Meet the Artists
Malcolm Proud won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982 after a year of study with Gustav Leonhardt. He is harpsichordist and organist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny and performs regularly with Chamber Choir Ireland, Resurgam and Sestina. His international career has included playing all six Brandenburg Concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists at the BBC London Proms and at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. He has worked also with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, European Union Baroque Orchestra and Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, and he has toured Japan in a production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Mark Padmore in the lead rôle. In November 2018 he curated a series of concerts at the National Concert Hall in Dublin to mark the 350th anniversary of François Couperin’s birth.
A performer on both historical and modern instruments, Mariana is equally at home as an orchestra member, giving recitals and playing chamber music.
A native of Victoria, Mexico and established in Ireland, Mariana Parás completed her Master degrees in Orchestral Music, Historical Performance and Chamber Music in Frankfurt, Germany, Stockholm, Sweden and Milan, Italy and developed her musical career as bassoonist in high demand orchestras and baroque orchestras like the Swedish radio, Swedish national opera, Irish National Symphony, RTE concert orchestra, Drottningholms Baroque Ensemble, Arte dei Suonatori, among others.
She has performed as Solo Bassoon in the music production (of 5 CDs) “The Mexican Composers Series” – Itinerant Classics Label and in 2019 she was awarded with the Best instrumentalist prize in the Selifa International Early Music Competition in Italy.
Originally from Finland, Marja Gaynor is a Cork-based violinist and viola player. She specialises in Baroque music and is a member of Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny, recording and touring with both groups regularly. She has also performed with Irish Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Marsyas, Dunedin Consort, London Handel Players, King’s Consort and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra. Marja is known as a versatile musician at home in many different styles, a fluent improviser, as well as arranger and curator. Upcoming projects include chamber music tours with Solas Quartet and The Vanbrugh and performing and arranging as a trio with uilleann piper David Power and flamenco guitarist John Walsh. She teaches violin and chamber music in MTU Cork School of Music.
Sestina Music is a dynamic vocal ensemble specialising in the performance of early music. Founded in Belfast in 2011 by Mark Chambers, who remains the ensemble’s Musical Director, Sestina Music has a reputation for excellence and authenticity in early music performance as well as a fresh and innovative approach to the programming of early music.
Sestina Music collaborates regularly with specialist early music performers, and has worked with ensembles such as His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Monteverdi String Band and the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Along with regular performances in Northern Ireland, Sestina Music performs all around Ireland and the UK, with recent performances at East Cork Early Music Festival, Purbeck Art Weeks Festival, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham and Sligo Festival of Baroque Music. Sestina Music’s debut recording, Master and Pupil, exploring the influences and legacy of Claudio Monteverdi, was released in April 2022.
Colm had a musical childhood, attending the Royal Irish Academy Of Music to study the trumpet with James Cavanagh. Under Jimmy’s guidance, Colm won junior and senior Feis Ceoil and also the Walton cup for Brass. He took part in ten years of ensemble playing including the RIAM ensembles, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Irish Youth Symphonic Wind Ensemble and European Wind Ensemble. Aged fifteen Colm performed the Hummel Trumpet Concerto with the RTE Concert Orchestra for TV.
Colm completed his degree and postgraduate studies in Glasgow and returning to Ireland, began his professional career as a teacher and freelance trumpeter. He has performed with both RTE Orchestras, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of Saint Cecilia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Colm has also recorded extensively on numerous movie scores, adverts, jingles, and an array of albums of different genre with many groups. For over 15 years Colm recorded regularly with the Irish Film Orchestra. Following a return to part-time study Colm obtained his masters degree in music from Dublin City University and the RIAM where he has taught trumpet since 1998. In April of 1999 he joined the brass section of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as co-principal trumpet. Finishing with RTE in 2021 Colm took up a full-time teaching position at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
Eamonn began playing trumpet in his local wind band, the Rathfarnham Concert Band with Robert P. Chester. After further study with Killyan Bannister through the Leinster School of Music he then moved to Scotland to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Peter Franks, John Gracie and Eddie Severn. While in Glasgow he was a member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
After graduating in 1998 with the Peter Morrison prize, the Conservatoire’s highest award, he returned to Dublin and became Assistant Lecturer in Trumpet in the DIT (Now TU Dublin) Conservatory of Music and Drama. Since 2007 he has held the position of 2nd Trumpet with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Eamonn featured on singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy’s two most recent albums, ‘The Thomas Moore Project’ (2017) and ‘Gimme Some Wine’ (2021). He will perform the Trumpet Concerto by Alexander Arutunian with the County Kildare Orchestra in May 2023.
Simon Harden lectures in Organ performance at the TU Dublin Conservatoire and is Organist and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford. Regular concert engagements take him throughout Europe and further afield. He has performed solo recitals in such venues as Notre-Dame Paris, Westminster Abbey London, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall and St Jacobi Hamburg. Simon began his studies at Trinity College Dublin reading Music and History of Art. Further studies at the Music Academies in Berlin and Hamburg led to a first-class Postgraduate degree in performance followed by a ‘Premier Prix’ for his studies in Paris. On receiving a scholarship from
the City of Hamburg, he took the ‘Konzertexamen’ with distinction, the highest award for performance in Germany.
Simon has won several prizes in international competitions including 1st prize and audience prize at the ‘International Schnitger Organ Competition’ in the Netherlands and 2nd prize at the ‘Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne’. He was also awarded the DAAD prize for ‘outstanding performance and intercultural involvement’ whilst in Hamburg. In 2020, Simon served on the jury panel of the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
He founded the Waterford International Organ Festival in 2021 and became its Artistic Director. Simon’s research into new and historic organs is published regularly in the international ‘Choir and Organ’ magazine and solo CD recordings include performances on the Marcussen organ in Gettorf and the new Glatter-Götz organ in Frankfurt.
The Waterford International Organ Festival is supported by: