Dermot Dunne

recent photo of Dermot DunneBorn in Dublin, Dermot commenced musical studies aged nine on the recorder with Sr Carmel McEvoy and the accordion with Paddy Kavanagh, later studied with Patricia Kavanagh, and then with V.V. Besfamilnoff at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kiev, Ukraine, graduating in 2001 with first class honours Master of Fine Arts degree.

A frequent prize winner from an early age at competitions, with over fifty prizes at home and abroad, Dermot won first prize at the All Ireland Accordion Festival from 1992-1995, and also took prizes in France (1992), Italy (1996), Poland (2000) and Germany (2000). In 1995 he was the winner of the RTE Prize at the inaugural West Belfast Classical Bursary and in 1996 he won first prize in the 1996 RTE Musician of the Future Competition-the first accordionist ever to participate in this festival.

Since then Dermot has been a regular performer throughout Ireland as well as in England, France, Germany, Portugal, Yugoslavia and Ukraine, both as a soloist and with various chamber groups and orchestras including the RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Ronan Guilfoyle Trio and others. Dermot regularly performs as accordionist and as conductor with Concorde who specialise in contemporary music. He has also toured with the Irish Chamber Orchestra both as soloist and as conductor.

A versatile performer, repertoire has ranged from transcriptions of works by well known composers such as Bach, Scarlatti, Liszt and Mussorgsky to original contemporary works by Gubaidulina, Berio, Yun and Hosokawa. A strong advocate of Irish contemporary music Dermot has also premiered works for his instrument written by the Irish composers J. Wilson, R. Guilfoyle, B. Dwyer D. Gribbin, E Bennett, R. Canning and others both in Ireland and internationally. Dermot also performs regularly with the Nuevo Tango Quartet which performs the music of the Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla to great acclaim in a show titled ‘Bordello to Ballroom’ and who recently released a CD. He also performs often with Argentinean jazz and folk guitarist Ariel Hernandez, and they are due to release a CD this Summer. Dermot has also recorded regularly for RTE Radio 1, Lyric FM and BBC Radio 3.

During his five years in Kiev, Dermot also studied conducting with Y.V. Duschenko and V.F. Sirenko. In 2000 he conducted Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’Amor for Opera Theatre Company on an Irish tour, and in Ukraine has conducted operas by Tchaikovsky and Menotti. He has also conducted the RTE Concert Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra, and since 2004 has been working as conductor with the Dublin Baroque Players. Dermot currently lives in Wicklow and combines a performing career with lecturing at both DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and Newpark Music Centre.