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Donegal's Amy Gillen named Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year

Bridgetown flute player adds the title to a list of honours

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Donegal's Amy Gillen named Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year

Donegal flute player Amy Gillen has been named Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2018.

Amy, who is from Bridgetown, was awarded the title at the final of Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2018 in Dublin on Saturday evening.

Amy has completed the second year of her studies for the B.A. in Music Performance in Flute at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

She was a member of the Donegal Youth Orchestra from 2005 – 2010 and a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland frorn 2009 – 2013, playing Principal Flute in the Orchestra on many occasions. She is currently Co-Principal Flute in the Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra.

Amy is a multiple prize winner and bursary recipient at Feis Ceoil Dublin, Feis Ceoil Sligo and Feis Doire. In September 2014, she performed in the John Field Room in the National Concert Hall, Dublin as part of the ESB Feis Ceoil Young Platform Series. In December 2014, she performed solo in the main auditorium in the National Concert Hall with the Orlando Chamber Orchestra as part of the ESB ‘Great’ Christmas Concert. She has also performed solo with the Donegal Chamber Orchestra on many occasions in venues across Donegal.

In February 2015, she won the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Woodwind and Brass Bursary for Ireland.

Amy has taken Masterclasses with Sir James Galway, William Bennett, Patricia Morris, Lisa Beznosiuk, Andras Adorjan. Barbara‑Gisler‑Haase, Noemi Gyori, Randy Bowman, Romolo Balzani and Emma Elkinson. She attended Masterclasses with Sir James Galway at the Galway Flute Festival in Weggis, Switzerland in July 2015, where she was awarded the Wm. S. Haynes Headjoint by Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.

In August 2015, she won the Alan Gillespie Ulster Bank Award for the most promising musician under 21 at the Clandeboye Festival, Belfast. She is on the Board of Directors for the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, since October 2015.

In October 2015, she also took part in the launch of the Donegal Story Fest in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town and recorded with RTÉ for the Sunday Miscellany Programme as part of the Donegal Bay and Bluestack Festival. Amy participated in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme for their 2015/2016 season.

Most recently, Amy won the Crichton Perpetual Memorial Cup for Concerto, the Caliendo Repertoire Cup, the Anita Loretto Cup for the Most Promising Musician of the Year, the RTÉ Lyric FM Bursary and RTÉ Studio Recording at this year’s Sligo Feis Ceoil. Amy is kindly supported by Donegal Arts Council.

More recently, Amy was awarded the Gemeinhardt Flutes Scholarship by Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, to attend the Galway Flute Festival in Weggis, Switzerland in July 2016.