Scoil na gCláirseach

Lecturer, Scoil na gCláirseach 2003

GráinneGráinne Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was raised bilingually in Irish and English. She has always matched an interest in traditional Irish instrumental music and song with a corresponding interest in classical music, and plays both gut-strung lever harp and wire-strung cláirseach.

At the same time as she studied piano, Irish harp and voice at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, she was learning traditional songs from the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas, and she acquired what has become a very large repertoire of traditional songs and instrumental music.

Gráinne Yeats was the first professional musician to revive and make recordings of the wire-strung harp. She has a special interest in the traditional harp of Ireland and has done extensive research on the Irish harper-composers and their repertoire, and on the history of the instrument itself. Among her publications are the entry on Turlough Carolan in the 1980 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and her book "The Harp of Ireland" appeared in 1992.

Gráinne's double CD recording, "The Belfast Harp Festival" (Gael Linn, CEF CD 156), marked the bicentenary of the 1792 festival and contains some forty of the tunes of the traditional harpers which were taken down by Edward Bunting.

Gráinne Yeats has now retired from an international concert career. She still teaches in workshops, master classes, courses and festivals. She is married to Michael Yeats and they live mainly in Dublin.