GuitaRIAM (Ensemble)

  • Date(s)
    22nd October 23 - 14th April 24
  • Duration
    12 Rehearsals plus Performance
  • Time
    Sundays (11:30 AM - 2:00 PM)
  • Mode of Delivery
    In Person
  • Venue
    Royal Irish Academy of Music
  • Fee
    €125 (Annual membership fee)

Course Introduction


Do you want to join an exciting music ensemble?

GuitaRIAM, the RIAM classical guitar senior ensemble is RIAM's is a dynamic group of like-minded people who love working together to produce their unique sound.

As the guitar is generally a solo instrument it gives players the opportunity to experience larger-scale works and have a positive and enjoyable musical experience.

The year generally consists of 12 rehearsals of 2.5 hours duration and always take place on Sundays in the RIAM.

All of the pieces to work on are sent well in advance of the starting date. All work will be in preparation for a concert in April/May.


Joining GuitaRIAM is subject to an application process, with a brief evaluation through the Ensemble leader Marion Hyland.



Ability: A high level of technical ability and musicality plus advanced sight-reading skills. Must be committed and self-motivated
Age: 18 + (or exceptionally talented under 18 by application)



Marion Hyland is the founding director and conductor of the GuitaRIAM.

Her career spans over 30 years as a guitar professor at the RIAM and she is acknowledged as one of the foremost classical guitar teachers in the country.

After a period of study with Andrew Robinson at the RIAM, Marion went on to study with Timothy Kain, and Gordon Crosskey of RNCM and subsequently took up a teaching post at the Academy in 1977, where she remained until retirement in 2018.

During this time, Marion tirelessly promoted the guitar through performances, master classes, workshops and chamber groups. She has had many teaching successes with prize winners at Feis Ceoil, Young Musician of the Future and Yamaha Bursary, to name but a few. 



GuitaRIAM, the Royal Irish Academy of Music senior guitar ensemble was formed in late 2011 by its director Marion Hyland. The ensemble is largely made up of past and present guitar students, ranging from senior to doctorate level and many are prizewinners in the Academy and at Feis Ceoil.

Its aim is to explore the possibilities of a larger guitar group and its repertoire. As the guitar is generally a solo instrument, it gives the players the opportunity to experience larger scale works and have a positive, enjoyable and musical experience. GuitaRIAM gave its first very successful performance of the ensemble version of Steve Reich!s Electric Counterpoint for the RIAM!s 2012 chamber music programme in April 2012 followed by a performance in the Kevin Barry Room of the National Concert Hall at the invitation of the Great Music in Irish Houses Festival.

In 2013, the ensemble was given the great honour of presenting the first performance of a new work "April Song" by the late celebrated French composer and guitarist Roland Dyens. 
It was commissioned by the Guitar Festival of Ireland for GuitaRIAM, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the festival. The ensemble gave the Irish premiers of three Roland Dyens compositions including Concerto en Si, with GuitaRIAM member Eoin Flood as soloist. April Song was recorded for YouTube in the spring of 2017.

In 2018, GuitaRIAM gave a memorial concert for the late French/Tunisian guitarist and composer Roland Dyens in The National Gallery of Ireland and was joined on stage for a performance of his Concerto en Si by the RIAM’s International Visiting Artist, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang. This concert was a collaboration between the NGI and RIAM and was completely sold out In 2019, Xuefei Yang once again joined GuitaRIAM in a sold out concert, to celebrate the Chinese New Year at The Freemasons Hall Dublin, playing music from both Chinese and Irish music traditions.

GuitaRIAM have performed in The Peppercannister Church, National Concert Hall, Kevin Barry Room NCH, St Andrews Westland Row, Wood Quay Venue, The John Field Room, The National Gallery, Dublin Writer’s Museum, Freemasons Hall, Senior Common Room and Chapel, Trinity College Dublin.

During 2020 as no rehearsals were possible GuitaRIAM made three virtual video recordings Palladio by Karl Jenkins, Mr Blue Sky and Fairytale of New York for various charitable organisations.


Performance Samples:

GuitaRIAM performing "April Song" (by Roland Dyens)

GuitaRIAM performing "Palladio" (by Karl Jenkins)

GuitaRIAM performing "Mr Blue Sky" (by Electric Light Orchestra)

GuitaRIAM performing "Fairytale of New York" (by Jem Finer & Shane McGowan)