Irish cellist, Ailbhe McDonagh, performs throughout Ireland and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, USA (Steven Doane) and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Ireland (Aisling Drury-Byrne, William Butt). Ailbhe teaches cello performance at both third and second level and coaches chamber music at the RIAM.
Ailbhe gave her debut recital with celebrated Irish pianist John O’Conor at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland. She performs throughout Europe, Asia and North America and has appeared as a concerto soloist numerous times in Ireland and abroad. Performances include concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Yale Norfolk Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Great Irish Houses Festival, for the Irish President at Aras an Uachtarain and on Irish national television and radio.
As a chamber musician, Ailbhe performs in a duo, ‘The McDonagh Sisters’ with pianist Orla McDonagh. She is also a member of the Ficino Ensemble, The Belisama Trio and the crossover traditional Irish music group Trio Elatha where she plays traditional Irish music on the cello.
Ailbhe is an established composer with numerous compositions and commissions to her name. London based publishers Boosey & Hawkes have released two books of her piano music entitled ‘It’s a Piano Thing’ Books 1 & 2. Current projects include ‘It’s a Cello Thing’, a collection of two books of pedagogical pieces for cello which will be published shortly. Keenly interested in performing contemporary music, Ailbhe collaborates with many composers and other artists worldwide and has recorded several CDs of contemporary music.
Ailbhe joined the cello faculty of the RIAM in 2010. Her debut solo CD “It’s a Cello Thing” was named "CD of the Week" on Ireland’s national classical music station ‘RTE Lyric FM’ and is played internationally. She performs on a Postaccini cello.