Thérèse Fahy

Professor Thérèse Fahy awarded rank of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres

Published: 10th Sep, 2019

French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, has awarded RIAM Senior Piano Professor Thérèse Fahy with the rank of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, honouring her contribution to strengthening the cultural ties between France and Ireland.

Thérèse Fahy has a long-held affinity for French music, having performed the complete works for solo piano by Debussy at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery and recorded a documentary, ‘The Snow is Dancing’, on his life and piano music for RTE Lyric FM. She has also performed the Irish premieres of Olivier Messiaen’s Reveil des Oiseaux (2008) with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Visions de l’Amen (1990) for two pianos. In 2001, she curated a four-day international Messiaen Festival at the National Gallery of Ireland. Her performances of the solo works of Messiaen have been described by The Irish Times as a “tour de force”.

For the 2018 Debussy centenary, Thérèse, with Arts Council support, brought an exciting festival to the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. Entitled ‘Ireland’s Tombeau to Debussy’, the series of three concerts in both cities included world-premières of seven newly-commissioned Irish works inspired by Debussy, as well as performances of the original 1920 ‘Tombeau de Debussy', interwoven with Debussy’s own masterpieces. Thérèse also performed a solo recital at Debussy’s birthplace, La Maison Natale de Claude Debussy, on March 25th 2018, the anniversary-day of the composer’s death.