Cormac de Barra

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Cormac DeBarra
Genres Celtic
Folk
New-age
Occupation(s) Harpist
Composer
Years active 1989 - present
Associated acts Clannad
Moya Brennan
Hazel O'Connor
Brian Kennedy
Website Official MySpace

Cormac de Barra is a harpist, singer and television presenter and is part of the Moya Brennan Band.

Biography[edit]

De Barra comes from a family of traditional musicians and singers from Dublin but with roots in County Cork. He studied Irish harp with his grandmother, Róisín Ní Shé, in Dublin and went on to study concert harp in the US with Leone Paulson.

"I was born and grew up in Dublin although the De Barras originally come from Cork. I started playing the harp at the age of 10 with my grandmother, Róisín Ní Shé and went on to spend some of the best summers of my life studying concert harp in the USA."[citation needed]

Cormac's professional debut was a six-month tour in Osaka, Japan playing in the Irish Exhibition at Expo '90. While in Japan he gave a performance for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in their palace at Akasaka, Tokyo. Also present at the recital was Irish Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney. Cormac also spent six months in Seville, Spain, performing at Expo 92.

He toured with a family group, with harpist Anne-Marie O'Farrell and as a solo artist from 1993 onwards, also finding time to work in theatre in Dublin both as a performer in W.B. Yeats' 'The Cúchulain Cycle' and as musical director of a production of 'Playboy of the Western World' at the Ambassador Theatre.

He has also toured the UK, Europe, US and Australia with Hazel O'Connor since 1998 in her autobiographical show 'Beyond Breaking Glass'.[1] De Barra has also played with The Chieftains and the Irish Harp Orchestra, Cathy Jordan of Dervish, Liam Ó Maonlaí and with his brothers Fionán and Éamonn (a member of 'Slide'). De Barra has recorded with Galldubh, Moya Brennan and Brian Kennedy.

Since winning the Féis Ceoil Harp Competition in 1989, something he refers to as his first big moment, he has performed as a solo musician for the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo (at the age of 17), played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Hazel O’Connor and finished his first CD Barcó in 2003.

As well as performing Cormac presented the traditional Irish music series, Flosc, on TG4, Ireland's Gaelic-language TV channel. Flosc was awarded Best Music Series by Irish Music Magazine in 2002. He is a presenter of the arts series Imeall on TG4.[2]

In 2003 Cormac joined his brother Fionán in Moya Brennan's band. In 2007 they were both part of the reunited line-up of Moya's family group, the world-famous Clannad. Since 2009 he has performed with Julie Feeney.

As well as these other groups, Cormac is also part of a family trio, Barcó, with his brothers Fionán and Éamonn. Recordings to date include the CD Barcó, the harp duo CD Double Strung with Anne-Marie O'Farrell and the flute and harp recording 'Music of Great Irish Houses' with Karin Leitner.

Other collaborations include a duo CD with Máire Breatnach on fiddle and viola, and a CD Down By the Sea with the Celtic singer songwriter Ashley Davis in NY.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Appearances[edit]

With Hazel O'Connor[edit]

  • Beyond Breaking Glass, (2000)
  • Acoustically Yours, (2002)
  • Hidden Heart, (2005)

With Moya Brennan[edit]

Other[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Scotsman Theatre review: Beyond Breaking Glass 22 August 2013
  2. ^ "Imeall". TG4. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 

External links[edit]