By Ken Kelly
Eimear, who is the eldest daughter of Mary and the late Padraig Noone, Ballinderry, Kilconnell is currently in the middle of a whirlwind world tour, conducting orchestral concerts of Video Game Music at veunes such as Gamescom in Germany and some of China’s most prestigious concert halls. She is now heading off to continue her tour in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brazil and Malaysia.
As a five-year-old attending St. Gabriel’s NS, Kilconnell, Eimear’s talent for music was recognised by her late teacher, Margaret Blehene, when she played the tin whistle during class. Mrs. Blehene was so insistent on her musical education that she recruited her daughter Maeve to give Eimear her first piano lessons! As a secondary school student at Scoil Mhuire in Ballinasloe, Eimear studied piano with Marie Power, someone she describes as “an extraordinarily musical person” who had a “major influence” on her future and while there Sr.Vianney gave her the opportunity to conduct an orchestra for the first time. The Kilconnell lass even wrote the school anthem to mark the 75th anniversary of her school. As a child she jumped at any opportunity to particpate musically and enjoyed many a performance-and musical camaraderie-in Noel Madden’s town band whilst studying flute with Athlone’s Michael Whelan. At the age of 14 got her first paid job in music playing flute in the pit orchestra for The Ballinasloe Musical Society, where inspirational musical director, Noel Henry, later created the role of Assistant Musical Director for a 15-year-old Eimear! On two consecutive years she was also the youngest particpant of the renowned Ennis IMRO Composition Summer School and had her music broadcast on RTE by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, whilst still in transition year at Scoil Mhuire.
After studying music in Trinity College and at the DIT Conservatory of Music in Dublin, Eimear emigrated to Los Angeles in 2004 where she graduated from the ASCAP Filmscoring Workshop, taught conducting for UCLA Extension and got her first assignment conducting the orchestra for the Los Angeles Ballet. “This really opened the door for me and over the past ten years I been in the most exotic places and conducted orchestras in such places as the Sydney Opera House, Madison Square Garden in New York, The Greek Theatre in LA, Taipei Arena in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, China and many more” she recalled. Eímear has also recorded with orchestras at some of the world’s most renowned recording studios, such as Abbey Road and Skywalker Ranch, and Capitol Records in Hollywood. “It has been a huge honour to conduct world-famous orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic,The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Sydney Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of the United States”.
She has shared a stage with some legendary artists such as Gladys Knight, EDM legend, BT, and actors Pierce Brosnan and Roma Downey. “I’ve studied with several conductors but my most influential teacher was Gerhard Markson, the former principal conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. My background is classical music but, being from Kilconell-the home of traditional Irish music legend, Paddy Fahy, I definitely hold a special place in my heart for great trad music” she added.
Eimear - who now spends half of the year in Los Angeles - is one of the composer/conductors for Blizzard Entertainment, including on their infamous “World of WarCraft” video game series and has also worked with other video game producing companies such as Sony and Nintendo. Her husband, who is an Emmy nominated composer, is a great support and the couple collaborate on various projects. “We are looking forward to the Festival in Dublin next year, where Craig (my husband) is conceptualizing the festival events and getting top artistes to perform with us, while my brother Eamonn has also come on board as part of the team. We collaborate regularly at his studio here in Kilconnell, and via the internet, to produce music for albums, games, film and television shows in the USA. I’m a big fan of Eamonn’s songs and his musical aesthetic, so working together makes complete sense and there’s a sort of creative short-hand that comes from growing up in the same house” proclaimed Eimear. “I miss home a lot but I am grateful for the backing my parents gave me to pursue a career that I really love. I’m proud to have come from Kilconnell and to be Irish to the core, no matter where in the world I perform” said the world-famous conductor.
For more informaton on Eimear visit her website
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