is “the doyenne of Irish harp players” (Scotland on Sunday) and recipient of Irish music’s most prestigious Award, Gradam Cheoil TG4 – Traditional Musician of the Year - “for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp in Ireland and for the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers.” A multiple All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic winner, she developed profoundly influential techniques for harp performance of traditional Irish music, heard on her pioneering New-Strung Harp (1985) – “a milestone in Irish harp music” (The Irish Examiner) - and subsequent seven recordings with guitarist Chris Newman, with whom she tours worldwide.
She's a graduate of University College Cork.
What the press says about Máire:
“Dazzling virtuosity” The Daily Telegraph
“In a class of her own” The Guardian
“Takes one of the most effete instruments in traditional music and breathes a fire into its belly” The Irish Times
Further information at www.mairenichathasaigh.com
Máire performing at the Liverpool Irish Festival
Photo: © Vincent Ng
Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh is a multiple All-Ireland-, Oireachtas- and Pan-Celtic-winning singer, fiddle-player and harper, with a deep knowledge of the Irish singing tradition and a special interest in the Sliabh Luachra fiddle repertoire and style. She has toured in the USA, Canada, Italy, Belgium and France and given traditional singing workshops in Ireland and the UK. She is a regular adjudicator at Fleadhanna Cheoil throughout Ireland and at Fleadh Cheoil na h-Éireann.
Mairéad is a Law graduate of UCC and of UCD.
Photo: Con Kelleher
Nollaig on stage at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
Nollaig Casey's unique position in the world of traditional Irish music was marked by the recent broadcast of a TG4 TV programme (in the Fuaimrian mo Shaoil series) about her life and music. Her powerful presence has graced two of Ireland’s most ground-breaking bands, Planxty and Coolfin - and the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra. She made her Carnegie Hall début in 2006 as soloist in a double concerto for classical violin and traditional fiddle by Evan Chambers. She’s toured the world with the hit show Riverdance and performed at the 2003 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony. A soloist in over 20 feature films, she’s recorded and/or performed with Enya, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Rod Stewart, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Mary Black, Carlos Nuñez, Jim Rooney, Andy Irvine, Moving Hearts, Elvis Costello, Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn, Dan ar Braz, Shaun Davey and Sharon Shannon. Her solo album featured “exquisite fiddle-playing and superb vocals” (The Irish Times) and she’s recorded two duo albums with guitarist Arty McGlynn and two albums with Arty, Máire and Chris Newman as The Heartstring Quartet.
She holds a B.Mus. from University College Cork and an M.A. from Queen's University, Belfast.
What the press says about Nollaig:
“Nollaig Casey played wondrous fiddle before singing unaccompanied with such feeling it brought tears to the eyes” The Subiaco Post (Western Australia)
“Nollaig’s performance was stunning for its sheer musical artistry, seducing some into quiet amazement and inducing others to insist on encore after encore... Exquisite fiddle-playing and superb vocals”The Irish Times
Further information here
Kathleen Loughnane is based in Galway and has an international reputation both as a performer and teacher of the Irish harp. In 1990 she co-founded the group Dordán, with whom she made four CDs, and whose distinctive mix of Irish traditional and baroque music led among other honours to their winning the 1993 Traditional Music Award in the Irish Entertainment Awards. In 2010, Kathleen was nominated for a Meteor Award in the traditional / folk category. She has published four solo CDs and accompanying books, and her arrangements feature on the Irish Harp Syllabus of the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Kathleen is a Social Sciences graduate of UCD and of the London School of Economics.
What the press says about Kathleen:
“Kathleen’s deft touches are a sublime pleasure… inspired playing” fRoots
“In Kathleen Loughnane's hands (the harp) is a precision instrument, swift and sparkling” Hot Press
Further information at www.kathleenloughnane.com
Aibhlín McCrann has written, performed, and lectured extensively on the Irish harp in Ireland, Europe and the US, and is in much demand as a spokesperson on matters relating to the harp in Ireland. She is a former director of An Chúirt Chruitireachta (International Festival for Irish Harp), was secretary of Cairde na Cruite for 25 years and is co-editor of a seminal collection of Irish harp music, Rogha na gCruitirí, Harpers' Choice, reflecting the diverse character of Irish harp-playing today and featuring 100 newly-composed pieces and arrangements of Irish traditional tunes; music drawn from the great 16th and 17th collections of harpers’ music, dance music and song airs arranged by leading Irish harpers. A graduate of University College Dublin, she served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive 2002-2005, has been a member of The Arts Council, An Chomhairle Ealaíon since 2006 and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Council in 2011.
Damhnait Nic Suibhne
Damhnait Nic Suibhne is a native of Donegal and a full-time instrumental music teacher with the County Cork School of Music. She teaches harp, piano and traditional music and is based in Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork. She has won numerous All Ireland titles on several instruments and has an M.A. in Ethnomusicology. She has a particular interest in the wider repertoire in Irish music and has published some articles on the subject.
Brenda Malloy is a Dublin -based harpist who plays early Irish harp (the cláirseach), the Renaissance harp, the arpa doppia (Italian Baroque triple-strung harp) and neo-Irish harp. She has studied extensively with the Spanish historical harpist Javier Sainz, and with Siobhán Armstrong, the Chair of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland.
About Máire Ní Chathasaigh