Sinéad O’Halloran is quickly establishing herself as one of Ireland’s most exciting young musicians. Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Ortús Chamber Music Festival, established in Cork in 2016, Sinéad is passionate about bringing together Irish and international musicians for concerts, education work and audience development in the wider community.
As cellist of the award-winning Marmen Quartet (1st Prize Winners of Banff & Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions), Sinéad has performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, Boulez-Saal, BBC Proms, Lucerne Festival & Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. Upcoming highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, Heidelberg Festival, Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, as well as tours across Europe, Canada, the UK, the US & Israel. Another highlight of the 22/23 season will see the Marmen Quartet taking part in the Australian National Academy of Music’s Quartetthaus project, hosted in London by the Royal Albert Hall. A showcase of both musical and architectural talent, the Quartetthaus programme features works by both Australian and British artists including a new piece by Hannah Kendall commissioned for the Marmen Quartet by ANAM.
Sinéad also enjoys a varied career as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. In October 2020 she made her Wigmore Hall debut at the invitation of cellist Steven Isserlis, performing alongside Anthony Marwood, Timothy Ridout and Mishka Rushdie Momen. In March 2023, Sinéad will make her solo debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, performing the world premiere of Shaun Davey’s Cello Concerto Refuge on St. Patrick’s Day 2023 in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
As a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) for seven years, she toured Europe, South America, the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean. As Principal Cellist of EUYO she led the section at numerous high profile events, including the BBC Proms and The Armistice Day 100 Years Anniversary Ceremony, performing at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe during a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of World War I in front of 84 Heads of State and world leaders, and a live television audience of millions. At the invitation of Maestro Iván Fischer, she is a regular guest with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, touring extensively and performing in some of the world’s finest concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Het Concertgebouw. She has also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Spira Mirabilis and the iPalpiti Ensemble of International Laureates, working with some of the world’s most renowned conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jörg Widmann and Vasily Petrenko.
Sinéad began her musical studies at the CIT Cork School of Music under the guidance of Joan Scannell and Christopher Marwood. At the age of 18 she was offered an Artistic Merit Scholarship to pursue a postgraduate Performer’s Diploma at SMU Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas in the classes of renowned cellists Andres Diaz and Christopher Adkins. She received a First Class Hons BMus degree as a student of Gregor Horsch (Principal cellist of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf and completed a one year Erasmus+ Masters exchange at the Royal Northern College of Music in the class of Hannah Roberts, where was awarded the RNCM Gold Medal 2021, the most prestigious award of the school. She is currently a on the Chamber Music Faculty of the Royal College of Music, London.
Sinéad gratefully acknowledges support from the Arts Council of Ireland, Music Network, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Cork City Arts Office and Deutschlandstipendium. She currently plays on a Benjamin Banks cello c. 1780.