Breda Is known, and appreciated, for her individual, soulful, unshowy playing, influenced by some of the greatest players of the past. She grew up near Lough Corrib in Co. Galway, attending whistle lessons with Mary Bergin from the age of 7, and began learning the fiddle at school shortly afterwards. She got a new fiddle for her thirteenth birthday, and soon became hooked! Her musical influences come predominantly from older players ranging from Paddy Fahey, Sarah & Rita Keane, Bobby Casey, Paddy Canny, Joe Ryan, Patrick Kelly to Willie Clancy and Felix Doran, among many others. Breda gives workshops regularly, both in Ireland and abroad, and also teaches in Galway on an individual basis. She released her solo CD, 'The Hop Down,' in July 2006. Dermot McLaughlin wrote that 'A recording like this is a cause for optimism at a time when so many accents and points of difference are being smoothed out of traditional music in studio recordings and elsewhere. This hop down is really a big step up!' 2021 is Breda's debut at Scoil na gCláirseach.
Born in Guernsey, and now based in Tallinn, Estonia, Andrew Lawrence King is an historical-harp virtuoso, playing single- and multi-row harps, from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. An award-winning baroque opera, orchestral & ensemble director, he is an imaginative continuo-player, and one of the world’s leading performers of early music. Andrew’s pioneering recordings of Trabaci, Ribayaz, Handel and Carolan have re-established lost worlds of Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Welsh & Irish baroque harps. As co-director of Tragicomedia, and director of The Harp Consort, he has led a revolution in improvisation & continuo-playing, and his research into Tactus has redefined an understanding of baroque rhythm. As guest director and gifted coach, he inspires musicians around the world to reach new levels of technical precision and stylish historicity with fun, energy and passion. Andrew's hobbies include running, sailing, kayaking, fencing (epée & historical rapier) and Tai Chi. He is an Ocean Yachtmaster and a qualified hypnotist.
Carolin Sophie Margraf became interested in mediaeval and Renaissance harps through her musicology studies at the universities of Kiel and Freiburg, in Germany. At the same time, she studied Scandinavian languages and literature, which led to her particular interest in musicians as cultural vehicles during the reign of Christian IV, king of Denmark for nearly sixty years, from the late sixteenth century. Carolin holds a BA in Early Music and Historical Harps from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, in Basel, Switzerland. She has performed across Europe, Canada, and the United States. In 2018 her group, Philomel’s Dreame, was selected for the Vier Jahreszeiten series. They also performed at the 350th anniversary of the Basel Orphanage. Carolin performed at the 2018 Klang Basel festival, and at the renowned Medieval and Renaissance music conference in 2019. She is currently pursuing an MA in Early Music Pedagogy and Historical Harps at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She spends her remaining time furthering her language studies, practising Olympic weightlifting, and sometimes surfing or sailing on her native waters in the Baltic Sea, which connects Europe and Scandinavia. 2021 is Carolin's debut as a tutor at Scoil na gCláirseach.
Jimmy O’Brien Moran
Jimmy O’Brien Moran is one of the most highly respected traditional Irish musicians of his generation. He plays neglected repertory that he has recovered from old manuscript sources and archive recordings, which he performs on historic pipes sets bequeathed to him by older masters who appreciated his authenticity and musicality. Jimmy has released two solo albums and played on many other recordings. He teaches at Waterford Institute of Technology and has taught at several third-level institutions around Ireland, including University College Dublin and the University of Limerick, where he earned his Ph.D. He spent five months at Boston College in 2008 as Fulbright Visiting Professor where he made a close study of the Hudson Irish-music manuscripts. He served as President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association from 2015 to 2017. As a soloist, Jimmy has played around Ireland, Europe, Japan, as well as Australia and New Zealand, the USA and Canada. 2021 is Jimmy's debut as a presenter at Scoil na gCláirseach.
Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin
Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin is at the forefront of the current movement to rediscover, and perform, the largely unknown harp-song repertoire of the old Irish harpers. She is almost unique in singing these while accompanying herself on a copy of an 18th-century Irish harp, using historical Irish playing techniques. A native of co. Cork, now living in co. Wicklow, Eibhlís is a music graduate of University College Cork, a sean-nós singer, early Irish harpist, composer, arranger and music educator. Eibhlís also holds a Licentiate in Piano Teaching from Trinity College London, and also a first-class honours MA in Women’s Studies. For her singing, Eibhlís won Corn Mháire Nic Dhonnachadha at the Oireachtas in 2016, and was also a finalist at the Fleadh Cheoil in 2017 and 2018. In October 2020, Eibhlís was awarded an Arts Council Traditional-Arts Bursary to research, and reconstruct, harp songs composed or performed by female Irish harpers in the 18th century, using, as source material, Edward Bunting’s late eighteenth-century field transcriptions, which are now housed at Queen’s University Belfast.