Úna Palliser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Una Palliser)
Jump to: navigation, search
Una Palliser
Birth name Úna Palliser
Genres Classical, Balkan, Rock, Pop, Irish Folk
Occupation(s) musician
Instruments violin, viola, voice, strohviol, piano, accordion
Years active 2002–present

Una Palliser is an Irish born, London based violinist, violist, singer and multi-instrumentalist who as well as being classically trained, is recognised for her proficiency in many musical genres, including rock, balkan and Irish folk. She is best known for her role as the featured solo violinist on Shakira's The Sun Comes Out World Tour[1][2] and as the singer of Irish folk song Mo Ghile Mear on the Specsavers 'Collie Wobble' advertisement.[3][4][5]


Early life[edit]

Una was born in Cork, Ireland where she began learning the violin at 4 years old at the Cork School of Music.[1][6] She also studied piano and viola and later was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra.[7] Palliser won a number of awards including Wolfson Trust Award, a Royal Philharmonia Martin Musical Scholarship Award, and was a string finalist in the RTÉ Millennium Musician of the Future Competition. She won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with Garfield Jackson of the Endellion Quartet for 4 years before graduating with a 1st Class Hons Degree in performance.[8][9]


Una has recorded and performed as a session musician with many artists such as The Killers, P Diddy, Buena Vista Social Club, Maxim Vengerov, The Noisettes, and Elbow.[9][10] Resultantly she has performed on a number of television programs including Later With Jools Holland, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Top of the Pops and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross[11]

She also appeared in Mark Ronson's video 'Valerie'.[12]

She toured Europe as part of Gnarls Barkley's band in 2006, and as solo violinist/violist on Patrick Wolf's Magic Position tour of the US and Europe in 2007.[13] Later that year she performed as featured violist on Take That's Beautiful World Tour 2007.[12][14][15]

In 2008 Palliser was the featured lead singer and violinist/violist on the single 'Still Resist The Storm' on BBC World Music Award Winning band Terrafolk's record Full Circle,[16] which topped the radioplay charts in Slovenia.[17] This led to many international tours and performances as a featured guest artist with Terrafolk.[18]

Palliser toured as violinist with Moby on his 2009 summer tour.[13][19]

In August 2011 she joined Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer as guest violinist on her UK tour.[20][21]

In October/November 2011 she performed at the Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar as the solo violinist with Leona Lewis. She rejoined Leona in Kuala Lumpur in March 2012 to perform to the King and Queen of Malaysia[22]

In May 2012 Palliser joined Avalanche City playing violin, glockenspiel, accordion and backing vocals for their UK shows.[23]

Palliser performed as guest violinist with Otis Taylor (musician) at the FMM Sines – Festival Músicas do Mundo in Lisbon[24] and Le Duc des Lombards in Paris[25] in July 2012. She rejoined Taylor at La Defence Jazz Festival in Paris in July 2013[26]

Palliser has been described as an 'extraordinary violinist' by the UK's The Independent newspaper.[27]


In 2010, Shakira invited Palliser to feature as the solo violinist on her 2010 / 2011 The Sun Comes Out World Tour where she also sang back up vocals as well as played the accordion, whistles and strohviol.[1][2] She had a 4-minute improvised solo intro to the last song of Shakira's main set, 'Ojos Asi'.[28]


Palliser's recording of the Irish folk song "Mo Ghile Mear" has been used on the Specsavers 'Sheep' advert since 2008.

She is the lead singer and violinist in the four-member band Una & the Balkan Bears which completed its first UK / Ireland tour in May 2010, ending with a performance at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London.[10][29][30]

Personal life[edit]

Palliser currently lives in London. Her brother Conor Palliser is a conductor and pianist[31][32] and brother Ronan Palliser is a photographer.[33] Her father plays Irish folk music including harmonica and whistles.[1]



Specsavers 'Collie Wobble' advertisement (solo vocals, arranger) – Soundtree Music – 2008[4][5]

with Shakira

  • Je ľaime a mourir (solo violin, string arranger, 2011)
  • Live From Paris (solo violin, vocals, accordion, strohviol, 2011)

with Terrafolk

  • 'Still Resist the Storm' (solo vocals, violin, viola) – single – Full Circle Album- Music Net, Menart (2008)[16]

with Take That

  • Beautiful World Live – Universal (viola, 2008)

with Smoke Fairies

  • Troubles – Music For Heroes Records (solo fiddle, viola, 2008)

Other recordings[edit]

with Carl Barat

  • So Long My Lover – PIAS Recordings, Arcady Records (violin, viola 2010)
  • Ode to a Girl – PIAS Recordings, Arcady Records (violin, viola 2010)

with The Killers

  • A Dustland Fairytale – Live at Abbey Road – Channel 4 (viola 2010)[9]

with Russell Watson

  • Anthems album – Sony (violin 2012)

with Katie Melua

  • Secret Symphony Dramatico (viola 2012)

with The Choirgirl Isabel

  • The Choirgirl album – Universal UK (violin, viola, 2010)

with Aled Jones

  • Aled's Christmas Gift album (viola, 2010)

with Lisa Lois

  • Smoke album – SBC/Sony BMG – (viola, 2010)

with Paloma Faith

  • Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? – Sony Music (viola, 2009)

with Noisettes / Radio 1's Live Lounge CD

  • When We Were Young (Killers cover) BBC Radio (viola, 2009)

with Brian Eno

  • The Lovely Bones Soundtrack (viola, 2009)[34]

with Mark Ronson ft Amy Winehouse

  • Valerie video (viola, 2008)

with Tony Christie

  • Made in Sheffield album (viola, 2008)[35]

with Peter Kay / Geraldine McQueen

  • Once Upon a Christmas Song – Polydor Records (viola, string arrangements, 2008)

with Gary Barlow / Elliot Kennedy

  • Without You / Brittania High soundtrack – Polydor Records – (viola, string arrangements, 2008)

with Peter Raeburn

  • You and Me album – Nowever Records (violin, viola, 2008)

with Gnarls Barkley / Later with Jools Holland CD

  • Crazy – BBC (viola/violin, 2007)

with All Angels

with The Shapeshifters

  • Beautiful Heartache – Positiva, EMI (viola, 2006)

with Hugh Cornwell

  • Gingerbread Girl – Koch Entertainment (viola, 2000)

Trident 'splash' advertisement – Soundtree Music (composer, string arranger, violin, 2008)

Smirnoff ' Sea' advertisement – Soundtree Music (violin, viola)

Royal Mail 'Grow' advertisement – Soundtree Music (violin, viola)

Nokia 'Harmony' advertisement – Soundtree Music (vocals)

BBC One's 'Let's Dance' TV theme – BBC (violin, viola)

'Love on a Saturday Night' TV theme – London Weekend Television / ITV (vocals)

'Eva' Short Film Soundtrack – Jeva Films[36] (solo vocals)

'By Hook' Short Film Soundtrack – Virgin Media Shorts / Laura Evers Johns (solo vocals)[37]


See also[edit]

Ojos Asi

Mo Ghile Mear



External links[edit]