‌Anne-Marie O'Farrell

MA in Composition (NUI Maynooth) BAHons BMusHons (UCD) LTCL LRSM LLCM ARIAM ALCM DipTh

photoAreas of Specialism

Composition, arrangement, composers in the community, the harp and its repertoire, the development of the Irish harp as a chromatic instrument, performance. See below for research interests.

Composer and harpist Anne-Marie O’Farrell holds professional diplomas in many instruments along with numerous national awards for original composition.  Her output includes orchestral, chamber, choral and solo vocal music along with a substantial body of work for harp.  She has composed for a variety of instrumental media and her compositions are featured on the examination syllabuses around the world.  She is regularly invited to give lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses at international festivals in addition to acting as jury member for international harp competitions. Likewise at home in Ireland, she is a regular presenter at international conferences of musicology and her work is the subject of an article in the Encyclopedia of Music in Ireland.  Her work is also included in the Contemporary Music from Ireland CD series by the Contemporary Music Centre with whom she is a represented composer.  As the leading exponent of the Irish or lever harp as a recital instrument, her development and expansion of its repertoire have led to performances and recordings for TV and radio throughout Europe, the USA, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.  Anne-Marie is especially noted for the unique levering techniques which she continues to develop on the harp, as a result of which she was consultant to Salvi harpmakers on the design of their Irish harp, the Livia.  

Solo albums: Just So Bach, Heads & Harps, Harping Bach to Carolan, The Jig’s Up, My Lagan Love.
Double Strung with Cormac De Barra. Guest artist in recordings and performances with The Chieftains, Moya Brennan, Regina Nathan, Aylish Kerrigan, Ellen Cranitch, Maev Ní Maolcatha, Siobhán Kilkelly, Colette Delahunt, The Drawing Room Opera Company, Opera Theatre Company, Dave Flynn and the Clare Memory Orchestra, Anúna and Ireland's national orchestras.

Numerous publications of original compositions and arrangements.  Further detail is available at www.annemarieofarrell.com, www.cmc.ie  and all major harp music publishers.


  • Pioneers or Parrots:The Imitation of Excellence and the Distilling of Influence through Pastiche and Parody, SMEI Conference, Mary Immaculate College Limerick (2012)
  • Crafting the Divine: How Compositional Techniques Express Ideology, SMI Conference, RIAM (2011)
  • The Context of Bodley’s Scintillae for two Irish Harps, SMI Conference, WIT, (2009)
  • The O’Farrell Collection, Vol. 1 Traditional Dance Music for Harp (Dublin: A.M. O’Farrell, 2008)
  • Harp & Hearth, Altar & Albain SMI Interdisciplinary Symposium, Mícheál O’Cléirigh Institute & DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama (2008)
  • Flight of Harps Flight of the Earls Conference, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama (2007)
  • Analytical thesis, The Twentieth Century Harp Concerto: Three Studies as part of MA in Composition at NUI Maynooth (1999)