of Strings at Bedford School outside London.

www.bjornbantock.com

Niamh Varian-Barry

Niamh is a violinist/violist/singer from Cork. She pursued a Bachelor of Music degree in the Cork School of Music that led her to roles such as principal violist with the CSM and RIAM Symphony Orchestras. She was Highest-Placed Violist in the Senior Recital Competition in the CSM and was awarded a bursary viola by the Music Instrument Fund of Ireland. She has participated in masterclasses with the world-renowned Yuri Bashmet among others.

In 2011, Niamh completed a Masters in Performance at the prestigious Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland. Touring internationally to venues such Forte di Fenestrelle (Turin), Seoul National Theatre, Münich Philharmonic Hall and Carnegie Hall (New York). With tuition from the late Séamus Creagh, Niamh developed a strong foundation in traditional Irish music and toured North America with Comhaltas Ceóltóirí Éireann in 2008. She has featured in TG4 and RTÉ ads and TV programmes.

​Her distinctive singing has attracted much attention, leading to tours with groups such as Skellig, Loose and the leading Irish-American traditional group Solas of whom she was lead singer. She toured internationally with Solas until summer 2013 when her life took an important step with her marriage to her equally talented husband, accordionist Peter Staunton.

Niamh provides the IMO with a special versatility, switching between Principal Violin, Viola and Lead Vocals when required.

www.niamhvarianbarry.com