Mary Bergin, born in Shankill, County Dublin, Ireland, is a highly regarded Irish tin whistle player. Her parents, Joe and Máire, were musicians themselves, playing the melodeon and fiddle, which nurtured her early musical environment. Mary’s journey with the tin whistle began at the age of nine, influenced by hearing Willie Clancy play in an Oireachtas concert in Dublin.

Maud Millar (Reel) (21.92 kB


She won numerous awards in Oireachtas and Fleadh Ceoil competitions, including the All-Ireland Championships at both Junior and Senior levels & winning the All Ireland tin whistle championship in 1970. Her debut solo album, ‘Feadóga Stáin’, released in 1979, remains a classic in modern traditional music. She followed this with a second solo album in 1993, ‘Feadóga Stáin 2’ which like her first received critical acclaim.

 

Mary’s musical style is influenced by flute player Packie Duignan and the whistle playing of Willie Clancy. Uniquely, she plays the whistle “left-handed,” covering the upper tone holes with her right hand, contrary to the common practice of using the left hand on top. Her style has been described as “brightly ornamented but uncluttered”, with “crisp articulation”, and her playing as “precise”, “elegant”, and “streamlined”.

Apart from her solo work, Bergin has been a significant figure in the Irish music scene since the early 1970s. She moved to An Spidéal, County Galway, and played with numerous emerging Irish music stars, notably with groups like De Danann and Ceoltóri Laighin. She is a current member of the group Dordán, which blends Irish traditional and Baroque music, including compositions by Handel, Purcell, and Bach.

In addition to her performance career, Bergin has made a substantial contribution to music education, teaching hundreds of students in Ireland, Europe, and the United States.

Discography – Solo Albums

Feadóga Stáin (1979)

Feadóga Stáin 2 (1993)

Albums with Dordan

Irish Traditional and Baroque Music (1991)

Jigs to the Moon (1994)

The Night Before…A Celtic Christmas (1998)

Celtic Aire (1999)

Related

The Tin Whistle – A Comprehensive Introduction and Resource Guide

The Irish Low Whistle – A Complete Introduction

 

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