Solas Quartet

Katherine Hunka, violin
Marja Gaynor, violin
Cian O Duill, viola
Aoife nic Athlaoich, cello
with Ed Creedon, viola

Saturday 12th November 2022 | 7.00pm



The Solas Quartet first performed as the 2020 Quartet in online concerts during that autumn’s lockdown. Now we welcome them in real life splendor, led by Irish Chamber Orchestra leader Katherine Hunka, in a fascinatingly varied programme spanning six centuries and reflecting the wide-ranging musical talents and specialities of the quartet’s members. For the second half of the concert they are joined by Cork violist Ed Creedon for Mendelssohn’s brilliant B flat string quintet.


Katherine Hunka, violin
Born in London, Katherine Hunka began playing the violin at the age of four. Whilst growing up under the guidance of teacher Sheila Nelson, she performed chamber music at London’s South Bank and the Royal Albert hall, was soloist with the City of London Sinfonia and led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Katherine has been leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and regularly directs from the leader’s chair. As director and soloist with the ICO she has toured Germany, China and Singapore, appeared at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and more recently, at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. She has enjoyed chamber music collaborations with Jörg Widmann, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood and Nigel Kennedy amongst others. Katherine has been a guest leader with the Manchester Camerata, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as well as guest soloist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. She is currently a Professor at the CIT Cork School of Music and the Irish World Academy of Music. She plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin and her bows are by Irish maker Gary Leahy.

Marja Gaynor, violin
Marja Gaynor was born in Finland but has been based in Cork since 2005. She was awarded a 1st class honours MA at Cork School of Music, and continued her Baroque violin studies at The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk. Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny. Both ensembles have released much-acclaimed recordings and toured nationally and internationally. Marja is also a founder member of Giordani Quartet, Ireland’s only chamber group specialising in early Classical repertoire using period instruments. Outside Ireland Marja works with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European period orchestras, and is increasingly in demand as a leader, soloist and workshop facilitator. She was the Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival 2013-2015, and has also been invited to act as guest curator for the Kaleidoscope Night concert series. With her various areas of interest and expertise (Baroque, traditional music, and improvisation) Marja is much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. Her proudest project to date was her critically acclaimed arrangement of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (Cork Opera House), and she also arranged and played the strings of ‘Falling Slowly’ for the movie ‘Once’, Oscar winner for best song in 2008.

Cian Ó Dúill, viola
Cork born viola player Cian Ó Dúill has performed with the Vanbrugh, Carducci and Calino String Quartets, the Fidelio Trio, the Avalon Ensemble, Chroma and the Crash Ensemble. He has played in chamber music recitals with Anthony Marwood, Finghin Collins, Jorg Widmann, Hugh Tinney, Natalie Clein, Howard Shelley, Kirill Troussov, and Patricia Rozario as well as appearing at West Cork, Killaloe, Ortús, Sligo Spring, Kilkenny Arts, Cheltenham, Warwick Arts, Chichester, Aldeburgh, Wye Valley and Kings Lynn Chamber Music Festivals. Cian was a founder member of both the Regent String Quartet and the Rothko String Trio, played regularly with the Chamber Players and the London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble and is currently a member of the period instrument Giordani String Quartet and Prism Ensemble. Concerto appearances include performances of works by Bach, Telemann, Mozart, Bruch and Hindemith in Ireland, the UK, Spain and Greece. Cian is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was co-principal viola of the London Mozart Players and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia. Cian teaches viola at both the CIT Cork School of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Ed Creedon, viola
Ed Creedon enjoys a varied career as a viola player, performing chamber music, in recitals and as an orchestral musician. Recent performances include the National Concert Hall Chamber Music Gathering, tours throughout Ireland with the Lir String Quartet, tours to Finland, France and India with Camerata Ireland as well as solo performances with Camerata Ireland and Barry Douglas. Chamber music highlights include performances with the Vanbrugh Quartet, as well as appearances with the Ficino Ensemble in Dublin, the Piatti Quartet in the U.K., at the Ortús Festival in Cork, and repeat invitations to the Clandeboye Festival in Belfast and the Killaloe Festival of Chamber Music. For four consecutive summers he took part in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s Young Musicians Programme. Ed comes from Cork and studied with Constantin Zanidache and Simon Aspell at the Cork School of Music.

Aoife Nic Athlaoich, cello
Aoife began her cello studies in the RIAM with Olwen Lewis and later with Nora Gilleece. In 2001 she moved to London to study with Prof. David Strange at RAM and completed her studies under Prof Melissa Phelps at the RCM, London where she graduated with a 1st class Hons degree and was awarded the Stanley Picker Scholarship for her Post Graduate Studies. She was invited to take masterclasses with such eminent cellists as Natalia Gutman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Bernard Greenhouse, Johannes Goritzki and Frans Helmerson. In 2014 Aoife joined the Irish Chamber Orchestra, with whom she has toured extensively both in Europe and America. Within the ICO she has performed as soloist and chamber musician. Aoife is widely in demand as a baroque cellist and performs regularly with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Camerata Kilkenny and Sir. John Elliot Gardiner’s acclaimed Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. She has given solo recitals at East Cork, Galway and Sligo early music festivals. She has recorded with the ICO on the Ordeo label and broadcast live from Carnegie Hall, BBC Proms and Wigmore Hall. She currently teaches cello at RIAM, CIT Cork School of music and University of Limerick and specializes in baroque cello and chamber music.



Boccherini - Quartet in G minor Op.33 No.5
John Kinsella - ‘A Reeling Rhapsody’ for two violins
Amy Beach - Quartet Op.89
Dowland - ‘Lachrimae Antiquae’ and ‘Earl of Essex, his Galiard’
Mendelssohn - String Quintet in B flat Op.87

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The DMA Memory Book

In 2021, the DMA published a Memory Book, listing all concerts and music played since the first concert in 1987. The book has wonderful sketches from concerts at Tullynally drawn by the late Jeremy Williams. There are also several delightful short 'memories' from performers and audience members. Books are €10 each plus P&P at €3 per book and you can purchase them by contacting
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2022 Concert schedule

  • October 8th John O'Conor and Ailbhe McDonagh
  • November 12th Solas Quartet with Ed Creedon, viola

Spring 2023 concert dates will be posted in October. 
We no longer send out information about concerts in the post, as all communications are now through email. Please send your email address to if you wish to receive updates about our concerts.


Patron: Valerie Pakenham

Chaired by: Jane Massy

Treasurer: John Farrell

Alex Chisholm, Joan Flood, Dawn Harmon, Michael McCann, Hugh Logan, Bridget Taylor, Octavia Tulloch, Susan Wiggins, Charney and Maire Weitzman.