Michael Rooney is a composer and traditional Irish harp player from Scotstown, County Monaghan, now residing in County Sligo. He has composed 19 suites of music over the past 20 years, including notable works such as ‘The Ulster Suite’ (2022), ‘Clairseoireacht’ (2022), ‘Constance’ (2020), ‘The Famine Suite’ (2019), ‘The Macalla Suite’ (2016), ‘Boróimhe Suite’ (2014), ‘The Second Coming’ (2014), ‘De Cuéllar Suite’ (2011), and ‘Battle of the Books Suite’ (2007).

Rooney was awarded the TG4 Composer of the Year in 2017. In October 2023, he completed a suite of music titled ‘A Deep Ravine’ for Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan as part of The Decade of Centenaries Programme. This suite addresses the partition of Ireland and life on the Border. In July 2022, he completed ‘The Ulster Suite’ for Ulster Comhaltas. Other previous compositions include ‘Constance’ for The Hawks Well Sligo & University College Dublin and ‘The Famine Suite’ for Imbolc.

In May 2015, Rooney was commissioned to write music and perform for Prince Charles’ visit to Sligo. His music is also featured in RTÉ’s documentary ‘The Queen’s Speech’ about Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland.

Rooney released an album of ‘The Macalla Suite’ in December 2016, performed by The Macalla Orchestra and recorded live in Monaghan. He has recorded three CDs with flute player June McCormack: ‘Tobar an Cheoil,’ ‘Draíocht,’ and ‘Land’s End.’ He is a member of Sligo’s Dartry Ceili Band.

Additionally, Rooney has published four books of his compositions: ‘Harp Tunes’ (2006), ‘Aifreann Gaeilge’ (2012), ‘The de Cuéllar Suite’ (2012), and ‘The Macalla Suite’ (2016).

Going further

Laoise Kelly – harp

The Instruments of Irish Traditional Music

Ornamentation in Irish Traditional Music

The Irish Low Whistle – A Complete Introduction

Tin Whistle Buying Guide 2024

Draoicht website


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