Denise Kelly-McDonnell

MusB (Trinity College, Dublin) LGSM MMus (Performance)
Denise Kelly

Denise Kelly began her musical studies at both the College of Music, Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Following her graduation from Trinity College, Dublin with a MusB Degree, she moved to London where she studied harp with the renowned Russian harpist Maria Korchinska. She also studied composition and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and continued her harp studies there with Sidonie Goossens of the BBC SO.  An Arts Council scholarship enabled her to finish her harp education with Francette Bartholomee at the Conservatoire Royale de Musique, Brussels. On her return to Ireland, she was appointed harp teacher to the Schools of Music in Belfast and Cork and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. This was followed in 1999 by her appointment as lecturer in harp at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, the first such position in the country. Denise is an examiner with the Department of Education and the RIAM.

She has a great interest in contemporary music and is herself a composer and arranger. As a freelance orchestral harpist, she has worked with the RTE NSO, the RTE CO, Orchestra of St Cecilia, and the Ulster Orchestra. She has recorded solo and chamber music with BBC, RTE, UTV, radio and TV, and has made numerous CDs with the cellist Moya O’Grady and choral group ‘Anuna’. Her performances have taken her to France, Germany, USA, and a concert tour of Australia with the contralto Dr Bernadette Greevy. She is the Irish correspondent for the World Harp Congress Journal, and is a member of the National Committee of Feis Ceoil. Denise is also harp tutor to the National Youth Orchestra (Junior).