I love composing and arranging music for the cello. Using traditional Irish melodies, popular songs, operas and folk traditions as source material, I create contemporary arrangements beautifully suited for the cello. These pieces are played around the world for recitals, encore pieces, examinations, on YouTube and for BMus, MA and PHD performances. They are designed to enhance your performance and give you a chance to show off either technically or deeply emotionally.

To buy solo cello pieces, and the latest collection of traditional Irish music Easy Irish Cello visit the online store. 


There you can buy sheet music digitally as a pdf download. After purchase you are emailed for immediate download. You can download a free sample of my Irish air composition Inch Strand

Irish Airs for Solo Cello available in the store

This book can help you unlock the beauty of Irish airs when played on the cello. Featuring ten exquisite Irish melodies arranged by Ilse de Ziah, with variations, bowing, fingering, and ornamentation. They are an excellent tool for technical development, with techniques employed including the use of left hand pizzicato, false harmonics, octaves and double stops. This creates a rich musical arrangement, often with the melody supported by an accompaniment despite it being performed on one instrument. Each air includes historical and background descriptions.

The Book also includes an mp3 with all of the airs performed by Ilse de Ziah.

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</form>Here is an example air from the book. “The Young Man’s Dream”

Irish Airs for Solo Cello Contents:

  1. Carrickfergus
  2. Buachaill on Eirne (Boy from Ireland)
  3. Aisling An Oigfhir (Young Man’s Dream)
  4. Amhran na Leabhar (Song of the Books)
  5. Fanny Power – O’Carolan
  6. Cape Clear
  7. Down by the Sally Gardens
  8. Eamonn a’ Chnuic (Ned of the Hill)
  9. A Stor mo Chroi (Treasure of my Heart)
  10. Inch Strand – Ilse de Ziah

Listen to a track:  Aisling An Oigfhir

“Irish Airs for Solo Cello features a wide variety of technical challenges in beautiful and harmonically satisfying arrangements, complete with helpful tips and fascinating background information on the Airs origins. From the singing Carrickfergus to a rustic Fanny Power, players of all levels (familiarity with first and fourth positions is a minimum requirement) will be inspired and delighted. Pieces with double stops, thumb position, false harmonics also provide a challenge to the more advanced cellist as well as a wonderful, musical opportunity for the novice to explore these techniques. ‘Irish Airs for Solo Cello,’ is a rare treat for cellists, providing unaccompanied pieces which are a joy to listen to and play. Classical style, yet with a traditional Irish sensibility, this collection brings Irish music to the forefront of classical performance pieces and is not to be missed. A treat for cellists playing traditional music for the first time.”


The CD is available at Play Cello Music Store

I am also a Signature Artist on the sheet music site There I sell pieces I play on YouTube that I don’t sell on Play Cello Music, like Misty Mountains from the Hobbit.


If you would like to learn how to play Irish Airs for Solo Cello visit the Play Cello Music School to get the lessons!

5 thoughts on “Products

  1. David James

    I’ve just watched “Living the Tradition: An Enchanting Journey into Old Irish Airs”, on Amazon Prime – a magical 52 mins, and I’ll watch it again. Thank you Ilse for making such a captivating film, which included you meeting a whole bunch of lovely people along the way, as well as playing beautiful music.

    I’m 67, and started learning the cello in January this year (2018). I have a lovely teacher (who has the patience of a saint by the way, because I’m learning from scratch) and she keeps me motivated to learn and progress. Starting at my age I’m not at all sure where I hope to end up though, so I’m just enjoying the ride, but I’ve a mind to buy your Irish Airs collection after watching you.

    Thank you so much for a fascinating, moving film, so obviously made with love and integrity. Such a shame there isn’t a DVD (or is there?).

    1. ilse

      Thanks so much David, keep enjoying playing cello, it is a journey, and always rewarding! Yes I do have the DVD and it is a longer version with a few more airs included (Directors cut) Here is the link to order it. Living the Tradition DVD
      All the best!

  2. Michele Hellstern

    My husband and I watched “Living the Tradition: An Enchanting Journey into Old Irish Airs”, on Amazon Prime = then we purchased it. I’ve watched it twice today! Absolutely in love with it!
    My husband is a childhood fan of The Hobbit and immediately fell in love with your Misty Mountains Cold. I’m a beginner cellist (with decades of trumpet experience 🙂 ), have been taking lessons for a year, and have also purchased the Misty Mountains Cold music and tutorials, along with your book “Trad on Cello – Traditional Irish Tunes in Cello Friendly Keys”, which I’m reading and trying. I’d love to take your course – however, I’m not certain I’m quite ready for it yet, musically-speaking. If you have anything available for newer cellists, please point me that direction! Also, thank you for everything you’re doing, love the Irish music so much!

  3. Kimo

    Your short documentary was magical and inspiring. Aires seem to be meant for cello on coastal hillsides, eh?
    I received the Aires book a while back and love it. Just ordered another as a surprise gift for my Cello teacher as we r all safely sequestered at our separate homes for a while to come. Thank you for your musical gift!!!! Stay safe!


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