ABOUT CAMERATA IRELAND
Camerata Ireland was founded in 1999 by pianist Barry Douglas in response to the ground-breaking Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. The first concerts were on consecutive days in April 1999 in Stormont Parliament Buildings (N Ireland) and St Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle with proceeds to Cooperation Ireland. The ethos of Camerata Ireland is to bring together the finest musicians who live and work in Ireland, both North and South, and Irish musicians who work and live abroad. In recognition of the exceptional nature and quality of its work Camerata Ireland was awarded the Joint Patronage of Mary McAleese, President of Ireland and Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.
Since its formation, Camerata Ireland has travelled the world to wide critical acclaim. Early tours were festival concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as guests of Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, followed by a 4-week tour in North America. After glowing reviews from the North American press including the Washington Post, Camerata Ireland began a rich and busy schedule of international touring. In 2016 Camerata Ireland was invited to a special Festival at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland.
The orchestra began touring in South America in 2000 to great acclaim, followed by many tours in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Finland and China. Notable successes have included the Irish Festival of Arts and Culture in China in 2004, the 2006 International Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, the Smithsonian Festival in the US Library of Congress, the Naantali International Festival in Finland in 2007, the Festival de la Chaise-Dieu in France in 2008 and 2009, and multiple European Festivals over the years. Camerata Ireland was invited to be in residence in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées over many years, with a focus on Mozart.
Camerata Ireland made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2011, its BBC Proms debut in Summer 2013, and performed Beethoven at the 40th Anniversary of the Kilkenny Arts Festival. In May 2011 the orchestra was honoured to be invited to perform for the (former) President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and Her Late Majesty the Queen, as part of the latter’s historic State visit to Ireland. Further highlights over the years include tours to South America, including Buenos Aires, Rosario, Cordoba, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero, and tours of China, with appearances in Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Yichun, Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai. Camerata Ireland recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos and the Triple Concerto with Barry Douglas for Satirino Records in 2008.
Camerata Ireland established the Clandeboye Festival in the Clandeboye Estate, Co. Down in 2001. The Festival takes place each year in August, and showcases Internationally renowned soloists to Northern Irish audiences, as well as providing a platform for young musicians from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. At the heart of the Festival is the Camerata Ireland Academy, Camerata Ireland’s young artist development programme. The Academy was established to support and nurture young musicians from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Each year, the Academy welcomes up to 12 young musicians to the festival to take part in masterclasses and rehearsals with the visiting soloists. Over 200 musicians have taken part in the Academy to date, including pianist Michael McHale, flautist Eimear McGeown and violinist Mairead Hickey. Camerata Ireland is committed to helping young musicians bridge the gap between their studies and professional careers and provides performance opportunities to young musicians as part of the Clandeboye Festival and with the orchestra.
Artistic & Festival Director
Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland, the only all-Ireland orchestra and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. In January 2021 Barry Douglas was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to music and community relations in the 2021 New Year Honours List, having previously received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002.
In recent seasons Barry performed with a list of orchestras that includes the London Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Russian National, Vancouver and Colorado Symphonies, and the Halle Orchestra. In 16/17 he marked the 30th anniversary of his Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition win with full Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto cycles with the RTE Orchestra in Dublin and the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. Also noted for his promotion of contemporary repertoire, he performed the premiere of Kevin Volans’ fourth piano concerto with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the European premiere of the Penderecki Piano Concerto.
Other recent highlights include a major UK tour with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the RTE, Barcelona and Sydney Symphonies as well as a continuation of his collaboration with the Borodin String Quartet. A highly sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, he has given performances across the globe from Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Wigmore Hall and the Verbier Festival to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Grand Theatre in Shanghai and other cities in China.
He has previously given concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle Halle, Orchestre National de France, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others.
Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed a six-album recording of the full works for solo piano of Brahms. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority... this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.” His current recording projects focus on the solo piano works of Schubert and Tchaikovsky. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers.
In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Camerata Ireland is a registered charity in Northern Ireland, and as such, a Board of Trustees has been appointed to ensure good governance.
Our board members come from all walks of life, including the business, finance, legal, and arts sectors. They meet at least quarterly and provide a wealth of experience to advise and guide Camerata Ireland, helping us to achieve bigger and better things.
Ms. Wright, a barrister, joined Northern Ireland Electricity’s (NIE) in-house legal team in September 1976 and remained with NIE/Viridian until 2001. She held a number of senior management posts in the company, including that of Company Secretary and Head of Legal Services.
Ms. Wright holds a number of public appointments in Northern Ireland including Member of the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals, Lay Magistrate and Member of the Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal.
She is also a Director of Springvale Training Ltd and Co-operation Ireland Ltd and is a Trustee of Garfield Weston Trust, University of Ulster.
She has previously served as Commissioner for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, as a Council Member of the University of Ulster, and as a Trustee of the Bytes project.
Roger Pollen was born in Belfast and studied music in Scotland, initially working as a professional cellist before becoming Orchestra Manager of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and then Managing Director of the multi award-winning Scottish Ensemble. In that role, he launched a classical record label with Richard Branson at Virgin, signed the largest-ever music sponsorship in Scotland with BT, and led the company to be recognised as an Investor in People – the first orchestra in the UK to achieve the recognition.
After a decade, he left to establish his own commercial property business within the wider creative industries, sustaining around 50 jobs in film support services, design, publishing, photography, digital mastering, theatre and music sectors.
After spending time in America studying at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he took up a brand new post with FSB where he has responsibility for policy, public affairs and government relations. As Head of FSB in Northern Ireland, Roger leads the team that supports and advocates on behalf of its six thousand NI-based business-owning members, and he has facilitated visits by numerous senior UK Cabinet Ministers and prominent members of the Irish Government.
In his career he has been involved in staging nearly one thousand events across Europe, ranging from the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference to some of the most exclusive, high level corporate events. Outside work, he serves as a member of Ulster University Business School’s Advisory Forum, is a Board Member of Camerata Ireland, and of the Ulster Youth Orchestra.
Simon Taylor was Chief Executive of the National Concert Hall in Dublin from 2011 to 2021. Before returning to his native Dublin to take up the position he was Chief Executive of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for four years, having previously spent seven years as Senior Producer, Classical Music at BBC Northern Ireland. For most of the 1990s he was Head of Orchestras and Performing Groups at RTÉ, having started his career in music management as the first administrator of Newpark Music Centre in Dublin.
Simon trained as a classical guitarist and has performed extensively as a soloist in Ireland and internationally. He was co-founder of the Dublin International Guitar Festival and has made several CD recordings. As a presenter, he has broadcast for RTE Lyric FM and BBC Radio Ulster.
Simon has served on the boards of many music and arts organisations including the Bristol Music Trust and the Arts University College Bournemouth in the UK and the Ulster Orchestra, West Cork Chamber Music Festival and the Music Festival in Great Irish Houses in Ireland. He has also been Chairman of the Association of British Orchestras and Chairman of the Council of National Cultural Institutions. He is currently a board of West Wicklow Festival and joined the board of Camerata Ireland in January 2021.
Michael d’Arcy is a concert violinist and professor of violin performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has been the concertmaster of Camerata Ireland since it was formed in 1999, and has also been the concertmaster of both the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, and the RTE Concert Orchestra. He has performed throughout the world as soloist and chamber musician. He was a member of the board of Opera Theatre Company in Dublin for many years.
Further information can be found at www.michaeldarcy.com
Rosemary O’Mahony was a partner with Accenture, where she spent 28 years between the Dublin, Chicago and Paris offices. She specialised in Information Technology (IT) solutions and worked with clients in over 20 countries. Rosemary had global responsibilities for Accenture’s technology practice, including management of the technology research office in Sophia Antipolis, France.
After her retirement from Accenture, Rosemary was an Executive Advisor to Fujitsu Services from June, 2008 to December, 2009. Rosemary has used her professional experience of 30 years in consulting to help charities and social enterprises in both the UK and France. In the UK, she has assisted IntoUniversity and the Prince’s Youth Business International (YBI) with the implementation of new IT systems. In the case of YBI, Rosemary has also led the re-design of its accreditation process for its programmes in some 40 countries around the world.
She is Chairman of the Board of OneWorld UK, an organisation that exploits web-based and mobile technologies to develop solutions for disadvantaged populations in developing countries.
Rosemary is a member of the Board of “1001 fontaines”, a French charity that creates social enterprises to provide clean drinking water to improve the health of isolated rural villagers in developing countries.
Kieran was born and educated in Dublin, where he graduated from UCD in 1974 as a Chemical Engineer.
After a number of senior engineering roles in the pharma and healthcare sectors, Kieran joined Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard in the mid-80s, and spent the balance of his working life in this company, at Director level, with commercial, marketing and corporate communications the key areas of responsibility. Kieran was Managing Director of Fitzgerald and Co. the wine subsidiary of Irish Distillers. He also chaired a number of industry wide groups including the Wine and Spirt Association and Drinks Industry Ireland.
Music has always been a passion of Kieran's, and this led to his involvement with the National Concert Hall over a 30 year period initially as a patron and through commercial sponsorship. Kieran was Chairman of NCH for a number of years and was a Director from 2011 to 2016.
Kieran also chaired the Board of Great Music in Irish Houses for four years, until 2011, having been on the Board since 2003. He is also currently a Director of New Music Dublin, the annual contemporary music festival.
He is a regular concert and opera goer, and greatly enjoy cinema and live theatre also.
As an active tennis player, Kieran was pleased to be able to make a contribution to the development of the sport through his Board membership of Tennis Ireland, the 32 county controlling body of the sport, from 2010 to 2018.