Meet the Orchestra

richard hsRichard O’Donnell, Percussion

Richard O’Donnell is the Section Leader, Principal Percussion of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra since 1997. Previous to this, he was a member of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, and the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastian, Spain. He has appeared as an orchestral soloist on numerous occasions with each of these orchestras and with these orchestras alone has performed on over 100 commercial CD’s. Outside of the orchestra, Richard has been particularly active in the field of contemporary music. He has been a member of Concorde for over 25 years and in addition has performed with the Crash Ensemble, Vox 21, as well as various freelance ensembles. With Concorde he has participated on over 15 international tours and 20 national tours and has appeared on numerous CD’s as a percussionist and Conductor. In the field of education, Richard is currently Professor of Percussion at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where in addition to teaching, he also directs the percussion ensemble. As well as commissioning over 15 new Irish works for percussion ensemble, Richard has led the ensemble on 16 international tours to the USA, South America and Europe. In addition Richard is the Regular tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. Many of Richard’s students have particularly successful careers in music and currently have positions in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, the Army #1 Band, the Garda Band and in orchestras in Germany and South America. Richard holds a M Mus from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a B Mus from Indiana University in the USA.

cormac o'briainCormac Ó’Briain, Cello

Cormac Ó Briain was born into a family rich in traditional music and was encouraged to develop his musical ability and interests. In the summer of 2008 he travelled to Norway with the RIAM Intermediate Orchestra and toured Japan as a member of the Young Irish String Orchestra both times under the baton of James Cavanagh. He appeared in recital in the John Field Room of the National Concert Hall as part of the ‘Young Musicians of the Future’ showcase concert organised by Sarabande, The Glenn Gould Project and at the first Cello Meeting Ireland organized by the Donegal Chamber Orchestra in Letterkenny. He qualified to compete for the Senior Instrumental Bursary at the Sligo Feis Ceoil 2010, 2011 and 2012. He has also participated in masterclasses in Ireland and in Germany with artists such as Echart Schwarz-Schulz, Guy Johnston, Mihai Dancila, Hannah Roberts, Dr, Benjamin Whitcomb and Prof. Peter Bruns. He has performed regularly in recitals in the Bucharest Conservatory and in the George Enescu Museum as a member of Ansamblul Violoncellissimo. He was awarded third prize in the Paul Constantinescu National Music Competition and in the Mihai Jora National Music Competition. He was also awarded first prize in The George Georgescu International Music Competition in Tulcea, Romania. Cormac is currently the principal cellist of the Clare Memory Orchestra. In August  2012, he recorded Scéalta ón Seansaoil, a string quartet by Dave Flynn. The recording was produced by the three time grammy-winning Judith Sherman.

Daniel-Parkin-9 Daniel Parkin, Flute

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Daniel Parkin has worked with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, English National Orchestra, Carl Rosa Opera, D’Oyly Carte Opera and Grange Park Opera. He can also be found playing in London’s West End. Daniel made his Wigmore Hall debut in a live BBC broadcast and has subsequently appeared in recital at the Purcell Room, the Royal Opera House, and Kings Place as well as internationally. Solo performances have also included appearances at the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Deal and Suleika festivals alongside artists including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Elizabeth Watts, Ann Murray and Emily Beynon. Collaborative cross-art performances have included projects with the artist Raqib Shaw. Daniel is a founder member of Ignite, Wigmore Hall’s Learning ensemble in residence and is a member of theWigmore’s Music for Life team of musicians working with dementia sufferers and Chamber Tots programme.


Jon Clifford studied trombone and euphonium at the Royal Academy of Music, London, from 1983 to 1987 under Harold Nash (Covent Garden) and Michael Hext (LPO). During this time he gained an ARCM (perf.), LRAM (teach.), GRSM and Dip RAM (orch.) and was also awarded the Sidney Langston and Aubrey Brain prizes. After graduating from college Jon had trial periods with the Bournemouth and BBC Concert Orchestras, eventually becoming sub principal and later principal trombone with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, a position he held until 2005/6. Upon leaving the SBO Jon has been freelancing with the RTE, Ulster, Wexford Opera, Irish Chamber Orchestras and performed at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club. Jon began lecturing in trombone at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in 2001 and in 2011 at the Defence Forces School of Music. In 2012 he was appointed Music Director of the Ballymore Eustace Brass and Reed Band and has also conducted the DIT Concert Band. More recently Jon has coached the brass section of the Dublin Youth Orchestra and Sligo Concert Band.

LauraLaura Marín Canellas, Violin

Laura Marín Canellas was born in Vic (Barcelona, Spain) in February of 1988. She started to study music when she was 2 and playing the violin at the aged of 7 in Conservatory of Music in Vic with Quim Térmens. She completed her Degree at the Conservatory of Liceu in Barcelona (Spain) with Gonçal Comellas and then at the ESMUC (High music school of Catalonia) in Barcelona with Yuri Volguin. She has received violin lesson from Eva Graubin, Oriol Algueró, Vera Martínez,  Anna Baget and Raquel Castro. She is now studying with Mia Cooper at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin (Ireland). Laura has been playing with RTÉ Concert Orchestra, OBC (Orchestra of Barcelona and Catalonia), JONDE (National Youth Orchestra of Spain), Orquestra de Cambra Terrassa 48, ONCA (Orchestra National Classic Andorra), Orchestra of Empordà. She has received chamber lessons from Quartet Casals, Kennedy Moretti, Andrew Ackerman and Xavier Puig. Laura worked in the band El Molino, a Cabaret Theater in Barcelona and she played in a musical called La Vampira del Raval.


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