Ailbhe McDonagh returns to Nenagh musical roots to mix folk and classical at Arts Centre

Arriving at Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday 21st January is the fusion of classical and traditional folk music ‘Trio Elatha’ with local connections provided by cellist Ailbhe McDonagh

The musical backgrounds experienced by the three musicians in the group bring together the old and the new – both folk and classical music. Zoë Conway is one of Ireland’s most outstanding traditional fiddlers but also received classical tuition and flirts easily between the two styles. Indeed guitar player Brendan Walsh had folk music in his ears from an early age growing up in Co Clare but went on to study classical music to the highest level.

Ailbhe McDonagh’s versatility is in performing the most complex contemporary music in addition to the classical masterpieces and, while she went on to become a cellist of the highest order, she also studied piano to a high standard.

Ailbhe has significant Nenagh links – her Grandad Jim was a Garda Sargeant stationed in Nenagh in the early 1960’s and his wife Eileen was vice-Principal in St. Mary’s Boy’s National School and taught there up to the mid-1970’s. Ailbhe’s father Declan is a regular visitor and she is a niece to Nenagh-born priest Fr. Sean McDonagh who is well known for his work on the environment.

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