Music in Monkstown 2018 Performers



Born in 1995 to a family of musicians, Nathalia Milstein started the piano at the age of 4 with her father Serguei Milstein, entering his class in the Geneva Conservatory of Music in 2009. In 2013, Nathalia enters the class of Nelson Goerner at the Geneva High School of Music, where she completed her Bachelor and Master's degrees with distinction. Since 2017, Nathalia Milstein is studying at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin with Nelson Goerner.

In May 2015, Nathalia launches her international career by winning 1st Prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition and performs all over Europe and North America in the most prestigious halls. In 2016, she made a brilliant debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Marcelo Lehninger.

Most recently, Nathalia was awarded the 2017 Young Soloist Prize by the Médias Francophones Publics.

Nathalia has followed masterclasses with renowned professors such as Elena Ashkenazy, Krzysztof Jablonski, Jean-Marc Luisada, Vladimir Tropp, Mikhail Voskressensky, Jan Wijn, Enrico Pace and Menahem Pressler.

Nathalia performs in France and abroad, giving solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Europe, appearing in major festivals such as La Roque d'Anthéron, Lille Piano Festival, New Ross Piano Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival or Zaubersee Festival. For several years she has been playing in duo with her sister violinist Maria Milstein. Their duo album "La Sonate de Vinteuil" has been released on the French label Mirare and received warm welcome from critics throughout Europe (for more information about the duo click here). Nathalia's debut solo CD, featuring works of Prokofiev and Ravel, was released in March 2018 on Mirare.

Barry Douglas


Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.

Barry opened the 17/18 season performing Tchaikovsky with the Halle Orchestra, after which he began new collaborations with both the Endellion String Quartet and the Borodin Quartet. He toured in recital in the UK and USA and performed with orchestras across the globe from Canada to Europe to China to Russia. 

Other recent and future highlights include performances at BBC Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra, a UK tour with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with Orchestre de Auvergne, Barcelona Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic and Vancouver Symphony orchestras. He also recently gave the premiere of Kevin Volans’ fourth piano concerto with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and performed in recital at the Verbier Festival.

He has previously given concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony, London Symphony, Russian National, Cincinnati Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Staatskapelle, Halle, Orchestre National de France, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others. Barry regularly plays in recitals throughout the world, with recent performances in the UK, the Netherlands, Armenia, Mexico, China and the US.

Barry is an exclusive Chandos recording artist. He recently completed recording the full works for solo piano of Brahms, the six albums of which have received much critical praise. International Record Review wrote that “this is indeed Brahms playing of the utmost integrity and authority… this cycle looks set to become a benchmark version.” The interesting programming of each disc presents each album as a stand-alone recital, providing a varied and engaging listening experience. His current recording project focusses on the solo piano works of Schubert; the fourth and final disc will be released next season. Last season he also began a new series, recording Tchaikovsky solo piano music. Also with Chandos Barry is exploring Irish folk music through his own arrangements, working with ancient melodies through to pieces by contemporary song writers. The first in this series, Celtic Reflections, was released in September 2014 and was followed in 2016 by a second disc: Celtic Airs.

In 1999 Barry Douglas founded the chamber orchestra Camerata Ireland to celebrate and nurture the very best of young musicians from both Northern and the Republic of Ireland. In addition to striving for musical excellence, one of the orchestra’s aims is to further the peace process in Ireland by promoting dialogue and collaboration through its musical education programmes. Barry regularly tours with Camerata Ireland throughout the world and visited the US in the spring of 2018. Highlights of past seasons were Camerata Ireland’s debut at the BBC Proms in London and a world premiere of a new cantata commissioned by The Honourable The Irish Society, “At Sixes and Sevens”, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra to celebrate Derry-Londonderry becoming City of Culture 2013.

Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List for services to music.

Maighréad McCrann


Maighréad McCrann has been 1. Concertmaster of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1993.

In 1997 she was appointed Professor of violin at the University of Performing Arts in Graz. During this time she has also enjoyed a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician and directing chamber orchestras from the violin.

Her passion for teaching has resulted in many masterclasses and intense coaching with the youth orchestras of Spain, Catalunya, Columbia, the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra and the National Orchestral Institute in Washington.

Born in Dublin where she studied with Brian McNamara, she graduated from Trinity College of music in 1984 and commenced studying in Vienna with Ernst Kovacic. Further violin lessons with Sandor Vegh and David Takeno. She was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and played baroque violin with Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus.

The RTE ConTempo Quartet


The RTE Contempo Quartet is currently Irelands National Television & Radio Broadcasters Quartet in Residence and is also the resident quartet on the West Coast of Ireland in the Galway Music Residency. Praised as a “fabulous foursome” (Irish Independent) and noted for performances which are “exceptional” (The Strad) and “full of imaginative daring” (The Irish Times), RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has forged a unique place in Irish musical life.

Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the quartet has performed more than 1,800 concerts world-wide in 46 countries, including prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Berliner Philharmonie; Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome; Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. ConTempo have had the honour to meet and play in front of world personalities such as Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, EU Ministers, Michael D. Higgins, Hollywood stars and Nobel Prize winners. The ensemble has won a record of 14 international prizes (including Munich, Rome, Berlin, Prague and London) and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. Collaborations with other distinguished quartets have also been a feature, such as the Amadeus, Arditti, Vanbrugh, Casals and Endellion.

John Finucane


Clarinettist John Finucane has been Principal Clarinet with Ireland's RTE National Symphony Orchestra since 1995. He has also had an active career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor in Ireland and abroad. Described by Gramophone magazine as 'an outstanding virtuoso', on the release of his CD “Clarinet Variations,” he has worked with the Ulysses Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Irish Film Orchestras. He has appeared regularly on radio and on television programmes, including RTE's The Symphony Sessions and Britain's The South Bank Show. He has a particular affinity with chamber music and has worked with many groups, including the Ysaye, the Navarra, the Con Tempo and the Vanbrugh Quartets.

John is also a conductor of note, having studied with Janus Furst and Albert Rosen amongst others, and has regularly conducted the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. In July 2018 he stepped in at fifteen minutes notice to conduct the NSO in a concert for the President of Ireland at Aras an Uachtaráin.

He is one of the founders of the Dublin Chamber Orchestra and has been the Musical Director of the Hibernian Orchestra for nearly thirty years. Despite his hugely busy life as a performing artist and conductor, John has found the time to join the faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. His many tours have included China, as a soloist as well as with the National Chamber Ensemble of Ireland and Academy Chamber Ensemble performing to sell-out audiences. Two tours to China are planned for 2019.

He is the director of Music in Monkstown since it was founded in 2014, and continues to promote musical events in the village with the assistance of a wonderful voluntary committee. A recent development has been the launch of ‘Music in Monkstown at Home’, a revival of the ‘house concert’ that he hopes will become a regular event in the Monkstown social calendar. He will be playing the Beethoven Septet on Saturday 8 September with the RTE Contempo Quartet, along with John Hearne, bassoon, Peter Ryan, horn and Aura Stone, double-bass.

His CD, “French Holiday”, recorded in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, was released last year on the Genuin label and was followed by a recording in January, in the same hall, of music from Ireland, released this month and already reviewed by MusicWebInternational: “…heartbreakingly beautiful…The playing is superb”.

He recorded a further CD last August for the German label Dabringhaus of the three sonatas for clarinet and piano by Grigori Frid. This is the premiere recording of these recently discovered works by the great Russian composer, and is now available.

John is a D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.

John Hearne

John Hearne began his musical education at a young age, with piano lessons from his father William Hearne, with whom he later also studied the recorder.

Taking up the bassoon at the age of 11, he was taught by Michael Rogers in Dublin, before completing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, with Graham Sheen and Meyrick Alexander, and at the Scuola Musicale di Milano, Italy, under Valentino Zucchiatti.

Since returning to Dublin in 2001, John has worked as a freelance player with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company, the Orchestra of St. Cecilia, Castleward Opera and various other ensembles.

A keen chamber musician, John is a member of Cassiopeia Winds, Musici Ireland and the Ficino Ensemble. He teaches the bassoon at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Peter Ryan

Peter Ryan

Peter Ryan started learning the Piano at the age of 5 with Peter Dains in Killiney in Dublin and the French Horn at the age of 12 with Ian Dakin at the DIT School of Music in Dublin.

He has won all major Brass prizes in the Republic of Ireland and was one of ten finalists from the island of Ireland in the Catherine Judge Memorial Award in Belfast.

Peter studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with a scholarship generously funded by the Music Student’s Hostel Trust in September 2012. He studied under Jeff Bryant, Jonathon Lipton, David Pyatt, Chris Parkes, Richard Bissill and Alec Frenk-Gemmil and graduated in September 2016 with a BMus and has been working in Ireland since.

Peter has performed in all major venues in Ireland, as well as venues throughout the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, China and the UAE. He has played and worked with the European Union Youth Orchestra, Festival Productions, the Opera Theatre Company, Wexford Opera Festival, RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras and the Ulster Orchestra and worked under conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington and Sir Simon Rattle.

Aura Stone

Born in Yorkshire, England, Aura was a scholarship student of Thomas Martin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Leaving London to join the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, she experienced the full range of symphonic repertoire over a period of 18 years. As principal bass of the Orchestra of St Cecilia she was privileged to perform the entire series of church cantatas of Bach.

Since leaving the RTENSO, she enjoys the variety and diversity of a freelance career, in demand with the ICO, Ulster Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, and Wexford Festival Orchestra. With a keen interest in chamber music, Aura has performed most of the major chamber works that include the double bass.

An enthusiastic teacher and educator, in 2013 Aura co- founded, a concert series for babies and adults. Beginning in Dublin, it has rapidly expanded to include venues in Limerick and Cork.



The Palestrina Choir had its origins in a boys’ choir formed in the 1890’s by Dr. Vincent O’Brien, then a music teacher at St. Mary’s Place Christian Brothers School in Dublin. It was at a performance of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli at St. Teresa’s Carmelite Church in Clarendon Street in 1898 that this choir, and its gifted director, first came to the attention of Edward Martyn.

Martyn was born to a family of Catholic landed gentry in Tulira Castle, Co.Galway in 1859.  He was educated in Belvedere College, Dublin, Beaumont College, Windsor and Christ Church, Oxford. He is perhaps better known for his involvement in the Irish Literary Theatre, later to become the Abbey Theatre, which he co-founded in 1898 with W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and George Moore. However, his interest in establishing a national theatre was matched, if not exceeded, by his interest in the reform of liturgical music in Ireland. During his university days, he traveled extensively in Europe, where he was struck by the quality of the choirs he heard in the great cathedrals there. He was determined that the Catholic Church in Ireland should have music of an equivalent standard.

In particular, he wished to promote the music of Palestrina which was espoused by Pope Pius X as a standard to which liturgical music should aspire. Between 1898 and 1902, Martyn worked tirelessly to establish the choir at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, offering an endowment of £10,000 (in current terms about £800,000) on condition that Dr. O’Brien was appointed choirmaster. The agreement was signed on November 26th, 1902, and the Palestrina Choir was constituted and installed in the Pro-Cathedral on January 1st, 1903.

In the century since its foundation, the Choir has had seven Directors. Dr. Vincent O’Brien, director until his death in 1948, was succeeded by his son, Oliver. In 1978,  Fr. Seán O hEarcaigh took over the baton from Oliver O’Brien. He was succeeded in 1982, by Ms. Ite O’Donovan and in 1996 by Comdt. Joseph Ryan. Ms. Órla Barry was then director for five years before being succeeded in 2002 by the current director, Ms. Blánaid Murphy.

Réamonn Keary


Réamonn Keary was educated at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland Maynooth and in Vienna as a private student of Prof Leonid Brumberg.

He is a Professor and former head of the Keyboard Faculty at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. He frequently gives lectures and workshops on the subject of piano teaching and learning; presenting, for example, the series Piano Keys on RTÉ lyricfm since 2003 and the highly popular Key Skills series of workshops for teachers around the country every autumn. He regularly presents masterclasses and has been a guest teacher in Millikin University Illinois, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.

Réamonn is highly-regarded as a chamber musician and has performed and recorded with many of the country’s top instrumentalists.

He is closely associated with the RIAM’s Local Centre examination system, having served as the Chairman of the Senior Examiners for many years and annually recording CDs of its piano syllabus. He is also much in demand as an adjudicator and was a jury member of the Dublin International Piano Competition in 2006 and 2009.

Simon Stroughair


A native of Dublin, Simon Stroughair studied organ with the late Una Russell at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, where he was awarded the Actors’ Church Union Prize at the Conservatory competitions, and also won the Fitzgerald Trophy for advanced organ performance at the Feis Ceoil.

More recently he has studied organ and harpsichord with David Adams at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and has taken part in masterclasses given by Ben van Oosten, Margaret Phillips and Daniel Roth.

In his former role as assistant organist of Monkstown Church, Simon accompanied the choir during tours to Tewkesbury Abbey, Bath Abbey and Zehdenick in Germany.

He has acted on the committee for the Pipeworks festival, and was consultant for the organ rebuild project at Dublin's Unitarian Church in 2016.

As a harpsichordist, Simon has performed at the National Gallery of Ireland, and as one of the soloists in J. S. Bach's concerto for Four Harpsichords. Simon is a graduate and foundation scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied Theoretical Physics.

Brian Dungan


As an orchestral percussionist Brian Dungan works regularly with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra. He is also timpanist and a founding member of Fishamble Sinfonia.

Brian loves to perform new music. For Northern Ireland Opera in Belfast Brian played the frenetic percussion part – with its massive instrumental array extending to fishing reels and bags of broken crockery – in the Irish premiere (2017) of Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face which drew rave international reviews including five stars from both The Times and The Telegraph. Brian played more Adés (the Irish premiere of Totentanz with the RTÉ NSO) as well as John Cage (Living Room Music) with Bangers and Crash at the 2017 New Music Dublin Festival. Brian played in Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians in a joint performance with Crash Ensemble, Bang on a Can Allstars and Sō Percussion in Dublin in 2014. He played the John Cage duo for flute and percussion, Roanji, with flautist Manuel Zurria in 2014, and recorded Perotin’s Viderunt Omnes for eight cellos and percussion by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky in 2012, both for Louth Contemporary Music Society. Brian played for Arvo Pärt in a chamber group assembled for the composition seminar at the 2008 RTÉ Living Music Festival.

He is assistant to Richard O’Donnell, director of the RIAM Percussion Ensemble, with whom he has toured to New York many times since 2010.

Some notable masterclasses include those with Pedro Carneiro, Collin Currie, Evelyn Glennie, Arnie Lang, Eriko Daimo, and Toni Micelli. He was runner-up in the Yamaha European Foundation Scholarships competition (2013).

Brian earned a Masters in music pedagogy from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy, Budapest, following his first-class honours B. Mus. Ed (with Gold Medal) from Trinity College Dublin. He continues to study with Richard O’Donnell (Principal Percussionist, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra) on the Masters programme at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.