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Ilse de Ziah: Classical, Baroque, Folk, Experimental, composer, arranger, improviser.

From Irish Airs to Australia Fair – Solo Cello Concerts

Expressive, ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ performances of Irish Airs and contemporary cello pieces composed and arranged by Ilse, performed on modern and Baroque cello. Well known and lesser known Irish airs sing gloriously in their new raiment. Modern compositional techniques create ancient ethereal atmospheres and earthy moods. Taking inspiration from the Irish and Australian landscapes Ilse creates a fresh, lyrical and emotional style of cello music. A magical musical journey to lose and find yourself.

Ilse also performs with Contemporary Australian ensemble Ozmosis and experimental Quiet Music Ensemble, with her classical Scarlet String Quartet . She is principal cellist of the City of Cork Symphony Orchestra, and has been involved in theatre, folk music, free improvisation, and dance. She composes music for dance and film, does many recording sessions, and arranges strings for singers and other musicians.

Ilse de Ziah was born in Connecticut USA, where she started music theory classes and sat for hours under the piano listening to her mother play Chopin and Bach. From 7 she grew up in Sydney, Australia where over the years she had lessons in Piano, Cello, Pipe Organ, Harpsichord, Recorder and Violin. With sisters, parents, grandparents all musicians too, there was rarely a moment where music was not being played.

Ilse began cello lessons at age 12 and continued her musical studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She spent many years touring with singers and folk bands around Europe, Australia and America, before settling in Ireland twelve years ago.

The rich heritage started before she was born…
Ilse’s great-grandmother, a pianist from Vienna used to sit on Brahms’ knee as a 3yr old, her father being his ear nose and throat specialist and an accomplished violinist. Her Austrian grandfather was a cellist and escaped from Vienna just before WW2. Her Czeck grandmother a pianist, followed him. Her English grandfather was an accomplished violinist and was known to socialize with Jasha Heifetz and Fritz Kreizler on their trips to Australia where he moved at 12yrs. Her Irish Grandmother a pianist, improviser, moved to Australia in her youth and her father was a harp and accordion player from Limerick.
other details and lists…

  • Ilse has performed Solo cello concerts and ensemble performances in many Irish venues including Glucksman Gallery and Aula Maxima University College Cork,Green Gathering festival, Waterford Cathedral, St Finbarres Cathedral, St Barrahanes Castletownshend, The Grain Store Ballymaloe, Honan chapel, Fota House, Cork Opera House, Everyman Theatre, East Cork Early Music Festival, Music under Mosaics Timoleague,World Fleadh Ballybunion, schools concerts and concert series in Heritage Houses and Castles.
  • Performed with many notable musicians including Nigel Kennedy, Catherine Jenkins, Il Divo, Tasmin Little, Julian Lloyd Webber, Barry Douglas, Danielle Spencer (on tour with Russell Crowe), Josh Ritter, London Handel Players, Declan O’Rourke, Finbar Wright, Cara O Sullivan, James Galway and Micheál Ó Súilleabhain.
  • Composer of Film music for the European Space Agency, Dutch Medical films, Twinkle Toes by Dan O’Connell, Wind on Waves with Ozmosis, dance films by Tina Horan (New Moon Youth Dance Company, Cork) and other independent films.
  • Recent Opera and Musicals performances include Carmen, The Barber of Seville, The Threepenny Opera, Don Giovanni, The Merry Widow, Un Ballo in Maschera, Candide, West Side Story, Hansel and Gretel, Sound of Music, Pagliacci, Dido and Aeneas, Faust.
  • Jan and Ilse guitar and cello duo, touring in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, England, Ireland, France and Australia.
  • Adam Darius Mime company – physical theatre; cellist, composer and mime artist for London West End performances.
  • Education: Currently completing a Masters in Music at Cork School of Music with Christopher Marwood
  • Orchestral Tutoring/ Teaching Experience: Private pupils, Cork School of Music, North Shore Youth Orchestra (Australia), Tamusca music camps and Kambala Girls High School (Australia), Workshops “Strings Unlimited” in Germany, U.K. Ireland and Australia.