Co-Artistic Director Sinéad O’Halloran is quickly establishing herself as one of Ireland’s most exciting young musicians. Sinéad is passionate about bringing together Irish and international musicians for concerts, education work and audience development in the wider community. An avid chamber musician, Sinéad is a member of the internationally recognized Marmen Quartet. Season highlights include performances at the BBC Proms, Berlin Philharmonie and Pierre Boulez Saal, as well as extensive tours including performances in Heidelberg, Dallas, Luberon, Lisbon, Bordeaux, Stockholm and Graz. She has collaborated with musicians including Tasmin Little, Anthony Marwood, Timothy Ridout, Mishka Rushdie Momen and the Doric and Vanbrugh Quartets. In October 2020 she made her Wigmore Hall debut at the invitation of Steven Isserlis as part of the IMS Prussia Cove Autumn Tour. As Principal Cellist of the European Union Youth Orchestra she led the section at numerous high profile events, including the BBC Proms and The Armistice Day 100 Years Anniversary Ceremony, performing at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe during a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of World War I in front of 84 Heads of State and world leaders, and a live television audience of millions. At the invitation of Maestro Iván Fischer, she is a regular guest with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, touring extensively and performing in some of the world’s finest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Het Concertgebouw. She has also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Irish Chamber Orchestra and Spira Mirabilis. A graduate of Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), Sinéad also graduated with a First Class Hons BMus from the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. She is currently completing her Masters between Düsseldorf and the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), where she was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal 2021. Sinéad gratefully acknowledges support from the Arts Council of Ireland, Music Network, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Cork City Arts Office and DAAD.
New Zealand born Bryony Gibson-Cornish is a keen biker, yogi and violist. Various accolades include being awarded the Tagore Gold Medal upon graduating from the Royal College of Music and studying at The Juilliard School as a Fulbright Scholar. She is the violist of the Marmen Quartet, winners of the Banff and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions. They regularly tour throughout Europe and are the Peak Fellowship Ensemble in Residence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Bryony is also a member of O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. As a teacher, she shares a viola class with her former professor Andriy Viytovych and teaches chamber music at the Royal College of Music. She is grateful for numerous grants and scholarships, including the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Pettman Foundation and the Kathleen Trust. She plays a 1932 Vincenzo Sannino Viola, Rome, Italy, and is grateful to the Loan Fund for Musical Instruments for their support.
From Anglesey, North Wales, Jâms Coleman is a pianist who enjoys performing as a soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist. In 2022, Jâms looks forward to collaborating with BBC NOW, and Britten Sinfonia; instrumentalists David Adams, Hélène Clément, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Ben Goldscheider, Laura van der Heijden, Steffan Morris, John Myerscough, Alice Neary, Amy Norrington, Elliot Perks, Robert Plane, Timothy Ridout, Colin Scobie, Jonathan Stone, and Maria Włoszczowska; singers Gwilym Bowen, Helen Charlston, Anna Dennis, Gwyn Hughes Jones, Nicholas Mogg, Nardus Williams, and Yuriy Yurchuk; and the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Recent highlights include giving a recital at Wigmore Hall with Laura van der Heijden as a launch for their CD with Chandos Records, performing with Sir Bryn Terfel in a Radio 3 broadcast from St David’s Hall in Cardiff, and recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Elizabeth Watts, Felix Kemp, and Michael Mofidian.Recordings include ‘Pohádka: Tales From Prague To Budapest’ for Chandos Records with cellist Laura van der Heijden and ‘Loewe: The Other Erlking’ for Champs Hill with baritone Nicholas Mogg. Jâms enjoys working as a concerto soloist and performances include Beethoven’s Third, Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos, and concertos by Chopin, Brahms, and Mozart.
Jâms read Music at Girton College, Cambridge, where he was also a choral scholar. In 2016 he graduated with a masters from the Royal Academy of Music where he then stayed on as a Fellow. In 2018 he was the Artistic Director of a concert series based in St Clement Danes Church in central London which featured twenty-four lunchtime concerts and five evening concerts.
Violinist Eoin Ducrot is a prizewinner at numerous international and national competitions both as a soloist and chamber musician, and has become an all rounded experienced performer, of solo, chamber music and contemporary repertoire. Eoin has premiered many contemporary works for violin and chamber music, and has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Sinfonieorchester Basel, Köln Orchester Gesellschaft, CSM Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra du CNR de Nantes. Eoin is the founder of the Opalio Quintet Ensemble with whom he has performed all over Europe. He is currently the teaching assistant of Raphael Oleg at the Hochschule fur Musik in Basel, as well as holding a position at the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. Eoin completed both his Performance Masters, and his Specialised Soloist Masters with unanimous maximum marks under the guidance of Raphael Oleg and completed post graduate studies with Guy Braunstein as well as being a member of the masterclass series with Leonidas Kavakos at HSM Basel.
Peggy Nolan enjoys a varied performance career playing with ensembles of all shapes and sizes. As cellist of the Eblana String Trio she has performed widely since 2006 across the UK, Ireland and further afield. In 2021 the trio released their album, ‘The King’s Alchemist’ to critical acclaim. The album was selected as chamber CD of the month in a 5 star review in BBC music magazine and praised for its “splendidly stylish and affectionate performance” (Gramophone).
Peggy has appeared as a guest with Manchester Collective, Marsyas Trio, and contemporary music groups Psappha, Vonnegut Ensemble and the Crash Ensemble. She is the cellist of Amika, a string quartet who fuse the craft of chamber music with contemporary techniques and approaches. Amika have collaborated with a diverse range of artists, with live performances bringing them to the Manchester, London and Cambridge Jazz festivals, as well as broadcasts from BBC Maida Vale, Abbey Road and Metropolis Studios.
In addition to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Peggy teaches for Arco, a collaborative distance learning project between the RBC and the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music, which provides string teaching to students in Soweto, South Africa. She is the Course Director of ConCorda Chamber music course, and is studying for a PhD in Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, researching performance practice in relation to the string quartets of Luigi Boccherini.
Peggy plays on a Tony Padday cello, the purchase of which was supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.
Dublin born viola player Fiachra De hOra is currently undertaking his Bachelor’s degree with Nobuko Imai and Marjolein Dispa at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. In June 2017, he was joint winner of Ireland’s National Concert Hall Young Musicians’ Award. He performed a sold-out solo recital in March 2019 in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. He was also the featured young musician at the Westport Festival of Chamber Music later that year with a solo recital which was broadcast by RTE Lyric FM. He won 3rd prize in the 6th National Dutch Viola Competition, and won the popular vote for his concerto performance with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. In November 2019, he performed as a soloist with the Ulster Orchestra (Northern Ireland) playing Walton’s viola concerto. In March 2021 he recorded an arrangement of J.S. Bach’s D minor Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052 alongside Camerata Ireland for a livestream concert. He is a member of the Gealan Quartet, who gave a concert tour of Ireland in 2021. He has taken part in the Clandeboye Festival Young Musicians’ programme a number of times, and has taken part in the Chamber Music Gatherings of the National Concert Hall in Dublin. In August 2021, he was invited to play at the Clandeboye Festival in Northern Ireland as a guest artist. He plays with a bow by Ivano Conti donated through the inaugural International Master Course held in the National Concert Hall Dublin in August 2019, and plays on a modern Irish viola made by Bertrand Galen (2017). He is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council Ireland.
Johannes Marmen enjoys a varied, international career as a chamber musician and orchestral leader. He is the first violinist of the award winning Marmen Quartet, member of the O/Modernt chamber orchestra and a regular guest leader of various orchestras and ensembles. He studied with Radu Blidar and Carolin Widmann at the Royal College of Music, and was mentored by Peter Cropper of the Lindsay Quartet. Since winning the Banff and Bordeaux international string quartet competitions in 2019, the Marmen Quartet is one of the most sought-after young quartets around, appearing at Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Lucerne Festival, Amsterdam Quartet Biennale amongst others. As a composer and interpreter of contemporary music, Johannes is regularly commissioned and has recently had works and arrangements performed in the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and Berlin Konzerthaus as well as being featured on releases by Signum Records and Orchid Classics.
Swiss born violinist Laia Valentin Braun enjoys a vivid chamber music career, having appeared in halls and festivals all around Europe. In 2022 he was appointed as the new second violinist of the award winning Marmen String Quartet, which has appeared in some of the most prestigious concert venues and festivals all across the world. Highlights in his career so far include chamber music performances in Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Lisbon, Konserthuset Stockholm, appearing as a Soloist with Camerata Zurich and most recently performing Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto with the Kammerorchester Basel. Laia regularly plays with the Italy based project Spira mirabilis and has co-founded the chamber music collective Ensemble Vindeleia, which meets bi-annually in northern Spain. Apart from solo and chamber music performance, Laia has enjoyed playing as a guest in orchestras such as the Zürcher Kammerorchester, Camerata Bern, CHAARTS, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Manchester Camerata, among others. His studies have led him to London where Laia learnt at the Royal College of Music under Detlef Hahn, later to the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole under Lorenza Borrani and finally he concluded his studies at the Musik Akademie Basel under Rainer Schmidt. Furthermore, Laia has received coaching from musicians such as Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Thomas Zehetmair and Heinrich Schiff, among others.
Formed in 2013 at the Royal College of Music in London, the Marmen Quartet is fast building a reputation for the vitality and vigor of their performances. In 2019 they won the Grand Prize of the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition as well as the First Prize of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, with the Haydn and Canadian commission prizes in addition. Recent engagements have taken the Quartet to the Amsterdam and Barcelona String Quartet Biennales as well as the Hitzacker and Lockenhaus festivals. Upcoming season highlights for the Marmens include debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie and the Pierre Boulez Saal as well as extensive European tours including performances in Heidelberg, Belfast, Luberon, Stockholm and Graz. Festival engagements will take the Quartet to the Lucerne Festival, Gulbekian Biennale, Wonderfeel Helsinki and Estivales de Musique en Médoc. In the US the Quartet undertakes the first visit of its two-year residency at Southern Methodist University in Dallas; a relationship that will see the Quartet work closely with the students as well as giving performances and developing new projects. The Quartet performed works by Haydn and Simpson at their BBC Proms debut in 2021, live on BBC Radio 3.
Celebrated Irish violinist and Co- Artistic Director Mairéad Hickey is acclaimed for her captivating expression, soaring tone and fearless virtuosity. Her natural ability to communicate sincerely, with beauty and integrity, entrances audiences worldwide.
As a soloist Mairéad has performed with the RTÉ Irish National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Irish National Concert Orchestra, Hessicher Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester, Württembergisches Kammerorchester, Philharmonisches, Staatsorchester Mainz, Kremerata Baltica, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe , Camerata Ireland and with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach in some of the major halls around the world. Her Carnegie Hall debut was described as ‘…magical, penetrating to the heart and soul of the music.’ (New York Epoch Times). Mairéad is the concertmaster of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire.
A passionate chamber musician, Mairéad has performed with Sir András Schiff, Barry Douglas, Tabea Zimmermann, Renaud Capucon, Mate Bekavac, Irena Grafenauer, Alexander Lonquich, Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, Boris Berezovsky, Kirill Gernstein, Paul Neubauer, Andrés Díaz, Pieter Wispelway, Michel Lethiec, Marc Coppey, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and the Vanbrugh Quartet among many others. Mairéad has been invited to perform at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Westport Festival of Chamber Music, the Clandeboye Music Festival, the Rheingau Festival, Mantova Chamber Music Festival, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Rolandseck Festival and Chamber Music Connects the World.
Her love of chamber music led her to co-found the Ortús Chamber Music Festival in 2016 in her native Cork, of which she is Artistic Director. Mairéad was Irish NCH Young Musician of the Year 2010 – 2012. As well as winning prizes at renowned Irish competitions, she won third prize as well as a Special Prize for the best interpretation of a virtuoso work at the 2016 International Louis Spohr Competition and first prize in the Jeunesses Musicales Violin Competition, Romania 2012. In 2017 she was awarded a Special Prize in the Berliner International Music Competition and the Manhattan International Music Competition.
Born in 1996, Mairéad began playing the violin at the age of three with Jyrki Pietila. From 2003 to 2014 she studied with Adrian Petcu at the CIT Cork School of Music, Ireland and spent a year in France studying at the Conservatoire de Nantes with Constantin Serban. In 2020 she graduated with a Masters in Performance from Kronberg Academy where she studied with Mihaela Martin, sponsored by the Hilmar Kopper Stipendium.
Mairéad has taken masterclasses and worked intensely with artists such as András Schiff, Rita Wagner, Ferenc Rados, Gidon Kremer, Dora Schwarzberg, Elena Bashkirova, Hugh Maguire, Vadim Repin, Mariana Sirbu, Ana Chumachenco, Vadim Gluzman, Steven Isserlis, Yossi Zivoni, Mauricio Fuks, Gabor Takács-Nagy, Christoph Eschenbach, Marc Danel and Ivry Gitlis among others.
Mairéad also plays traditional Irish music and has won eight world Irish fiddle titles. Mairéad currently plays a 1702 Giovanni Tononi violin.