← Older posts

RIAM/Juilliard Song Project received rave reviews in New York



Rave Reviews New YorkThursday, March 19, 2015
Front Row:  Peter Manning, Rachel O’Byrne, Dearbhla Maire Collins, Miles Mykkanen
Second Row: Avery Amereau, Rebecca Rodgers, Iain Burnside and Conor Hanratty
Third Row: Andrew Gavin, Sam Lilja, William Kelley and Angela Vallone

A stirring program outside of the usual is always welcome and last night’s program at Juilliard–“Ten Thousand Miles Away”– offered an opportunity for a trans-Atlantic collaboration between The Royal Irish Academy of Music, the Juilliard School, and The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art in Trinity College Dublin.  Students from the Ellen and James S Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard and students from Ireland participated in the program which was conceived by Iain Burnside and directed by himself and Conor Hanratty.

We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City’s invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Last week the program was presented at LNADA in Dublin and this week presented here.  We found it absolutely enchanting, as we did the visitors from overseas.  The program was meaningful in several ways.  For one thing, the music that was chosen came from all genres and all were treated respectfully.  This can be considered a furtherance of our awareness from last night’s NYFOS recital.  The program produced the same awareness of Ireland’s musical heritage as last night’s program produced for Italy’s.

For another thing, it made us aware that, unless we are 100% Native American, we have all had ancestors that left the security of their homelands, bid farewell to loved ones, and set out for a new country to which they were obliged to adjust.  The main difference today is that most immigrants are able to return home to see those they left behind.  At the turn of the 20th Century the voyage by ship was a long arduous one and farewells were painfully permanent.  Of course there are many plays about the immigrant experience, especially Irish plays.  Still, there is something particularly poignant and universal about music.

In this case, printed programs were withheld until after the performance ended; this was a wise decision, permitting the audience to be totally present and not busy figuring out the program.  The directors made sure that the artists moved onstage in meaningful clusters and in a manner that heightened the drama. There was even some spritely folk dancing.

There were art songs by Samuel Barber, Ben Moore, and Frank Bridge and folk songs woven together with readings from Irish writers about the immigrant experience. Actors, Sam Lilja and Rachel O’Byrne, handled the readings beautifully. There was love and sex and religion.  There were texts from James Joyce, of course.

Juilliard soprano, Angela Vallone, and Dublin soprano, Rebecca Rodgers, were equally lovely and Juilliard mezzo-soprano, Avery Amereau, showed impressive depth of colour. Juilliard tenor, Miles Mykkanen, used his versatile tenor in a new way and shared tenorial duties with the fine Dubliner, Andrew Gavin.  Both excelled in conveying the feeling tone of the songs.  The sole baritone, Peter Manning, more than held up his share of the music-making.

Collaborative pianists also came from both sides of the Atlantic with Dearbhla Máire Collins sharing duties with William Kelley. There was always a special lilt to the music. The program was seamless without the usual pauses for applause resulting in an intense experience of the trials and tribulations of leaving, arriving and trying to assimilate.  This program achieved what the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with all its politics of pride had failed to do for us–to give us that special Irish flavour and a deep appreciation for a special people.

We cannot help but think that there might be musical solutions to the ubiquitous misunderstandings extant among the world’s cultures today.  If only!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Irene Sandford Singing Competition – winner Sarah Brady

Irene Sandford Competition 2015Congratulations to soprano, Sarah Brady, who beat a field of over twenty to win RIAM’s Irene Sandford Singing Competition.

The Jury was chaired by John Gilhooly, Executive and Artistic Director of the Wigmore Hall

Posted in News | Leave a comment

RIAM flute student wins Yamaha Wind Bursary

YamahaHuge congratulations go to first year Bachelor in Music Performance student, Amy Gillen, who becomes one of the youngest winners ever of the Yamaha Wind Bursary. Amy studies with Bill Dowdall.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Article recently published in The Musical Times by Dr Kevin O’Connell

Dr Kevin O'ConnellCheck out the latest edition of The Musical Times in the library. The Spring 2014 issue contains an article by RIAM composition teacher, Dr. Kevin O’Connell.

The article focuses on Alban Berg’s Orchestral pieces Op. 6, and challenges the assumption that they remain intractably complex, even 100 years after their composition. Noting the presence of clearly demarcated main and subsidiary themes throughout he writes: “This Ariadne’s thread … makes listening to op. 6 surprisingly straightforward, at any rate melodically. In plain language, there is always a tune to hang on.”

Kevin O’Connell, ‘Why is Berg’s op. 6 still so difficult to understand’, Musical Times, 155 (1926), 35-54

ms of berg's op. 6

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Academy Chamber Ensemble on Concert Tour in China!

ACE China 2014The Academy Chamber Ensemble (ACE) is about to commence a concert tour of China which is being supported by Culture Ireland.

During the tour ACE will perform  music by JS Bach, Beethoven, Handel/Halvorsen, Wallace, Messager, Messiaen, Poulenc, Piazzolla and Benoit Granier.


Details of Concerts are as follows:

Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 2.30 pm
YK Pao School

Presented in association with YK Pao School


Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 6.30 pm
Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Yangpu, Shanghai

Presented in association with the Irish Consulate, Shanghai


ACE Tsinghua Poster 2014Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 7.00 pm
Meng Minwei Concert Hall, Tsinghua University, Haidan District, Beijing

Presented in association with the Irish Embassy, Beijing and Tsinghua University





Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 8.00 pm
Room 701 Central Conservatory of Music, 43 Baojia Road, Xicheng District, Beijing

Presented in association with Central Conservatory of Music


Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at 6.00 pm
Intercontinental Hotel, Chongqing, 101 Minzu Road, Chongqing 400010

Presented in association with the Intercontinental Hotel, Chongqing


All concerts supported by Culure IrelandCulture Ireland logo

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Tuned In – A Workshop for Singing Teachers

Sylvia O'ReganThis exciting course will be conducted by Sylvia O’Regan, Head of Vocal Studies.  Teachers will find this workshop a positive and inspiring step on their path of continuing professional development!

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 11th April, 2014.

Workshop Details


Posted in News | Leave a comment

Winner of Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards Announced

Eliza PuchianuFinal year Bachelor student, Eliza Puchianu, is this year’s recipient of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards.

Three students representing the cream of Piano talent from the Republic of Ireland’s conservatoires were selected to perform at the finals of the 2014 Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards on Tuesday 11th February at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

All finalists performed on Yamaha’s acclaimed CFX concert grand piano, which is an increasingly regular feature on concert platforms the world over, and had their performances, each of thirty minutes duration, judged by a panel of world-class artists and tutors.

Eliza received €2000 to assist the furthering of her studies and musical ambitions.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

BEETHOVEN BOOTCAMP with acclaimed pianist JOHN O’CONOR

Beethoven Bootcamp June 2014The RIAM is delighted to present the Beethoven Bootcamp Summer Course with acclaimed pianist JOHN O’CONOR


Venue: Royal Irish Academy of Music, Westland Row, Dublin 2, Ireland

Dates: June 16th to 27th 2014

Tuition Fee: €1,000 for the two week course

Accommodation: If required, private guest accommodation will be sourced by the Royal Irish Academy of Music

Practice Facilities: Excellent, extensive practice facilities at the Royal Irish Academy of Music

Application Form and further details of Beethoven Boot Camp available from Beethoven Boot Camp


Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show


The Riverdance – Trinity International Summer School
to mark 20 Years of the Show

Marking its 20th anniversary, the internationally acclaimed Irish performance, Riverdance, has joined forces with Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin to announce ‘The Riverdance-Trinity International Summer School’.

Participants will travel to Trinity from all over the world to learn from special guest tutors on aspects of the performance, choreography and the Irish cultural context. They will also examine the development of the music from its ethnic roots through to its Grammy Award-winning success. The international summer school will be hosted by Trinity’s School of Drama, Film and Music, The Lir − Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

“This is an innovative coming together of culture and higher education, where international participants will gain insight into the award winning performance that has contributed to the re-shaping of Irish cultural heritage. Trinity is delighted to host the international summer school, where our global participants will be provided with a deep understanding of one of Ireland’s great success stories and cultural milestones,” said Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity.

The summer school’s seminars and workshops will provide the theatrical, historical, social and cultural contexts of Riverdance, its emergence from the Eurovision Song Contest where it was first performed in 1994 to its global success. It will also provide an overview of the use of popular culture in the construction of a national success narrative for Ireland. Seminars will include guest speakers such as the show’s producer, Moya Doherty and director, John McColgan, costume and set designers Joan Bergin and Robert Ballagh, and Professor of Drama and Theatre at Trinity, Brian Singleton.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music will host the musical component of the summer school, including a master class with Riverdance score composer, Bill Whelan, as well as practical workshops with the show’s percussionists who will explore the relationship between the rhythm of music and the rhythm of dance.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Trinity, Ireland’s auspicious seat of learning and the leading cultural institutions, The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in this summer school. Twenty years on, the journey that is Riverdance continues, and with the aid of our prestigious collaborators we hope to share some of the knowledge that we have gathered along the way with our international participants,” said Moya Doherty, Riverdance producer.

The Riverdance – Trinity International Summer School will take place in August 11th-22nd, 2014 and prospective participants are currently being invited to apply. There are 45 places available. Application details are available on The Lir website.



Posted in News | Leave a comment

Royal Irish Academy of Music Student Wins Major International Piano Competition

Soo JungSoo Jung Ann, a piano student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music has brought honour to Ireland on December 14th following her win at the prestigious International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn. The Korean pianist, a student of John O’Conor and Therese Fahy at the Royal Irish Academy of Music since 2007, performed Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto before a distinguished audience at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, the city of Beethoven’s birth. Soo Jung Ann was one of three finalists vying for the coveted First Prize title, a prize of €30,000 and significant performance engagements worldwide.

The bi-annual International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn was founded in 2005. Almost 100 pianists applied to take part in the 2013 Competition with 28 young virtuosi from 12 countries around the world selected to participate. Soo Jung Ann and fellow finalists, Stefan Cassomenos (Australia) and Shinnosuke Inugai (Japan), performed this evening with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under the baton of the Estonian conductor Olari Elts in the Beethovenhalle.

Speaking from Bonn, John O’Conor said “This win is a tremendous achievement for Soo Jung Ann and highlights the teaching standards at the RIAM which is increasing its prestige worldwide every year.” Soo-Jung Ann has previously won prizes at the Dublin International Piano Competition and also at competitions in Japan and Hong Kong and in 2012 won First Prize at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona. John O’Conor also stated: “The list of engagements to include concerts in Germany, Russia, Italy, Holland, France, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland, and the attention which this success brings will set her on the road to a wonderful career”.


Posted in News | Leave a comment

The Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College Dublin Join Forces in an Exciting New Partnership in Performing Arts Education in Ireland

RIAM to become Associated College of Trinity with the aim of developing an International Centre of Excellence in the Performing Arts

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have entered a new partnership, fostering academic links for the benefit of performing arts education and creative arts practice in Ireland.  Building on its existing relationship with TCD, the RIAM will become an Associated College of Trinity College, with its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes validated by Trinity College.   The Provost of Trinity, Dr Prendergast and the RIAM Director Deborah Kelleher signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week.

Trinity College has a long track record in performing arts education and research at the School of Drama, Film and Music. Recent developments include the Creative Arts, Technologies and Cultures initiative, and the foundation of the Lir, the National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Music Composition Centre.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music’s history of success in music performance education spans over 160 years.  Today, by providing instrumental and vocal tuition of the highest international standard, the RIAM holds a central place in the promotion of Ireland’s cultural and educational agenda.

TCD RIAM Memorandum of Understanding

Brian Aylward, RIAM, Deborah Kelleher, RIAM, TCD Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast and Prof Michael Marsh, TCD.

Commenting on its significance, Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Building on each institution’s expertise, together we aim to develop an internationally renowned centre of excellence in the performing arts.  Linking research to practice and focusing on the interface between innovation and tradition are key values that Trinity and the RIAM share.  This collaboration will specifically concentrate on the future education and training of performing arts students, the performance of new music compositions as well as the enhancement of teacher music education.“

RIAM Director, Deborah Kelleher welcomed the new partnership stating: “By maximising collaborative creativity and resources, as well as the education and artistic strengths of both institutions, we are confident that we can develop a dynamic and thriving partnership which will foster and nurture outstanding twenty-first century musicians.”

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Consort of Viols and Dublin Consort of Singers – Phantasm

Lecture Recital – Domestic Devotional Music in Early Modern England c1580 to c1640

will be performed by Mark Keane in the Katherine Brennan Hall at 1.00 pm


Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Phantasm – Consort of Viols and Dublin Consort of Singers

Beyond Guilt and Shame : Historical Performance as Contemporary Experience

will be given by Laurence Dreyfus (University of Oxford) in the Recital Hall at 1.00 pm






Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Special Piano Recital – Junsuke Kita

Junsuke Kita

Junsuke Kita will perform The Nutcracker (All Acts Special) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in the Recital Hall at 7:00 pm



JUNSUKE KITA Special Piano Recital in IRELAND

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Ulf Hoelscher – Violin Masterclass

Ulf HoelscherUlf Hoelscher’s first teacher at the age of seven was his father Ferdinand Hoelscher and by the age of ten Bruno Masurat.

He later studied with Max Rostal in Cologne, and for three years in the United States with Josef Gingold at the Indiana University and with Paul Makanowitzky and Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

On his return to Europe, Ulf Hoelscher quickly established a reputation as one of the leading violinists of his generation.

Ulf Hoelscher will conduct a Violin Masterclass in the Organ Room (RIAM) from  1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm

All are welcome!

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Violin Masterclass – Ulf Hoelscher

47655458-124Ulf Hoelscher is one of the leading violinist of his generation.

Ulf Hoelscher’s first teacher at the age of seven was his father Ferdinand Hoelscher and by the age of ten Bruno Masurat.

He later studied with Max Rostal in Cologne, and for three years in the United States with Josef Gingold at the Indiana University and with Paul Makanowitzky and Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

He has been soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Symphoniker, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Professor Ulf Hoelscher will conduct a violin masterclass in the Recital Hall from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm and from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

All are welcome!

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Recital and Brass Masterclass

Joseph AlessiJoseph Alessi, Principal Trombone (New York Philharmonic Orchestra)

will give a Recital and conduct a Brass Masterclass

in the Katherine Brennan Hall from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm

in collaboration with the National Concert Hall

Admission:  €30  All are welcome!


For further information please contact Stephen Mathieson at 086-0795540 or email Stephen Mathieson


Posted in Events, Featured Event | Leave a comment




Students of the RIAM, CIT and DIT collaborate to perform Strauss’s Metamorphosen on Saturday 14th March at 2pm in the Lir Academy, Pearse Street.  This project is devised and delivered in collaboration with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Admission is free

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Teaching Network!

To celebrate the Academy is offering a special discount for our two upcoming courses to members and on Facebook and Twitter. Deadline midnight tonight!

Teaching Network

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment ← Older posts