This is the cello as you’ve never heard it before. Ilse de Ziah takes traditional Irish melodies and gives them a deep and fabulous transformation. Sometimes rock ballad, sometimes irresistibly foot stomping, Ilse’s solo show is utterly captivating and moreish. Best of all are her own arrangements of the slow Irish airs – love songs and laments – sonorous and aching on her mellow instrument.  The cello produces melody and harmony so that sometimes you think you’re listening to a whole band.  At other times a single haunting line says all that music can ever say.  Through it all Ilse’s vibrant personality carries you along and transports you to a magically emerald musical landscape.

Irish-Australian cellist and composer Ilse de Ziah has a deep passion for composing, arranging and performing music for the cello. Using traditional Irish melodies as source material, she creates contemporary arrangements perfectly suited for the cello. With the marriage of classical detail and folkloric tradition, this makes for a transcendent musical experience.

Ilse is well respected for her interpretation of slow Irish Airs, with a CD and published book Irish Airs for Solo Cello. Her award winning film Living the Tradition, a journey into old Irish airs reflects the passion she has for the music and it won best documentary in the Eirie International Film Festival. She regularly tours her solo cello performance around Europe and has a large following on her solo cello YouTube channel. In Summer 2018 Ilse featured as soloist in the largest Gamelan Festival in the world, in Java with the Irish Gamelan Orchestra. She is a member of the Quiet Music Ensemble and performs and records with many trad, rock, pop, jazz and world musicians.

Ilse’s second album Transcendence features sacred Irish music inspired by the religious and spiritual music of old Ireland. The solo cello compositions and arrangements are inspired by her view that Ireland and the world needs a time of grieving after so much has been lost, and a time of uplifting to help us carry on with vigour and life! 

Her next music documentary is in pre-production, and she has recently published her fourth book of solo cello sheet music, Sacred Irish Music for Solo Cello.

An accomplished cellist with inspiring depth and vivacity.

Further details:

Ilse hold a Masters in Music (1st class honours) from Cork School of Music, tutors BMus chamber music at UCC, University College Cork, a member of the Quiet Music Ensemble, performing an Irish style of  ‘deep listening‘ music in European contemporary music festivals, is musical director of the Cork Light Orchestra, runs the Scarlet String Quartet,  and holds an annual Irish Cello Retreat

She performed as actor/musician in award winning theatre shows in Cork and London, including Dido & Aeneas and Pagliacci at the Everyman Theatre, Cork, was principal cellist of the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra, Dance shows with Liz Roche Dance Company and the Cork Opera House production of “Prodijig – The Revolution”. 

She also is co-artistic director of the Midleton Arts Festival.

Ilse composed film music for the European Space Agency, for dance and short films and ads, and composes and publishes solo cello music for her online store Play Cello Music  and as a Signature artist with