Eimear Quinn is one of the pre-eminent Irish voices of her generation. Occupying the space where Traditional meets Classical and Sacred, she is most noted for her interpretation of song allowing for a deep, almost spiritual connection with the audience.
As a classically trained soprano with a background specialising in Early and Choral music, she made her international debut in 1996, when she won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with the haunting ballad ‘The Voice’ written by Brendan Graham.
That opportunity allowed Eimear to explore musical genres very different to that of her studies, and in the proceeding years to develop a repertoire encompassing all of her musical loves and interests, honing a fused genre of folk and classical, scared and medieval that she has become widely known for.
She now often composes music using Latin and Irish languages, and contemporises ancient text and chant.
She has become a highly respected interpreter of Irish folk and traditional song in a classical context.
The biographical documentary film ‘The Living Bridge’ by award winning producer Philip King for RTE, explores Eimear’s fusion of genres in depth where she joins Neil Martin (Belfast piper/cellist/composer) in deep musical discourse on the subject.
Eimear has toured, in Australia, Europe, America and South Africa in venues including The Royal Albert Hall, The Sydney State Theatre and the Vorst National, Brussels and Theatre De La Ville, Paris. She has also made numerous television appearances as a performer and presenter for Irish Television and Radio programming for RTÉ and TV3, and many Radio and Television performances in Europe.
Her extensive collaborations include performing with SIR GEORGE MARTIN in Dublin (who’s company George Martin Music publish Eimear’s compositions).
Also, CARLOS NUNEZ, the Galician piper on his album ‘Finistere’, LIAM LAWTON on ‘Another World’. DONAL LUNNY, JOSEPH O’CONNOR, SCULLION, DUBLIN BRASS, BRENDAN GRAHAM, PÓL BRENNAN to name but a few. Eimear has also collaborated with a number of international composers on a range of musical and television projects. These have included performing and co-writing the award-winning score to Belgian drama series STILLE WATERS with Steve Willaert.
Many of these collaborations were featured on the 2006 release, ‘Gatherings’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eimear’s Eurovision win, a collection of music recorded over the previous decade. This was Eimear’s third solo disc and followed ‘Winter Fire and Snow’ and ‘Through The Lens of a Tear’; a song cycle on the legend of Tristan and Iseult, co-composed with Pól Brennan.
In December of 2006, Eimear was honoured to appear at ‘Ireland’s Finest in Concert’ a gala celebration of the 25th anniversary of the National Concert Hall, along-side Irish artists such as Sharon Shannon, the Chieftains, Paul Brady, Sir James Galway and Brian Kennedy, with the RTE Concert Orchestra. This was broadcast on RTE television and has been released as a DVD.
December 2007 saw the release of ‘O Holy Night’ a collection of carols, ancient chants and new seasonal compositions from Eimear, who has also produced and arranged the album.
‘O Holy Night’ the album was inspired by the overwhelming reaction to her performance of ‘O Holy Night’ live on Ryan Tubridy’s Radio 1 show the previous year. This in turn led to Eimear presenting her own Television special ‘A Christmas Celebration with Eimear Quinn’ on RTE Television in December 2008, produced by Philip King. Eimear still tours with these songs nationwide in Ireland every December.
In 2009 Eimear gave birth to her first daughter Joely. She happily disappeared into full-time Motherhood for the next two years, only composing and performing occasionally.
In 2011 she was asked to perform for HRH Queen Elizabeth II of England, to mark her State Visit to Ireland.
In August 2012 she performed at The Gathering concert in the O2 in Dublin, she formed part of a rare musical performance on the ABBEY THEATRE stage with author Joseph O Connor and the band Scullion.
In October of 2012, Eimear gave a solo concert with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in the NCH, Dublin, included in the programme was world premier of the specially commissioned work ‘Whisper City’ by Emma O’Halloran for soprano, symphony & laptop orchestras.
Eimear’s second daughter, Marlene was born that year.
In 2013, Eimear was honoured to sing at CEILIURADH, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, during President Higgins’ inaugural State Visit to Britain.
Eimear continues to perform extensively in Ireland with 2016 seeing a commemorative commission with the setting of Patrick Pearse’s poem ‘The Mother’.
2017, Eimear collaborated with the Dublin Brass Ensemble for ‘Breath Upon the Flame’ setting traditional Irish song for classical brass quintet. She was one of the composers commissioned to arrange these songs for the ensemble, which premiered in St Patricks’ Cathedral, Dublin in April.
2020 saw a return to recording, as Eimear released her first studio album since the birth of her two daughters.This large scale orchestral project resulted in the album Ériu, recorded with the RTE National Concert Orchestra. It was released during the global pandemic and features many songs of solace, including ‘The Watchman’ co-written with Brendan Graham.
In 2021 the recognition for Ériu continued as the new recording ‘The Voice’ was named as one of Prince Charles favourite pieces of music in a 2021 radio interview.
The orchestral recording of ‘In Paradisum’ also featured was voted into the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2021 by the listeners. Eimear was one of only 5 female composers to receive this coveted vote.
Eimear is a graduate of Musicology from The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, a graduate of Social Science (Environmental Resources Mgt.) from the Dublin Institute of Technology, a former vocal student at The Conservatory of Music, Dublin (Jody Beggan), a former chorister with Christchurch Cathedral (Dublin) Choir, National Chamber Choir, DIT Conservatory Chamber Choir, NUI Maynooth Chamber Choir and Anúna (choral group).