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Galway-born Oscar star hits all the right notes on home ground

“It’s only taken 20 years for me to conduct in Galway,” a beaming Eímear Noone told a packed house at the electrifying concert with the National Concert Orchestra in Leisureland on Wednesday of last week.

The event, under the baton of the Kilconnell woman, was part of the major Cellissimo festival and featured stirring solo performances – including one by AC/DC – from the man she describe as “the rock star of the cello”, Adrian Mantu of Galway’s own ConTempo quartet.

The concert included several compositions by Noone some with her husband, Craig Stuart Garfinkle who was in the audience with their two small sons. Their five-year-old slept happily through most of it – not even the impressive and frequent sound of brass section managing to disturb his slumber.

Meanwhile, his mother was mesmerising as she conducted Ireland’s largest professional orchestra, wearing striking outfits that could have come straight from the wardrobe of one of the fantasy video games she composes music for.

It’s been some journey for the East Galway woman, whose first lessons were in traditional music and who discovered a passion for classical and orchestra when she was still a child. She’s now one of the world’s top composers for video games and a renowned conductor – in 2020 she directed the orchestra for the Oscars in LA, the first woman conductor in the event’s 92-year history.

Caption: Eimear Noone, composer and conductor, directing the National Symphony Orchestra at the Music for Galway Cellissimo concert in Leisureland. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy

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