Welcome to the official website of Ailbhe McDonagh. Irish cellist and composer.
Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh is an international soloist, chamber musician and recording artist who performs throughout Europe, Asia and the USA.
Ailbhe is also an accomplished composer with many chamber pieces and orchestral works to her name, not to mention her very popular pedagogical piano and cello collections.
Beethoven Irish Tour 2022
World renowned Beethoven specialist John O'Conor and Irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh celebrated Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year in 2021 by recording a double album of his complete sonatas for cello and piano. Each concert of the tour will include two full Beethoven cello sonatas and works by Fauré, McDonagh and Popper. This nationwide series showcases their astounding partnership stretching back over 30 years. Dates, venues and tickets for these concerts can be found here:
Album Release: Beethoven Complete Cello Sonatas 1-5
Ailbhe and world renowned Beethoven specialist John O'Conor celebrated Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year with this double album of his complete sonatas for cello and piano recorded at St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda, Ireland. The album is released on the Steinway & Sons music label. It is available on all major music streaming platforms.
"The coordination between the two musicians sets this recording apart, and each sonata is individually conceived. There is a lot to absorb here, and it's the kind of recording to which one will return repeatedly." - 4.5 stars
James Manheim, AllMusic
"McDonagh and O'Conor take the opening of Op. 102/1 to whispered heights, and again later there is a most appealing sense of two-as-one. They find buoyant, almost dancing, rhythms."
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
"McDonagh, who as a child studied piano with O’Conor, is a great partner and clearly on the same level here, the duo being as one with every nuance in dynamics and tempi in outstanding performances."
Cello Teaching and Masterclasses Ailbhe is a lecturer at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. For private one-on-one cello lessons and masterclasses please get in touch. Ailbhe is available to teach internationally with in-person or online classes. Here is a recent masterclass for the National Concert Hall of Ireland.
Popper Études Project
During 2021, Ailbhe was joined by American cellist Katie Tertell where they learned one Popper study each week, recorded a live discussion of practice tips and performed it live to each other. Each of these videos gives two professional cellists’ practice approaches to each of the 40 études. This is an excellent resource for cellists learning and practicing these études. Click here to learn more about the project.