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The biography
of Anne-Marie O’Farrell

Anne-Marie O’Farrell

Principal Harp

Profile for Anne-Marie O’Farrell

Leading harpist of her generation, Dr Anne-Marie O’Farrell from Dublin has performed all over the world as a solo artist, accompanist and in ensembles, and is regularly featured in broadcasts. On lever harp, she is particularly recognized for her expansion of repertoire and levering techniques, as a result of which the world’s leading harpmakers Salvi Harps redesigned their lever harps to become concert instruments. 

She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Irish Memory Orchestra, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Last year she premiered her lever harp concerto, In Light Anew (commissioned by RTÉ Lyric FM) with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff.

A prolific recording artist, she has released several CDs, including Just So Bach, Harping Bach to CarolanThe Jig’s Up, My Lagan Love and Embrace: New Directions for Irish Harp; Double Strung and Duopoly with Cormac De Barra; and Harp to Harp with harmonica player Brendan Power. She is frequently invited to give recitals, workshops and masterclasses at international conferences and festivals around the world, in addition to performance at several World Harp Congresses.

She is Head of Harp at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she runs a thriving harp department. Dedicated to the expansion of repertoire for the lever harp, she has published critical editions for lever harp of Bach’s cello, keyboard and lute repertoire.

Anne-Marie holds a PhD in composition with Piers Hellawell at Queen’s University Belfast and masters degrees in performance, musicology and composition. Recent large-scale commissions include a Civil War Cantata commissioned by UCD, several orchestral works, and a five-movement work for large harp ensemble commissioned by Harp Ireland/Cruit Éireann.

Anne-Marie O’Farrell’s Eitilt for orchestra chosen to represent Ireland at the International Rostrum of Composers in The Hague

Anne-Marie O’Farrell speaks on ‘My Creative Life’ on Aedín in the Afternoon on RTÉ LyricFM

World Premiere The Ocean’s Corner for three pedal harps 28th May 3.30pm, St Iberius Church Wexford, with Aisling Ennis, Richard Allen & Diane Marshall; commissioned by Music for Wexford.

Profile for Anne-Marie O’Farrell