Award-winning Irish violinist Maria Ryan is currently based in Kilkenny after nearly a decade spent in London. And we’re glad she’s back and able to come to Triskel to perform! We got to know her ahead of her concert with the Banbha Quartet.
Who is your hero? My mother is definitely my hero! She is the most amazing person. Kind, wise, caring, selfless, and has a great sense of humour and positive outlook! She is so supportive of me and my career, I’d be lost without her.
If you could perform anywhere, where would it be? These days getting to perform anywhere at all is such a treat. I think performing great music with great musicians to an appreciative audience makes any venue the best place to be at that moment. I have very fond memories of such concerts in Konzerthaus Berlin, a theatre in Buenos Aires and a small intimate concert hall in a converted barn in a village in France!
What is your favourite thing about your career? I get to do what I LOVE. I get to play incredible music with fantastic musicians. I suppose my real favourite thing is playing WITH other musicians in front of an audience. It’s just the best thing ever! And I cannot wait to have a real live audience again!!! Saying hello after the concert, having a moment of total quiet before you play, it’s all about interaction, between musicians, and with the audience.
What motivates you to work hard? I practice to try to make the music I play as beautiful and true to itself as possible. To bring the music on the page to life!
What makes you laugh the most? Ooh that’s a hard one! I laugh a lot!! At the moment, my kids’ stories and antics make me laugh lots!!
What would you sing at a Karaoke night? I haven’t sung lots of Karaoke, but I do remember a night on tour in China, where Karaoke is huge, singing ‘I will Survive’! Not a bad one!!
Would you rather win the Lotto or work at the perfect job? Why? I am incredibly lucky to be doing a job I love, so I’d love to win the lotto and still do my work but not have to think about money! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Maybe have a chamber music series that tours Ireland but the rehearsals are in a fabulous French chateau with a vineyard and pool that I buy with the lotto winnings?
List two pet peeves People not saying please and thank you, and cake sold in some coffee shops that is not fresh.
What three things would you take with you to a desert island? My children, my violin, and an ice cream machine – Bliss!
If you ruled your own country, what would be the first law you would introduce? I’m not a politician so I might try to lighten the mood. Everyone should have a garden and trampoline! Being outside is great for your health, well-being and mood. If you add a trampoline to that – well, I challenge anyone to go on a trampoline and not end up laughing at yourself at some point!!
Maria will perform with the Banbha Quartet on Friday 9 April at 8pm, as part of the Spring Quartets series, in association with the National String Quartet Foundation. Tickets just €10! Get yours now!