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Nollaig is one of Ireland's most gifted musicians, with her own unique way of playing traditional Irish music on the fiddle and such an utterly distinctive sound that it would be impossible to mistake it for that of anyone else. This "sound" is so attractive to other musicians that there exists hardly any major Irish artist of the last twenty years with whom she has not worked.
Her powerful presence graced Dónal Lunny’s ground-
Nollaig’s prodigious technique and her unique ability to play both classical and traditional music with equal proficiency, coupled with her exceptional expressive gifts has inspired a number of composers to write orchestral pieces for her. In 2003 she performed in front of millions as soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra in a work by Shaun Davey commissioned by the Special Olympics held in Dublin. With the same orchestra she performed a piece by Dónal Lunny, commissioned in 1997 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Irish Famine, on several occasions, most recently at Expo 2000 in Hanover. In 1999 she gave the first performance in New York of a Concerto for Violin and Irish Fiddle by Evan Chambers, which had been commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
She enjoys an unrivalled popularity among composers of film-
Nollaig has recorded and worked with Enya, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Rod Stewart, Dónal Lunny, Mary Black, Carlos Nuñez, Jim Rooney, Andy Irvine, Moving Hearts, The Indigo Girls, Spandau Ballet, Christy Moore, Liam O'Flynn, Dan ar Bras, Sharon Shannon, Maura O'Connell, Dick Gaughan, Paddy Keenan, Máirtín O'Connor and her sister, the innovative and influential harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh, among many others. She was a star performer in Dan ar Bras’ massively successful Héritage des Celtes project: both albums (released by Sony France) received Gold Discs in France and Héritagereceived the French equivalent of the Brit Awards. She has made two critically-
More detailed biographical information
Born into a well-
Having graduated from University College Cork with a B. Mus. degree at the exceptionally early age of nineteen, she embarked upon a professional career, firstly with the RTE Symphony Orchestra where she remained for three years until she joined Planxty in 1980. When Ireland hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 Planxty made a guest appearance, playing Timedance, a piece specially written by fellow band-
She has subsequently toured with a wide variety of artists (mentioned earlier) in Ireland, the UK., France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Libya, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, the U.S.A., Australia and New Zealand.
A frequent broadcaster, her countless RTE television appearances have included several on the prime-
"The highlight of the Festival was the exquisite and dignified playing of Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh...Strong and elegant on stage, her instrument appears almost to be an extension of her own body"
I would happily sit all night in a cold theatre to listen to Nollaig Casey..."Fortnight (Belfast)
"Nollaig Casey played wondrous fiddle before singing unaccompanied with such feeling it brought tears to the eyes..." -
"Nollaig’s performance was stunning for its sheer musical artistry, seducing some into quiet amazement and inducing others to insist on encore after encore..." -
"Saturday night saw Dónal Lunny brewing up a storm on the main stage with polkas to leave the band out of breath, and the crowd roaring their appreciation. Nollaig Casey, resplendent in red, held centre spotlight with the ease and grace of a natural born artist..." – The Southern Star