Master Classes


The National Concert Hall is delighted to continue our Online Masterclass Series this spring, with four more masterclasses featuring exceptional Irish musicians teaching Ireland’s up and coming talent. 

Each masterclass will be live streamed on the National Concert Hall’s YouTube and Facebook channels giving aspiring musicians access to tuition and further development. There will also be an opportunity to engage with the tutors via live chat. 

Each masterclass will last approx 2 hours, followed by a brief Q&A with the tutor. 

Catríona Ryan, flute

Tuesday 25th May, 2.30pm

Catriona Ryan was a scholarship student with Doris Keogh at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at the Royal Northern College of Music. Catriona is Flute Section Leader of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and has also played with the B.B.C. Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Hallé. She is a member of Cassiopeia Winds who feature in many music festivals around Ireland, including the Vogler Quartet’s International Festival of Chamber Music and Music for Galway’s Midwinter Festival. They have toured Ireland several times following awards from the Arts Council.

Catriona particularly enjoys collaborations with other musicians and appearing as soloist with various ensembles including the RTÉNSO, most recently performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D Major for the orchestra’s first live-streamed concert after lockdown. She has an active career tutoring, teaching, giving masterclasses, examining and adjudicating.  

She enjoys hosting pre-concerts talks for the RTÉNSO and the opportunity it affords her to meet the audience up close. 

Colm Byrne, trumpet

Tuesday 1st June, 2pm

Colm began playing the cornet at the age of six. His father, a trombone and piano player taught him first and then sent him to hislocal brass band in Navan . Three years later he attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music to study the trumpet with James Cavanagh. Under Jimmy's guidance, Colm won junior and senior Feis Ceoil and also the Walton cup for Brass. He took part in ten years of ensemble playing including the RIAM ensembles, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Irish Youth Symphonic Wind Ensemble and European Wind Ensemble. Aged fifteen Colm performed the Hummel Trumpet Concerto with the RTE Concert Orchestra for TV, broadcast by the European Broadcast Union. 

To further his studies, Colm moved to Glasgow and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he studied trumpet with John Gracie, principal trumpet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He finished his Degree and took with him the Governors Recital Prize for Brass, numerous chamber music prizes and a scholarship to Aspen School of Music. Returning to Ireland Colm began his professional career as a teacher and freelance trumpeter. He has performed with both RTE Orchestra’s, Irish Chamber Orchestra,  Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of Saint Cecilia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish  Chamber Orchestra. 

He has played solo works with the Ruckert Chamber Orchestra, Irish Youth Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the RIAM Symphony and Baroque Orchestras, the RTE Concert Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. He has played many Trumpet/Organ recitals through Ireland and Scotland. Colm has also recorded extensively on numerous movie scores, adverts and jingles, and an array of albums of different genre with many groups. For over 15 years Colm recorded regularly with the Irish Film Orchestra. Following a return to part-time study Colm obtained his masters degree  in music from Dublin City University and the RIAM where he has taught trumpet since 1998. In April of 1999 he joined the brass section of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as co-principal trumpet. 

Malcolm Proud, Harpsichord

Friday 4th June, 2pm

Presented in partnership with the Irish Baroque Orchestra

Malcolm Proud won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982 after a year of study with Gustav Leonhardt. He has performed at many prestigious concert venues including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Rooms, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican London, Ton Halle Zurich, Frick Museum New York and Schwarzenberg Palace Vienna. In 2010 he played all six Brandenburg Concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists at the BBC  London Proms and at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. He is principal harpsichordist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and performs regularly with Chamber Choir Ireland and Sestina. He has worked with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, European Union Baroque Orchestra and Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, and he has toured Japan in a production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Mark Padmore in the lead rôle. In November 2018 he curated a series of concerts at the National Concert Hall in Dublin to mark the 350th anniversary of François Couperin’s birth. 

Malcolm Proud is Emeritus Organist at St. Canice’s Cathedral Kilkenny and has given recitals on historic organs such as the 15th century instrument at Valère-Sion in Switzerland, the 1565 Antegnati in Mantua, the 1610 Compenius at Frederiksborg in Denmark and the 1766 Riepp at Ottobeuren near Munich. In the USA he has given organ recitals in Boston and Virginia. His cd of Bach’s Clavierübung III, recorded on the Metzler at Stein-am-Rhein in Switzerland, was released in 2008. Other recordings include Purcell’s Harpsichord music, Bach’s Six Partitas and the Goldberg Variations. He has recorded Brandenburg 5 with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and English Baroque Soloists, and two cds of Marais with gambist John Dornenburg. 

His ensemble Camerata Kilkenny has performed throughout Europe and recorded several cds, most recently of Bach arias and Swedish folk hymns with soprano Maria Keohane for Maya Recordings and ‘The Piper and the Fairy Queen’ with uilleann piper David Power on the RTE Lyric FM label. 


John O'Conor, piano

Tuesday 8th June, 2pm

"A pianist of unbounding sensitivity" (Gramophone) ; "He represents a vanishing tradition that favors inner expression and atmosphere over showmanship and bravura" (Chicago Tribune) ; "Impeccable technique and musicality ... it would be hard to imagine better performances" (Sunday Times - London) ; "This artist has the kind of flawless touch that makes an audience gasp" (Washington Post); "Exquisite playing" (New York Times). 

The Irish pianist John O'Conor has been gathering wonderful reviews for his masterly playing for over forty years. Having studied in his native Dublin, in Vienna with Dieter Weber and being tutored by the legendary Wilhelm Kempff his unanimous 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has brought him all around the world. 

His recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas led CD Review to say that he "by now should be recognised as the world's premier Beethoven interpreter" and his recent recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and Andreas Delfs have also been greeted with acclaim. In the past two years he has released three new CDs on the Steinway label, one of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and two of Haydn Sonatas. He has also been featured on with videos on teaching and discussing Beethoven and Haydn Sonatas. Last summer he recorded a CD of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas with the Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh. 

A Steinway Artist, he is Chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah University in Virginia, Professor of Piano at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Distinguished Visiting Artist at the TU Dublin Conservatoire of Music and Visiting Professor at Showa University in Japan. 

For his services to music he has been decorated "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by the French Government, awarded the "Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst" by the Austrian Government, the "Order of the Rising Sun" by the Emperor of Japan, and has received many other awards.