Michael Howard and Fionnuala Howard, Song & Valerie Walker, Piano
Date: Saturday June 6th Tickets €12
Valerie Walker is a pianist who taught in the Royal Irish Academy of music for decades. She is an accompanied by Fionula Howard with a history of Irish songs and Micheal Howard on guitar who played with the well known band "The Dubliners".
Professor Valerie Walker is a distinguished teacher of piano and an honorary fellow of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. Valerie was a pupil of the late Dinah Copeman who in turn studied with Esposito, one of the leading Italian pianists of the early 20th century and a founding father of the early Irish piano school.
Valerie in her youth won many awards as a soloist and was much in demand as an accompanist. She has performed on RTE and in many other public venues. Valerie claims the highlight of her early solo performance career was a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto. Since that time it has been as a teacher she made her greatest reputation.
Valerie is a sister of the renounced Irish architect Robin Walker, now deceased.She appeared recently in a television documentary dedicated to his life's work. She lives in a beautiful place on the hill of Howth where she continues to teach and guide many young Musicians along their way.
Fionnuala Howard is a native of Malin Head, the most Northerly Point in Ireland. She was one of the early fiddle pupils of the famous Inishowen musician. Dinny Mc Laughlin and initially learned the Sean nos tradition from Clement Mac Suibhinne. She won The Sean O Riada Prize for traditional music in 1984.
Fionnuala has been employed as Head of Music at Sutton Park School, Dublin for the past 29 years and has built to a reputable Music department there. She founded the Sutton Park School Young Musician Competition in Dublin in 2001. In recent years as her children have grown older she has become more active again herself as a composer and soloist. In 2002 she wrote an original song inspired by the words of Mary Mc Aleese to the American people post 9/11. The song was featured nationally. In 2009 she recorded an EP of original songs in collaboration with the Malin Head poet, Rose Collins. One of her own original songs was premiered at Aras an Uachtarain in 2013 for President, Michael D. Higgins. Fionnuala went on to arrange this for her school choir and this arrangement reached no 1 on the I Tunes World Genre chart in the days before Christmas 2014. She has performed in France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine and has just returned from a performance, teaching and lecture tour in Sweden.
Michael Howard first studied classical guitar with the German guitarist Wilhelm Schoenwerner in Dublin. He later took classes with Oscar Ghiglia in Italy and master classes with John Williams in London. As well as winning the inaugural Feis Cheoil for classical guitar he has also won a number of prizes at music festivals in England.
He has more recently carved out a career as a composer of music for film and TV documentary with scores for the RTE "Arts Lives" biographical series on the lives of Micheal Mac Liammoir and the artist Louis Le Brocquy. Michael has just completed an original score for the soon to be released feature film, "Twice Upon A Time in Dublin".
In 1987 Michael recorded an Album of original material with the fiddle player, John Sheahan of the Dubliners. A single released from the Album,"The Marino Waltz", became a top ten hit in Ireland.In 2000 he was featured as a composer on the Millennium series "Cheoil Reoite" (Frozen Music), celebrating the Architectural heritage of Ireland. His composition "St Audoens", was subsequently featured on the "Late Late Show". As well as working as a soloist he has toured extensively with the Dubliners over the years and last year completed a two week tour of Australia with a number of other Irish Musicians.