Joanna MacGregor to host masterclasses with piano students

16 March 2015

Music Network is committed to connecting tours to music education programmes with the aim of giving children and young people rich, holistic musical experiences.

As part of her Irish tour from 19th to 28th March, Joanna MacGregor will host masterclasses in Cork, Dublin and Waterford with students of CIT Cork School of Music, the Piano Academy of Ireland and WIT (Waterford Institute of Technology).

Read more about the lucky students who will work with Joanna this March:


CIT Cork School of Music

Name: Gráinne Ní Luasa

Age: 18
Level: Post Grade 8
Gráinne began studying piano with Gabriela Mayer at the Cork School of Music at the age of six. She has been a regular prize-winner at local and national competitions, and won first prize in both Piano Solo and Piano Repertoire Under 17 at Feis Maitiú in 2013. In 2012 she was awarded the Louise O’Connell Memorial Trophy for achieving the highest mark in Ireland in the Junior Certificate Music State Examination. In March 2013 she made a recording for RTÉ lyric fm as part of a programme showcasing under 18 talent which was broadcast on national radio. Gráinne has taken part in masterclasses with pianists such as Ewa Poblocka, Finghin Collins, Pierre Goy, Réamonn Keary and Nadene Fiorentini. She has also attended Chetham’s International Summer School for Pianists on two occasions, where she has studied with Peter Donohoe, Carlo Grante, Joseph Banowetz and Benjamin Frith. Gráinne is currently studying piano with Jan Cap at the Cork School of Music, and hopes to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree next year after completing her secondary school studies.
Repertoire for masterclass:
 - Beethoven: Op. 81a (Les Adieux) 1st movement
 - Chopin: Study in G flat Op. 25 No. 9 

Name: Hannah O'Keeffe
Age: 18
Level: Post Grade 8
Facts: Hannah is studying for her Leaving Cert at the moment.
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Chopin: Nocturne Op. 62 No. 2
 - Poulenc: Toccata from Trois Pièces

Name: Cathal Deasy
Age: 14
Level: Grade 6
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Janacek: Our Evenings from An Overgrown Path
 - Copland: Cat and Mouse

Name: Maebh Fitzgerald 
Age: 14
Level: Grade 7
Facts: Criostóir completed a BMus in 2014 and will commence an MA in September 2015.
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Chopin: Impromptu in A flat major Op. 29 No. 1  
 - Debussy: Prelude from 'Pour le Piano'



Piano Academy of Ireland

Name: Marco Di Marzio
Age: 42
Level: LTCL Performers Diploma
Facts: Marco started to play piano when he was 7 years old. He then began preparing for music exams to gain acceptance to the conservatoire in Pescara, Italy. He was accepted under the tutelage of Narci Eumo for eight years. Marco never forgot about his love for music and would toss around the idea of attending university, his parents were convinced that a safer profession was one with an abundance of jobs and thus Marco essentially stopped playing music. This all changed when he moved to Dublin in 2001 and was attending and working at Trinity College. Marco found out that the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) is very close to Trinity College, and Marco began to play by himself. He kept playing which reignited the passion that had been drained from him in high school and eventually entered an application for an audition for the RIAM. Marco was accepted, and reconnected with his love for the piano and that evolved to something much larger then anything before. He was then taken under the tutelage of Archie Chen who until this day remains his teacher. Marco achieved his LTCL Performers Diploma last year. He participated in the Dublin International Piano Festival Summer Academy 2014 (a nine-day intensive programme). Marco is a regular prizewinner in national competitions. He is a pharmacist during the day, but music is central to his life!
Marco says: "
Briefly my love story with the music and piano started at very early stage. When I was almost 8 years old I asked my parents to start to learn to play piano. This was after hearing someone playing Fur Elisa by Beethoven….the effect that had on me was absolutely overwhelming. After receiving private lesson for two years, I prepared at the age of 10 the exam to enter in the Conservatory of my city (Pescara).
"After attending 8 years I then dropped it. I moved to Dublin and I kept my hobby up, hiring a room in a music school and go playing whenever I could get the chance. Then, everything started again out of the blue! While doing a MSc in Chemistry in TCD I realized that the RIAM was right behind the college. So, with the intention of having more facilities in playing whenever I wanted, I went to RIAM and asked to use a room. After being told that only students could use the school I thought to myself that I had the tools to do another audition and get the chance to be, again, a music student and receive lessons from a teacher.
So this was for a couple of years, until I met my current teacher & mentor, Archie Chen. He re-ignited that passion so deeply that I decided to pursue the road I always wanted to be on!
"For me now any chance to improve my skills, to learn and to challenge myself is more than welcome. I try to participate to as many events (competition, festivals, masterclasses) as I can. As I always say, I’d drop my job tomorrow if I could…. And I know it will happen.!
"I am building my repertoire and I am delighted to play one of my favourite pieces in this masterclass. Also because I will have to play it in a competition so it will be great to receive a feedback from an established musician like Joanna MacGregor. I am really looking forward to this experience and I am sure it will bring something new in me that will help my style and technique."

Repertoire for masterclass:
- Mozart: Sonata K576
- Liszt:  Vallee d'Oberman


Name: Chloe Power
Age: 19
Level: Advanced diploma
Facts: Chloe hails from Kilkenny. She is a first year science student and pianist in the Ad Astra Performing Arts Academy at University College Dublin and is a student of Archie Chen at the Piano Academy of Ireland. Chloe began playing the piano at the age of six with Ms. Maura Rafter at the Kilkenny Academy of Music. She progressed quickly through her RIAM exams, collecting multiple high achiever awards along the way. She was selected to play in the Leinster High Achievers Concert after receiving 96 marks in her RIAM Gold Medal Recital Exam at the age of eleven. Chloe has also won numerous prizes in local and national competitions- most recently winning first prize in her age category in the 2014 EPTA Ireland competition. Chloe was a participant in the Dublin International Piano Festival Summer Academy in 2013, a piano festival for advanced students of piano from around the world. During this festival Chloe took part in a series of workshops, private lessons and masterclasses from Edmund Battersby, Evelyne Brancart and Lance Coburn.

Chloe says: "Music really has influenced me so much. It has given me countless opportunities. It has made me more confident, hardworking, more aware of feelings, more empathetic and more able to express myself. I think, funnily enough, music is a way of both connecting with people and a way of totally escaping from the world. I love playing the piano as it gives me the medium through which I can express myself and bring to life the ideas and intentions of the composers.
"Masterclasses are always extremely helpful. Different pianists can have different outlooks and ideas with regards to any piece and seeing a particular section of a piece in a different light can be very interesting. With this masterclass in particular, I am really looking forward to playing for Joanna MacGregor, especially having listened to examples of her solo and masterclass work online. I am looking forward to hearing the improvement in my own playing and to working with such a highly esteemed pianist.
"I have been working hard on my chosen pieces for some time now, but in preparation for this masterclass, I will work even harder to bring these pieces to the highest standard I can, in order to be able to learn and gain as much as possible from the masterclass.
"My chosen pieces for this masterclass are Toccata from “Trois Pièces”, by Poulenc and Nocturne in E major Op 62 No 2, by Chopin. These pieces are set pieces in a competition I am competing in shortly after the masterclass and I would love to get some final advice and feedback before this competition!
I would love to get some advice and feedback on my pieces before the competition, but perhaps more importantly, I would like to learn things in the masterclass which I can apply to many other pieces down the line. I cannot wait to gain some experience and get the chance to work with such an incredible pianist!"

Repertoire for masterclass:
 - Poulenc: Toccata
 - Chopin: Nocturne Op 62. 

Stan O' Beirne

Age: 11
Facts: Stan lives in Terenure in Dublin and he goes to school at Saint Pius X B.N.S. in Templeogue. He studies piano with Rhona Gouldson at the Piano Academy of Ireland. He really enjoys playing piano and has an interest in all genres of music. Stan enjoys practicing (up to 2 hours a day) and loves performing the piano any chance he can get! He is a frequent first prizewinner at festivals around the country, including Newpark, Navan & Sligo Feis Shligigh. He is also a frequent High Achiever Award winner with the RIAM exams. What he is looking forward to the most from the Master class is getting as much feedback as possible. Stan will prepare for his masterclass by practising hard and then focusing on new ideas and new techniques offered to him. Stan would like to be able to take on board the feedback he receives for the upcoming Feis Ceoil from the expertise of Joanna McGregor. Stan is a keen sportsman playing gaelic, soccer, and tennis. He also enjoys reading and playing chess.
Repertoire for masterclass:
 - John Field: Nocturne No 8 in A major
 - Tan Dun: Missing Moon & Staccato Beans from 'Eight Memories in Water Colour'
 - Debussy: Arabesque no 2
 - Chopin: Etude Op 10 no 6
 - Chopin: Prelude in B minor
 - Ibert: Giddy Girl

Sean Rooney

Age: 27
Facts: Sean began playing piano in 2009, as a 22 year old. He was initially self taught, then began taking lessons under Archie Chen at the Piano Academy of Ireland in Rathgar. Sean plays mostly by ear but is learning to read music. Since working with Archie Chen, Sean has won several first prizes in national competitions, including the Owen Walsh perpetual cup, first prize in the Newpark Music Festival and first prize in advanced piano at the Arklow Festival amongst others. He was selected as one of sixteen advanced students of piano from around the world at the Dublin International Piano Festival and Summer Academy. He is currently one of five finalists in the Budweiser dream job competition from 30,000 entrants. He hopes this will help him achieve his goal of becoming a performing pianist, which is what he lives for!
Repertoire for masterclass:

 - Bach/Siloti: Prelude in B minor
 - Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement



WIT (Waterford Institute of Technology)

Name: Robert Leahy
Age: 26
Level: Diploma (Thames Valley University), RIAM Gold Medal Recital 
Repertoire for masterclass: 
- Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor, Opus Postumous 
 - Janacek: No.3, Andante, from In The Mist

Name: Kate Maguire
Age: 16
Level: Grade 8
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Chopin: Nocturne in E flat, Opus 9, No. 2
 - Schubert: Scherzo in B flat, D593 

Name: Anna Walsh
Age: 14
Level: Grade 7
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Tchaikovsky: Octobre: Chant d'automne No. 10 (from Les Saisons, Op. 37b)
 - Bartok: Peasant Dance, Microcosmos 5

Name: Lucy Kirby
Age: 14
Level: Grade 6/7
Repertoire for masterclass: 
 - Heller: Etude in D, Op 46 No.8
 - Valerie Capers: Mr Satchmo


Joanna performs in Cork, Dublin 1, Sligo, Castlebar, Dun Laoghaire, Waterford and Westmeath on her Music Network tour. More details here.

To observe Joanna's Dublin masterclass, please see here.