Irish pianist, Dr. Orla McDonagh is an active soloist, chamber musician and contemporary music practitioner. A graduate of The Juilliard School for the Performing Arts and The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington, Mc Donagh performs throughout Europe, the USA and Canada. Her interest in contemporary music was sparked by a performance of Messiaen for the composer himself when she was just seventeen and led to premieres of new music in major capitals on both sides of the Atlantic. She has recorded and performed live for Irish national television and radio as well as several classical music media outlets in the USA.
In addition to her solo recital and concerto appearances, McDonagh is a founding member of two ensembles to date, with whom she performs regularly. The McDonagh Sisters (a piano and cello duo with her sister, Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh) released its first CD called "It's a Cello Thing" in 2012. Hailed "a stunning debut album" by the Irish Independent, it was named CD of the week by RTE Lyric FM and its release was followed by their sold out debut in the National Concert Hall in Dublin of that same year.
Dr. McDonagh is also the pianist in The Belisama Trio, an Irish piano trio with cellist Ailbhe McDonagh and violinist Lynda O'Connor. The trio name was inspired by Belisama, the Celtic goddess of fire, light, wisdom, healing and craft and the group performs throughout Ireland and internationally.