Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Jean Kelly & Fiona Kelly to Join the Cork Pops Orchestra in Cork, Limerick This Autumn

Jean Kelly & Fiona Kelly to Join the Cork Pops Orchestra in Cork, Limerick This Autumn

Jean Kelly (harp) and Fiona Kelly (flute) are the soloists with the Cork Pops Orchestra in the forthcoming "Harp Magic" concerts for schools in City Hall, Cork, on November 7th, 8th & 9th, and University Concert Hall, Limerick, on November 10th.

The Kelly sisters are well known musicians from Cork. They hail from an Irish family of several generations of professional musicians. In fact their mother Evelyn Grant will be conducting the orchestra. This is quite a unique event and due to the interest, these concerts can now booked by the general public as well as schools.

For tickets, email Concert details are on

Evelyn Grant enjoys a busy career in music as a performer, educator, broadcaster, and adjudicator. A member of a well-known musical family from Dublin, she studied the flute in Germany before returning to Ireland to teach at the Cork School of Music (1980 - 2009). Her radio career began on RTÉ Cork Local Radio and she has been a regular voice on RTÉ lyric fm since its inception. She currently presents Evelyn Grant's weekend Drive every Saturday and Sunday from 4pm. Her recent documentary, 'Digitising Rita', celebrating the life of Cork soprano, Rita Lynch, reached the finals of the 2016 New York Radio Awards. Evelyn was awarded a PhD, in 2006, for her research on Social Inclusion in Music Education. She serves on the board of West Cork Music. As musical director of the Cork Pops Orchestra, she performs to thousands of young people each year, and leads an extensive outreach programme around Ireland with the RTE lyric fm quartet. She is probably unique amongst women, in Ireland being the principal conductor of the Cork Pops Orchestra for 27 years.

In 1996 Jean Kelly won a scholarship to study harp at the Royal College of Music, London. Since graduating she has based herself in London and is in great demand as a versatile harpist. She regularly tours with the Locrian Ensemble performing harp concertos and her own arrangements of Irish music. She has recorded three CD's with the group including Handel Harp Concerto and Mozart Flute and harp Concerto. Jean has performed in Vienna and St.Petersburg providing music for plays devised by Cork based Boomerang Theatre Company and in 2006 she was involved in a Rough Magic Theatre Company production at the Soho Theatre, London. Jean performed alongside Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney at the Opening Night of the World Harp Congress in Dublin and she accompanied Irish President Mary McAleese on a State Visit to Austria. Jean has played harp with renowned Israeli Sephardic singer Yasmin Levy. Jean played Electric Harp with the band 'Ranagri'.

Film credits include: 'Lord of the Rings', 'We need to talk about Kevin' scored for solo harp by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.

Greenwood told BBC 6. "We used this harpist called Jean Kelly, who plays a harp strung with metal strings, so it sounds like nothing you have heard, wonderful."

Fiona Kelly, hailed by the New York Times as a player with "impressive technique and elegant musicianship", was principal flute of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Fiona completed her Master's degree at The Juilliard School, New York, studying with principal flute of the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin. She won first prize in The Juilliard School Flute Competition and made her Lincoln Center debut performing Bernstein's 'Halil' with The Juilliard Orchestra at The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. She began her studies at the Cork School of Music with her mother Evelyn Grant and Sabine Ducrot. She completed her Bachelor of Music studies at Trinity College of Music, London, with Ms. Anna Noakes. While in London she won numerous awards including 1st Prize in the British Flute Society International Competition, the Royal Overseas League Sussex Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Julius Isserlis Scholarship.

Based in London, Fiona enjoys a varied career of solo and orchestral playing. She has performed concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Jönköpings Sinfonietta, Locrian Ensemble, Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland in venues such as Köln Philharmonie, Liszt Academy Grand Hall Budapest, Heidelberg Festival and St. Martin in the Fields London. She was a soloist with Håkan Hardenberger, Antje Weithaas and Uri Caine in the Swedish Chamber Orchestra's Brandenburg Project performing the 2nd and 5th concertos and premiering new concertos by Steven Mackey and Uri Caine, touring throughout Germany, Hungary and Poland. Fiona gave a further performance of this project at the Rheingau Festival and recordied these works for the BIS label in 2017.

Her orchestral experiences range from being offered the post of principal flute with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra of Ireland at the age of 22, to performances as a guest flautist with the New York Philharmonic in the Aviary Fisher Hall and more recently the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has performed with various orchestras at the BBC proms and will make her solo debut at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival in 2018 with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Related Articles View More Ireland Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You