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Musicians

Katherine Hunka

Orchestra Leader

Katherine Hunka

Orchestra Leader

Katherine has been the Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and regularly directs from the leader’s chair. As director and soloist, with the ICO, she has toured Germany, China and Singapore, and appeared at festivals including the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Katherine directs ICO national tours, which take the orchestra all over Ireland.

Orchestra leader
Katherine

Nicky Sweeney

Principal 1st Violin

Nicky Sweeney

Principal 1st Violin

Nicky is in demand as a freelance chamber and orchestral musician in the UK where she has lived since she gained her 1st Class Honours performance degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She studied with David Takeno and won every violin competition during her time there. She has been Assistant Leader/Principal 2nd with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Nash Ensemble, Manchester Camerata and London Mozart Players. She frequently records music for tv, film and pop in London and loves playing different types of music. Highlights include recording and live shows with Stevie Wonder.

Nicky has been Assistant Leader of ICO for more than twenty years and loves her connection with Ireland. She has been very lucky to lead the orchestra on several major tours, to South America, Europe and the USA. She has played numerous concertos, double concertos and chamber music with her fabulous colleagues.

Her recent CD recording of Moeran Violin Duos with Darragh Morgan was Gramophone magazine’s editor’s choice and was praised in the Strad magazine also.

Nicola Sweeney

André Swanepoel

Principal 2nd Violin

André Swanepoel

Principal 2nd Violin

Johannesburg-born André Swanepoel enjoys a varied musical life as a chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. Chamber Music is integral to his activities as Principal Second Violin of the ICO – leading to recent Chamber performances at the Heidelberg Spring Festival, the Würzburg Mozart Festival; the Bozar in Brussels, and the Tonhalle in Zurich.

Other chamber highlights include the Kilkenny Arts Festival, and Ryedale, City of London, Chichester and International Donau festivals. He performed in South America for the German Goethe Institut, and has been broadcast on West German, Bavarian, Irish and South African Radio. His CD recordings include a critically acclaimed live recording of Terry Riley’s legendary In C. As soloist he has appeared in South Africa, Ireland, Germany and the UK.

He has guest lead Welsh National Opera and frequently plays guest Principal with Royal Northern Sinfonia, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Hallé, and other UK orchestras.

André teaches violin and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff, and annually teaches on the ConCorda Chamber Music course in Ireland, and the Xenia Chamber Music course in the Italian Alps.
André studied with Alan Solomon in South Africa, and with Winfried Rademacher and Charles-André Linale in Germany. He is also the acting Course Director of the ICO and Irish World Academy of Music and Dance's MA Classical Strings Performance.

Andre Swanepoel

Anna Cashell

Violin

Anna Cashell

Violin

Anna began her musical studies in Ireland before training at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music in London. Whilst at the College she studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky and was awarded many prizes including the college’s prestigious Mills Williams Junior Fellowship and the Tagore Gold Medal which was presented to her by Prince Charles. She also won the Raymond Fox Bursary from the UKs ‘Making Music Society’ and the Serena Neville prize from the Concordia Foundation.

She has given concerts in venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Forbidden City concert Hall in Beijing and at the Banff Institute of Music in Canada. With her sister Sophie she performs in the Cashell Duo and they are currently represented by Music Network Ireland. Anna has performed as a soloist with many orchestras in Ireland and the UK, such as The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Camerata Ireland conducted by Barry Douglas.

Chamber music is one of Anna’s passions; she performs regularly with her husband Simon Watterton in the Cashell-Watterton duo. She is also a founding member of the Schumann String Quartet and a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. She has been invited to perform at the International Musicians Seminar Open Chamber Music Sessions at Prussia Cove and to perform in America with the Crash Ensemble.

Anna Cashell

Diane Daly

Violin

Diane Daly

Violin

Diane is in demand as a chamber musician, director and improvisor at home and abroad. She enjoys devising her own work, and has been invited to direct world premieres of works by leading Irish composers including Sam Perkins, Linda Buckley and Deirdre Gribbin. In other genres she has performed and recorded alongside many of the biggest names in rock and leads her own gypsy jazz trio.

Passionate about education, her teaching focus is on the development of the whole musician as a creative artist, fostering joy-filled music making, autonomy and self-expression. She is a qualified Dalcroze Eurhythmics teacher and recently became Europe’s first accredited string playing Body-Mapper.

In 2022, her doctoral research was awarded the inaugural Aloys Fleischmann prize for outstanding practice based research, developing the concepts of embodiment, presence, creativity and connection in string playing.

Diane is currently Head of Strings at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

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Diane Daly new shot

Oonagh Keogh

Violin

Oonagh Keogh

Violin

Having started learning music in Dublin with Geraldine O’Grady, Oonagh studied in Salzburg at the Mozarteum and in Paris with Jean Fournier. She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama having studied with Yfrah Neaman and David Takeno and subsequently completed an MA at the University of Limerick. In addition to her performing work, Oonagh is very involved in teaching and she is the founder and artistic director of the ‘Ceol na Mara Summer School for Strings’ and ‘Ceol na Mara Chamber Orchestra’.

Oonagh has arranged and composed a variety of music for strings over the years, most recently for her youth orchestra. She performs regularly with pianist/composer Conor Linehan and together they have performed music written by themselves at recitals at the Hugh Lane Gallery, the Lexicon Library Theatre and on radio.

Oonagh has been involved in the ICO’s I Create Online series and has written original music to be part of a collaborative project involving story and animation. She has also narrated ICO’s collaborative film with Vincent Hyland, Fiadh’s Voyage, released in 2021.

Oonagh Keogh

Emily Nenniger

Violin

Emily Nenniger

Violin

Canadian born violinist Emily Nenniger started studying the violin at the age of four after falling love with a performance by Itzhak Perlman on Sesame Street. She began her studies in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and went on to earn a BM in violin performance, as well as a MM in chamber music performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Emily currently lives in Glasgow and has been a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2014. She also enjoys a busy freelance career with many orchestras and ensembles across the UK and abroad when she is not with her ICO family.

Emily Nenniger CROP

Kenneth Rice

Violin

Kenneth Rice

Violin

Violinist Kenneth Rice violinist, violist, composer and arranger working in many musical genres. Kenneth’s unique expertise evolves from his immersion in multiple genres of music from classical and baroque to rock, pop, jazz and traditional Irish.

A classically trained violinist from the outset Kenneth finished his formal training in London with David Takeno, head of strings at the Guildhall school of music and drama, and promptly joined a psychedelic pop band, Engine Alley (with whom he enjoyed/wasted many years recording and gigging from Dublin to LA). On the way he has met and worked with many contemporary artists and bands (and continues this to this day). Having survived relatively unscathed he is now a sought after freelance orchestral player and leader of Dublin (Ireland) based orchestras such as the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Dublin Sinfonia and the Lombard Ensemble.

His other projects include ‘Good Evening Mr.Kreisler’ a tribute to Viennese violinist Fritz Kreisler; The Nuevo Tango Quartet playing the music of Astor Piazzolla and The West Ocean String Quartet playing original traditional Irish-inspired music. He has performed on over 500 major release tracks and his arrangements and compositions feature on numerous albums, radio theme tunes and advertisements. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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Kenneth Rice

Cliodhna Ryan

Violin

Cliodhna Ryan

Violin

Cliodhna Ryan is a scholar and first class honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London and continued her studies in Dallas as a Fullbright Scholar. She is a recipient of awards from the Martin Musical Fund and the Countess of Munster Trust and many prizes, including the Roth Prize for top final recital from the Royal Academy of Music.

She also performs regularly with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the European Community Chamber Orchestra. She is much in demand as a solo recitalist and chamber musician in top festivals and venues across Europe.

CLIODHNA NI Dhuill

Louis Roden

Violin

Louis Roden

Violin

Louis Roden was born in Dublin. At six he was accepted as a student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music to study violin with Sidney Griller and Kevin Kiely. After graduating he was accepted to study with the Israeli violinist, Yossi Zivoni in London where he remained for six years until winning the French government scholarship for Ireland to study in France in ‘89/90.

He attended the conservatoire in Marseille where he studied chamber music and violin under Jean Ter Merguerian. He maintained a special relationship with France and returned to perform on numerous occasions to play with the Camerata de Provence.

Since returning to Ireland to live he has played numerous recitals, chamber music concerts and toured in many countries across Europe, the Far East, Australia, the USA and South America. He has given numerous first performances of contemporary works and collaborated with the Rubato Ballet Company in various festivals.

Over the years Louis has had a special interest in educational work. He has taught, coached the Irish Youth Orchestra along with the Dublin Youth Orchestras and took part in numerous Music Network projects in schools and outreach projects in hospitals.

He has a very broad interest across many genres of music and has appeared on hundreds of major release tracks in pop and rock along with recording many film soundtracks. Louis has an interest in the management side of music, often being the contractor charged with booking these orchestras and has helped manage other artists along the way.

Louis has been a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 1995 and he currently lives in Dublin.

Louis Roden

Joachim Roewer

Principal Viola

Joachim Roewer

Principal Viola

Born in East Germany, Joachim Roewer graduated from the Hochschule für Musik Weimar and the Orchesterakademie of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. During his studies he was invited to lead the viola section of the International Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.

In 1994 Joachim decided to leave Germany to seek a new and exciting musical home for himself and moved to Ireland to become principal viola with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Joachim is a passionate teacher and a busy chamber music player. For 13 years he was Course Director of the annual international ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings. He is a member of the Esposito String Quartet and from 2013 until 2019 he was Artistic Director of the international Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. Joachim teaches viola and chamber music on the MA programme in Classical Strings Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music at the University of Limerick.

Joachim Roewer

Mark Coates Smith

Viola

Mark Coates Smith

Viola

Mark studied the viola at the Royal Academy of Music under the direction of John White. Whilst there he gained scholarships to study at both the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and then consequently at the Aspen Music Festival studying with both Lawrence Dutton and Yizhak Schotten.

Mark then worked in London as a freelance musician playing with CBSO, BSO, BBCO, RSNO, RTE, ENO to name but a few and also played in several shows in the West End. Mark was offered a job with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 1995 where he has been ever since. A keen divermaster and pilot, Mark lives in Herefordshire with his wife Lorna and daughter, Poppy.

Mark Coates Smith

Cian Ó Dúill

Viola

Cian Ó Dúill

Viola

Cork born viola player Cian Ó Dúill has performed with the Vanbrugh, Carducci and Calino String Quartets, the Fidelio Trio, the Avalon Ensemble, Chroma and the Crash Ensemble. He has played in chamber music recitals with Anthony Marwood, Finghin Collins, Jorg Widmann, Hugh Tinney, Natalie Clein, Howard Shelley, Kirill Troussov, and Patricia Rozario as well as appearing at West Cork, Killaloe, Ortús, Sligo Spring, Kilkenny Arts, Cheltenham, Warwick Arts, Chichester, Aldeburgh, Wye Valley and Kings Lynn Chamber Music Festivals.

Cian was a founder member of both the Regent String Quartet and the Rothko String Trio, played regularly with the Chamber Players and the London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble and is currently a member of the period instrument Giordani String Quartet and Prism Ensemble.

Cian is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was co-principal viola of the London Mozart Players and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia.

Cian teaches viola at both the Cork School of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Cian O Duill

Robin Panter

Viola

Robin Panter

Viola

Robin Panter is from Liverpool and studied the Viola at the Royal Northern College of Music with Roger Benedict and Scott Dickinson. In 2004 Robin joined the viola section of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and while in Glasgow teamed up with a group of musicians to set up a Scottish version of “El Sistema” visiting Venezuela and applying its ground breaking social and community development programme into schools in Raploch, Stirling.

Robin now lives in Ireland where he is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and regularly performs with the RTÉ and Ulster orchestras amongst others. Robin is also a keen chamber musician and is a member of the Robinson Panoramic Quartet (Violin Viola Cello and Bass) who have commissioned around 25 new pieces, many from Irish composers and four of which were performed as part of a residency at Kaleidoscope Night 2014.

Robin plays a John Dilworth viola and a Noel Burke bow, which were both part funded and supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council.

Robin Panter

Aoife Nic Athlaoich

Principal Cello

Aoife Nic Athlaoich

Principal Cello

Dublin born Aoife Nic Athlaoich enjoys a verstaile career performing on both modern and baroque cello. As well as her position as principal cello with the ICO, Aoife is sub principal cellist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and a co-founder of the Solas String Quartet.

Aoife has performed at Ireland’s leading chamber music festivals and is the former artistic director of the East Cork Early Music Festival.

Aoife studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin before continuing her 3rd level education at the Royal Academy of music and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London for her post graduate studies.

Aoife lives in Cork city where she is a lecturer of cello at the MTU Cork school of Music. Aoife also teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin and on the MA in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick.

Outside of performing and teaching, Aoife enjoys spending free time with her family and dog Marty, she is also an avid all weather sea swimmer.

Aoife Nic Athlaoich

Richard Angell

Cello

Richard Angell

Cello

Sanghashura (Richard Angell) started off his musical career aged 16 in the Royal Marines Band service. After six years of mostly marching up and down the parade with a euphonium he left the Royal Marines and commenced cello studies with Amaryllis Fleming at the Royal College of Music. After graduating from the RCM he became principal cellist of the Chamber Orchestra of the North West province South Africa, and in 1995 he joined the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

In October 2005 Richard was Ordained into the Western Buddhist Order and became Dharmachari Sanghashura. He experiences performing with the ICO as an integral part of his overall Buddhist practice.

Richard Angell

Malachy Robinson

Principal Double Bass

Malachy Robinson

Principal Double Bass

Malachy Robinson is a dedicated chamber musician, attracted to conversational music of all genres. He is a founder of the Gregory Walkers, in which he plays the viola da gamba, and is director of the Robinson Panoramic Quartet. Principal double-bass with the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 1995, he is also a founder member of the cutting-edge Crash Ensemble. A founder member too of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, he has appeared with period-instrument orchestras such as The Sixteen, the English Concert, the OAE and the Academy of Ancient Music.

He has appeared as a guest with many chamber ensembles, including the Vanbrugh, Callino, Parisii, T’ang, Con Tempo, Navarra and Vogler String Quartets. Along with accordionist Dermot Dunne he was a member of the quintet Lunfardia led by Argentinean guitarist Ariel Hernandez, and together with the ICO’s Katherine Hunka, they constitute the super-eclectic Far Flung Trio who are favourites at festivals around the country. In November 2021 he released his solo album The Irish Double Bass.

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SMILE MALACHY

Dan Bates

Principal Oboe

Dan Bates

Principal Oboe

Dan Bates is principal oboe with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He also holds principal positions with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the City of London Sinfonia. He has played guest principal for various orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in London, Daniel studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Pembroke College, Cambridge and LAMDA drama school. He was the youngest ever winner of the Royal Overseas League Competition and also won two major international competitions, in Italy and Romania.

He has performed concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the English Chamber Orchestra and has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room. He is the artistic director of FitzFest – a community chamber music festival based in Fitzrovia, Central London. As an actor his credits include the title role in The Picture of Dorian Gray (Vienna’s English Theatre) Fedotik in The Three Sisters (West End) and Adrian Green in Casualty (BBC TV). He has run the London Marathon twice, in aid of Barnado’s, and has a cat called Tolstoy.

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Dan Bates

Matthew Draper

Oboe

Matthew Draper

Oboe

Matthew has been a member of the ICO oboe section for much of the last 10 years. Since studying in London at the Royal Academy of Music and the Hochschule for Musik in Munich, he has performed with international orchestras, on Hollywood film soundtracks and in West End shows.

Matthew has extensive experience working in advertising and put this to use for the ICO during covid lockdowns, helping develop and produce online content to keep the orchestra in the public eye. He devised and presented the weekly Oboe Windfree series, in which he interviewed many ICO musicians, collaborating artists, friends and sponsors of the orchestra over a period of four years.

Along with performing and presenting, Matthew loves teaching and believes music education mustn’t fall victim to lack of funds. He encourages others to see all creative and artist endeavour as a way to bring people together.

Matthew Draper

Stephen Nicholls

Principal Horn

Stephen Nicholls

Principal Horn

From Cork, Stephen enjoys a varied career as an orchestral and chamber music player. He started horn lessons with Sean Clinch at the age of 10, before moving to London to study with Jeff Bryant, Hugh Seenan and Richard Bissill. While there he had the honour of three years as a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra

Stephen has been a member of Irish Chamber Orchestra for over 15 years, and it continues to be a musical highlight of his career. Alongside ICO, Stephen is in demand as an orchestral player, and has appeared as Guest Principal Horn with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert and Philharmonic Orchestras and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. In 2019 he was appointed as Associate Principal Horn of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Outside of his playing, Stephen enjoys running and mountain unicycling

Stephen Nicholls

Hannah Miller

Horn

Hannah Miller

Horn

Hannah Miller grew up in Ireland, received her Bachelor’s degree from Finland’s Sibelius Academy and graduated with a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where she was awarded with the William Schuman Prize for outstanding achievement in music and leadership.
Hannah is currently Principal Horn with the Irish National Opera and joined the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2023. She also performs with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Wexford Festival Opera, and is a former member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra in Finland. With a keen interest in new music, Hannah is a member of the experimental Kirkos Ensemble, and she has also worked extensively with Crash Ensemble, Le Concert Impromptu and Ulysses Ensemble in recent years. Hannah is the Festival Director and founder of ‘FuddleFest’, a family-run music festival based at her home in Fuddletown, Wexford, where she also works part-time as a farmer.

Hannah Miller Bio