Celebrated Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey is acclaimed
for her captivating expression, soaring tone and fearless virtuosity. Her natural ability to communicate sincerely, with beauty and integrity, entrances audiences worldwide.
As a soloist Mairéad has performed with the RTÉ Irish National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Irish National Concert Orchestra, Hessicher Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester, Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Württembergisches Kammerorchester, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz, Kremerata Baltica, Chamber Orchestra of Europe , Camerata Ireland and with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach in some of the major halls around the world. Her Carnegie Hall debut was described as ‘…magical, penetrating to the heart and soul of the music.’ (New York Epoch Times)
Mairéad was the concertmaster of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire from 2021 to 2023. She is frequently invited to perform as guest concertmaster in orchestras including Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre de Paris and Orquesta Simfónica del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
A passionate chamber musician, Mairéad has performed with Sir András Schiff, Barry Douglas, Tabea Zimmermann, Renaud Capuçon, Mate Bekavac, Irena Grafenauer, Alexander Lonquich, Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff, Alain Altinoglu, Kirill Gernstein, Paul Neubauer, Pieter Wispelway, Michel Lethiec, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and the Vanbrugh Quartet among many others.
Mairéad has been invited to perform at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Westport Festival of Chamber Music, the Clandeboye Music Festival, the Rheingau Festival, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Festival International de Colmar, Mantova Chamber Music Festival, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Rolandseck Festival and Chamber Music Connects the World.
Her love of chamber music led her to co-found the Ortús Chamber Music Festival in 2016 in her native Cork, of which she is Artistic Director.
Mairéad was Irish NCH Young Musician of the Year 2010 – 2012. As well as winning prizes at renowned Irish competitions, she won third prize as well as a Special Prize for the best interpretation of a virtuoso work at the 2016 International Louis Spohr Competition and first prize in the Jeunesses Musicales Violin Competition, Romania 2012. In 2017 she was awarded a Special Prize in the Berliner International Music Competition and the Manhattan International Music Competition. She was awarded the André Hoffmann prize at the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad in January 2022 for her interpretation of the world premiere performance of Wolfgang Rhim's 'Episode'.
Born in 1996, Mairéad began playing the violin at the age of three with Jyrki Pietila. From 2003 to 2014 she studied with Adrian Petcu at the CIT Cork School of Music, Ireland and spent a year in France studying at the Conservatoire de Nantes with Constantin Serban. In 2020 she graduated with a Masters in Performance from Kronberg Academy where she studied with Mihaela Martin, sponsored by the Hilmar Kopper Stipendium.
Mairéad has taken masterclasses and worked intensely with artists such as András Schiff, Rita Wagner, Ferenc Rados, Gidon Kremer, Dora Schwarzberg, Elena Bashkirova, Hugh Maguire, Vadim Repin, Mariana Sirbu, Ana Chumachenco, Vadim Gluzman, Steven Isserlis, Yossi Zivoni, Mauricio Fuks, Gabor Takács-Nagy, Christoph Eschenbach, Marc Danel and Ivry Gitlis among others.
Mairéad also plays traditional Irish music and has won eight world Irish fiddle titles.
Mairéad currently plays a 1702 Giovanni Tononi violin.