From Hollymount, Co. Mayo, Paul Clesham plays the concertina, fiddle, accordion, piano and melodeon. He has won 6 All-Irelands at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, including the Senior Concertina and Accompaniment competitions in 2015. He is also classically trained, having completed all grades in piano and he has also arranged music for Classical string quartets.
He holds a BA in Music & Irish, a BMus and an MA in Ethnomusicology from University College Cork. He was awarded the Mary V. Hart Memorial Prize for obtaining the highest result in the BMus examination in 2015, along with the Seán Ó Riada medal for Irish Traditional Music also in 2015. In 2012, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA for a semester. Paul is currently studying for a PhD in Ethnomusicology, and was awarded an Excellence Scholarship from the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences in UCC for his studies. His research will focus on the co-existence of Irish Traditional Music and Western Art musical traditions through contemporary compositions and arrangements of Irish composers. He is also one of the co-ordinators of the annual Early Start Programme in Irish Music at University College Cork.
Paul has travelled to numerous countries performing and teaching music including; The United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Greece, Sweden, The United States, Canada and Tanzania. He is a member of the group ‘Officially Tapped’ and has performed with ‘Celtic Steps’ dance show in Killarney also.