Nollaig Casey appointed Traditional Artist in Residence 2021 at University College Cork

3 Dec 2020

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (UCC) and the School of Film, Music, and Theatre (UCC), in association with The Arts Council, announce the appointment of the internationally renowned performer and composer, Nollaig Casey, as the Traditional Artist in Residence at University College Cork 2021. Casey will deliver a series of concerts, workshops, and classes over the course of her 1-year residency, beginning in January 2021.

Casey will be hosted by The School of Film, Music, and Theatre at UCC where the study of Irish traditional music and dance has been pioneered for many decades. It is a vital part of music studies at the university, where it stands shoulder to shoulder with classical music, popular music, jazz and various world musics, including the highly acclaimed Javanese gamelan ensemble.  She will be warmly welcomed by a team of internationally recognised traditional artists including Máire Ní Chéileachair, Bobby Gardiner, Connie O’Connell, Margaret McCarthy, Colm Murphy, Conal Ó Gráda, Niall Vallely, Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby and Tríona Ní Shíocháin.


Nollaig Casey is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed fiddle players, with an international reputation for excellence in the field of Irish traditional music. She is equally well versed in both traditional and classical music performance styles, and has played and recorded with Planxty, Enya, Van Morrison, Arty McGlynn, Liam O’Flynn, Alison Krauss, Rod Stewart, Dónal Lunny, among many others. She performed for many years as a duo with her husband, the renowned guitarist Arty McGlynn (RIP), guests frequently with ‘Cherish the Ladies’, and performs with her sisters Máire and Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh as ‘The Casey Sisters’. She, along with her sister Máire, is the subject of a new TG4 documentary, ‘Sé Mo Laoch’, chronicling her life in music.

Equally renowned as a composer, she was recently commissioned, along with her sisters Máire and Mairéad, to write forty five minutes of new music for the fortieth anniversary of the Cork Folk Festival. Entitled Corcach: A Journey, it is a musical narration of the history of the city of Cork, and was premiered in October 2018. In addition to original melodic airs and dances tunes, it also features two early nineteenth-century poems- in both the English and Irish languages – set to original music by Nollaig. Her compositions are widely acclaimed and celebrated: Twins on A Swing was used as a signature tune for the RTÉ/TG4 fifteen-part television series, ‘Sult’, and the reels The Mouseskin Shoe,  Dancing in Allihies, and Causeway have been recorded by many artists and were used as signature tunes by RTÉ Radio 1. Lios Na Banríona (Fort of the Fairy Queen) initially recorded on ‘Causeway’, her critically acclaimed duo album with her husband, guitarist Arty McGlynn, has been recorded by artists in Ireland, the UK, and the US, including the acclaimed  ‘West Ocean String Quartet’. Other renowned compositions include The Silver Strand and The Beehive (reels), which have been recorded by the internationally renowned band, ‘Lúnasa’, among others.

She has played on over one hundred recordings, and was featured soloist in several feature films, including Hear My Song, Waking Ned and Dancing at Lughnasa. She is a frequent broadcaster, has recorded two award-winning albums with her husband, Arty McGlynn, ‘Lead The Knave’ (winner of the Belfast Telegraph Arts and Entertainment Award 1992) and ‘Causeway’; a solo album, ‘The Music of What Happened’, two quartet albums, ‘Heartstring Sessions’, and more recently, an album with her two sisters, ‘Sibling Revelry’, all critically acclaimed. Nollaig was awarded the prestigious Arthur Darley Memorial Prize at the Dublin Feis Ceoil for the playing of unaccompanied Bach Sonatas and Partitas. She received a BMus from University College, Cork, and an MA in historical musicology (with distinction) from Queens University, Belfast.

Cuireann sé áthas croí ar fhoireann agus ar mhic léinn Roinn an Cheoil, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, fáilte mhór a chur roimis an gceoltóir eisceachtúil iomráiteach, Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh, agus táthar ag tnúth go mór leis an mbliain atá romhainn i dteannta a chéile.

‘Nollaig’s performance was stunning for its sheer musical artistry, seducing some into quiet amazement and inducing others to insist on encore after encore…’ –The Irish Times

Department of Music

Roinn an Cheoil

T23 HF50