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Our presenters

Our teaching staff includes many international prize-winners and principals of professional orchestras in Ireland. It also includes individuals whose names have become synonymous with music education in Ireland. These experienced teachers are passionate about working with talented students to unlock their artistic potential.

Ailbhe Murphy

Ailbhe Murphy is a graduate of UCD and also holds the RIAM Licentiate Teaching Diploma in Speech & Drama.

Over the last 15 years Ailbhe has taught many students both in the Royal Irish Academy of Music and also at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Instutite young actors program in New York. Ailbhe holds a position on the RIAM’s Examiner’s board for Diploma students and with the RIAM Local Centre, examining grade exams on a National level. 

She is an active participant in the Irish Film and Theatre Industry.  Ailbhe has worked as a Vocal Coach for Theatre and Film productions in Ireland, and has been inolved in a number of professional Theatre productions.

Amy Ryan

Amy Ryan studied at the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music, Hungary, earning a Master’s degree and Advanced Diploma (distinction) in Music Education and Choral Conducting respectively, studying under Peter Erdei and Dr. László Nemes. During her time at the Institute, she worked as teaching assistant and was awarded the “red diploma” for academic excellence. 

Amy currently lectures in Music at Trinity College, Dublin and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is in demand as a conductor and workshop facilitator, directing the UCD Philharmonic Choir, Jubilate Choir, award-winning chamber choir, Cuore, and the Irish-language ladies choir, Cór Duibhlinne. Amy is Chairperson of the Kodály Society of Ireland.

Annalisa Monticelli

Born in Milazzo, Italy, Annalisa began studying piano at the age of five in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with Professor Olga Brogno, studying both Classical and South American Folk music. She was later accepted into the Luis Gianneo Music Conservatoire in Mar del Plata, where she studied with Marta Scafoglio and Eugenia Rozental and she started accompanying and playing chamber music when she was 10 years old.

In 1997 Annalisa attained her diploma in Formazione Basica in piano at the Conservatoire in Argentina.  In 1998 she moved to Italy in order to continue her studies at the Arcangelo Corelli Music Conservatoire in Messina, under the tuition of maestro Nicolò Di Marco, attaining her diploma in piano with the highest possible marks.

Between 1998 and 2010 Annalisa participated in concerts in Messina, Palermo, Lucca Taormina, Ireland, Argentina, Germany, Spain and Romania, as a soloist and chamber pianist with Eliana Russo, Salvatore Passalacqua (Rai Symphony Orchestra) Trio Kalos (flute, clarinet and piano), Trio Aulos (flute duo and piano), Messina Wind Orchestra, Cantica Nova vocal ensemble, Prologo e Bel Canto vocal ensemble, and with pianist Alba Sofia.

Annalisa played with the Woodwind Orchestra and the Symphonic Orchestra from the Corelli Conservatoire in the main recital halls of Sicily.  She has played in the performance of  Carmina Burana by Carl Orff (in the version for two pianos, instruments and choir) at the University of Messina; in The Carnival of the Animals by C Saint-Saens, and in the xx century music festival ”Omaggio a Contilli” at the Sala Laudamo in Messina.

She has also taken part in piano Master Classes with Alan Weiss (USA) in Barcelona (Spain); a Specialization Course for Piano Accompanists with Maestro A. Averna, in Sinagra (Me), a training post Diploma two-year course in Chamber Music with Maestro Bruno Canino at the Accademia di Fiesole and the yearly piano course held by Maestro Daniel Rivera in Montopoli (Pisa).

Annalsia has won chamber music prizes at the National Music Competition TuttArte in Paternò (CT), at the International Music Competition G Campochiaro di Pedara (CT)  at the National Music Competition  Benedetto Albanese in Caccamo (PA), at the  P Mandanici Competition of Barcellona PG.

In 2006 Annalisa was the principal accompanist for a 1-year brass post-diploma certification with Gianluca Scimioni (Teatro Reggio di Torino’s first trombone), staff accompanist and coach for the 2007-2008 International Opera Course Montalto Lirica with Auto Benelli, piano accompanist for the Soprano Rebecca Turner (Converse College, USA) at Dublin in June 2009 performing in John Field Room of the National Concert Hall Dublin.

In 2009 Annalisa received her Masters in Music Education, and in 2010 she reveived the II Level Diploma in Piano performance at the Conservatoire in Messina, attaining the highest possible marks and Honors. In May 2012 she gained a Master in Piano performance at  Converse College, Petrie School of Music (Spartanburg, USA) with Dr Douglas Weeks. As a first year student she won the Young Artist Competition, for the Masters Students category and in October 2011 she performed the L.V. Beethoven 3th Concerto with the Converse Symphony Orchestra.

During the 3 years in the United States she was intensely involved as a solo pianist, accompanist for students and orchestras, pianist for Operas and Operetta (Tender Land, Hansel and Gretel, Cosi Fan Tutte, Gondoliers) Teacher for the Lawson academy and Coach for the Converse Opera, and Opera scenes. Annalisa also attended Master Classes with Alon Goldstein (Israel), Joe Nakamatsu (New York), Tempest Trio (Israel), Ensemble Caprice (Canada). Back in Italy she performed with Alison Dalton (First violin’s section, Chicago Symphony) a Chamber recital in Salina (ME) and a series of Latin American music recitals also in Salina (July, August 2013).
In June 2014 she was principal accompanist for the first Annual Bassi Brugnatelli” International conducting and singing symposium with Conductor, John Ratledge and Soprano, Rebecca Turner.

Annalisa moved to Ireland after being selected in May 2014 for an Accompanist Fellowship at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

Brendan Breslin

Brendan Breslin was appointed the Head of Connect for the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2018, senior manager with responsibility over RIAM Exams, Publications, Outreach, and Teaching & Learning.

Previous to joining RIAM he worked for 14 years with the Band of An Garda Síochána (Irish Police Band), having joined in 2004, as bands person on tuba and percussion. As a conductor, Brendan has previously had the role of Musical Director with Arklow Silver Band, the Dublin Symphony Orchestra and the Lucan Concert Band. He has enjoyed a successful tenure as the Musical Director of Ardee Concert Band, most notably resulting in two Platinum Award performances in the NCBF Competitions in the UK. Brendan is the current Musical Director of the Dublin Concert Band, Irish Film and Pops Orchestra, and Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Brass Ensemble.

In June 2016 Brendan won the National Association of Brass Band Conductors competition in the UK, which has afforded him the opportunity of working with some of the main Championship brass bands in the UK, including the Fodens Band, Whitburn Brass Band, the Reg Vardy Brass Band and Carlton Main Frickley Brass Band.

As a composer and arranger, Brendan’s music has featured with orchestras, brass and concert bands such as the  RTÉConcert Orchestra, the Cory Brass Band, the Roberts Bakery Band, the Irish Defence Forces Bands, the Band of An Garda Síochána, as well as noted artists such as Cara O’Sullivan, Brian Kennedy and Peter Corry. His scores have featured in musical programming for RTÉ radio and television, as well as the Dublin Fringe Festival.

In February 2017 Brendan was a prize winner in the Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan Composition Contest for his original work ‘Cruise Control’, as well as the audience award from the premiere performance of the three winning entries.

Conor Linehan

Conor has performed with all of Ireland’s major orchestras, including The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2006 he gave the world premier of Ronan Guilfoyle’s Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Colman Pearce. He was immediately reengaged to perform the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds with the NSO and Alexander Annissimov. Linehan recorded the world premiere of American composer Don Ray’s piano concerto with Derek Gleeson and the Philharmonia Bulgarica, and recently returned to Bulgaria to perform Brahms D minor piano concerto with Gleeson and the Vratza Philharmonic. He has also performed the concertos of Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Litov and others.

He has an extensive solo repertoire from baroque to the contemporary. Concerts include performances at “The Southwark Festival,” “The Covent Garden Festival,” “Music for Wexford” and the National Concert Hall’s (Dublin) “Composer’s Choice” series. Conor performed the 24 Chopin Preludes as part of Ireland’s celebrations of the Polish accession to the EU in 2004. He also performs a wide variety of chamber music with various ensembles.

Conor has accompanied the renowned German singer Eva Meier worldwide, including venues in London, New York, Berlin, Edinburgh, Madrid, Venice and Beirut. They have regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (with the Matrix Ensemble and Robert Ziegler) and recorded three CDs of German cabaret songs.

He has, additionally composed music for concert, theatre, dance and film, working with such companies as “The Royal Shakespeare Company” and “The Abbey Theatre” (Dublin). In 2006 he was commissioned by the Royal Irish Academy of Music to compose a concerto for piano and jazz ensemble. This was performed at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and, subsequently, at Merkin Hall in Manhattan, NY, with the RIAM jazz ensemble and Therese Fahy.

Linehan was quite magnificent.” Sunday Tribune

“The word that comes most to mind with respect to Linehan’s choice of programme and manner of delivery is musicianly.” Irish Times

“Conor Linehan was the impressive soloist catching the composer’s (Stravinsky) jazzy 1920’s rhythms with remarkable élan.” Sunday Tribune

David Adams

A former organ scholar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College Dublin, David Adams studied in Freiburg (with Ludwig Doerr) and Amsterdam (with Piet Kee and Ewald Kooiman), winning prizes at international competitions in Speyer, Lüneburg, Dublin and Bruges.

Since his début recital at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, at the age of 16, he has performed throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe, and is a regular guest at major international festivals. He regularly appears with all the Irish orchestras and is much in demand as an ensemble player in the fields of early and contemporary music. As a conductor he has worked with the Ulster Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Opera Theatre Company, the Orchestra of St Cecilia and the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He has premièred many new works including numerous compositions written specially for him. In addition to solo organ CDs recorded on the organs of Trinity College and the National Concert Hall Dublin, he has recorded for Naxos, Black Box and Wergo.

David Adams has taught at conservatories in Freiburg, Berlin and The Hague, and at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and Trinity College Dublin, and now lectures at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He gives masterclasses and lectures at home and abroad, and has been a juror for many national and international competitions. In 2007 he was awarded a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam for his work on Max Reger and Karl Straube. David is organist of Christ Church Taney and St. Nahi’s in Dublin.

Deborah Kelleher

Appointed Director of the RIAM in October 2010, Deborah Kelleher has played an integral role in the strategic development of the institution’s international profile, outreach, and academic courses.

Milestone achievements include the introduction of specialised undergraduate degrees in composition and vocal studies; RIAM Podium, the Centre for Performing Ensembles, which trains musicians for orchestras and large ensembles; and the founding of Ireland’s first Historical Performance Department with foundation partners The Irish Baroque Orchestra.

In 2013, the RIAM became an associate college of Trinity College, the University of Dublin, and Deborah led this significant transition. Since her appointment the numbers of students entering RIAM’s third level programmes has grown threefold. The large junior school of the RIAM has refreshed its curricula with the introduction of an additional support for the especially motivated pre-college musician, called The RIAM Young Scholar Programme.  

The RIAM has also forged significant performance partnerships with many of the world’s most prestigious music conservatoires including the Juilliard School, New York, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Liszt Academy, Hungary.

Deborah has also overseen a significant increase in professional development courses for the 7,000 private music teachers throughout the country who enter students for RIAM’s Local Centre Examination System, under the auspices of the RIAM Teaching and Learning Network. This initiative is part of a wider strategy to make the RIAM a resource for musicians all over Ireland from amateur to professional level, through online and distance learning, performance opportunities and more.

In 2016 Deborah was elected Vice-President of the European Association of Conservatoires, an umbrella group for over 300 conservatoires in Europe and beyond.

Gráinne Deery

Gráinne Deery holds a dual appointment as Lecturer in Musicianship and Music Education at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Lecturer in Music Education at the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University. Her research interests include the development and perception of musical potential within teaching and learning environments.

Gráinne’s courses at the RIAM currently include musicianship, harmony & counterpoint, keyboard harmony, and a range of music education modules (classroom and instrumental pedagogy). Gráinne is the RIAM school placement supervisor for the BMusEd programme and is a dissertation supervisor for RIAM undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In addition, she offers a selection of continuing professional development courses and also serves as an examiner for the Local Centre Exams.

As a passionate advocate of music education and key contributor to the development of music education in Ireland Gráinne was a key figure in the recent development of the new and innovative DipRIAM, an instrumental teaching Diploma focusing on the teaching and learning environment. Gráinne recently served as a committee member of the Society for Music Education in Ireland (SMEI) and the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA). In addition, Gráinne held the position of Chair of the Irish branch of EPTA during which time she founded and directed the EPTA Ireland Piano Competition. Gráinne was recently appointed external examiner for DIT pedagogy.

Gráinne holds a Masters in Music Performance (University of Leeds), having studied piano with Renna Kellaway (Royal Northern College of Music) and a Bachelor in Music Education (Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music). In addition, she holds a Higher Diploma in Music Teaching, Graduate and Associate Diplomas in Piano Teaching and was awarded a Commendation for Excellence in Teaching by Trinity College Dublin. As a prizewinner and scholarship recipient Gráinne contines to be active as an accompanist, adjudicator and piano teacher.

Jonathan Nangle

Jonathan Nangle is a composer whose work explores many diverse fields ranging from notated acoustic and electro-acoustic composition, through live and spatially distributed electronics, to video, field recording, interactive sound installation and electronic improvisation.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he studied composition under Donnacha Dennehy and Rob Canning and Electro-Acoustic composition with Roger Doyle. Since 2008 he has continued to study privately with composer Kevin Volans. 

His work has been commissioned and performed internationally by, amongst others, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Ensemble Scratch the Surface, The Dublin Guitar Quartet, The Chatham Saxophone Quartet, Ergodos Orchestra, New Dublin Voices, Irish Youth Choir, the Spatial Music Collective, violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist Thérèse Fahy. 

He has represented Ireland twice at the International Rostrum of Composers. First in 2009 where his work ‘our headlights blew softly into the black, illuminating very little’ was awarded a commendation and again in 2011 with his first orchestral piece ‘now is night come quietly’. 

His work has been released by the Ergodos, Diatribe, RTÉ Lyric FM, Contemporary Music Centre Ireland and Metier Divine Art Record Labels, featured at numerous festivals, been choreographed for film and stage, and has been broadcast internationally both on radio and television. 

His debut album ‘Pause’ featuring works for combinations of strings and electronics, performed by Crash Ensemble, was released in July 2017 on the Ergodos label. 

Jonathan is a lecturer in Music Technology and Electro-Acoustic Composition at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Kim Fallen Bailey

Kim Fallen Bailey graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2007 with an Honours Degree in Music Education and a Commendation Award for Teaching. Since graduating, she has taught music in a variety of settings. Her work in Crannog Nua Special School involves teaching music to children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. She is also the founder and director of Ceol Draíochta music school in Donabate, Co Dublin, where she teaches piano and theory, and provides vocal training and Grinds for Junior and Leaving Cert students.

Kim delivers the 2-year Leaving Cert Music course in the Royal Irish Academy of Music, as well as a 2-day Easter Revision Course and a 1-day Music Technology Workshop. Additionally, she designed and delivers the Foundations for Leaving Cert Music 1-year preparatory course. She also developed and directs the RIAM’s e-course, Teaching Leaving Cert Music, Sets A and B.

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