Strung are a contemporary Irish music ensemble comprising Maria Ryan (violin/vocals), Lucia Mac Partlin (violin), Séan Warren (cello) and Aonghus McCarthy (piano). While undergoing classical training at Cork School of Music, they maintained a participating interest in Irish traditional music. Their dynamic ensemble and unique backgrounds allow them to subtly integrate complex harmonies and innovative motifs, while staying true to the deep-rooted authenticity of traditional Irish melodies. Strung’s sound radiates with originality, yet has an understated energy that instantly captivates.
"A new approach to the tradition using the rarely heard instrumentation of piano, two fiddles and cello. It is a must listen for lovers of the tradition as well as forward thinking innovators within music" - Pádraig Rynne
"...symphonic grace and contemporary brilliance alongside a sound that can only come from a deep knowledge of the Irish tradition" - Martin Tourish
In March 2016, Strung were winners of the Michigan Irish Music Initiative, a national competition for up and coming traditional Irish groups. In September 2016, they performed at the Michigan Irish Music Festival.
"Congratulations to Strung on their grand prize victory at the 2016 Michigan Irish Music Initiative. Your fine ensemble brings a truly unique, innovative and entirely musical energy to the trad Irish music scene. Your award was unanimous and enthusiastically given" - Tom Schaub (Michigan Irish Music Festival)
In April 2017, Strung performed their album with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra as part of the Right Here Right Now festival. This project involved orchestral arrangements by Cormac McCarthy.
In June 2018, Strung performed for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall at Cork City Hall, during their official welcome to the city of Cork.
Aonghus McCarthy is a Cork born pianist, coming from a well-respected musical family. While undergoing his classical training with Susan Čáp and later Jan Čáp at the Cork School of Music, he always had a participating interest in traditional music. He is a highly regarded and accomplished session musician, performing on various platforms, both as a jazz musician and also many high profile stage productions. He is recognised for his ability to sensitively integrate his classical background with an ingrained appreciation for traditional music. As a member of Strung, Aonghus’ versatility and musicality allows him to contribute to the group’s imaginative arrangement, while adding creative harmonic and rhythmical accompaniment. Aonghus holds a BSc in Biochemistry from University College Cork, was previously an Amgen Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge and now studies Medicine at University College Dublin.
Lucia Mac Partlin from Ballina, Co. Tipperary began playing the fiddle at the age of four. While she first started off playing classical music, she quickly began to develop an interest and a love for traditional Irish music and has since become an accomplished player in many different genres. She is the winner of many national titles, including the Fiddler of Dooney, the International Pan Celtic title and has numerous All Ireland titles from Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Lucia completed her four-year BMus degree at the Cork School of Music where she studied classical music with Gregory Ellis and traditional music with Johnny McCarthy. She also has recently completed her MA in performance at both the Cork School of Music and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden where she also undertook to learn some Swedish Folk music. Lucia has performed around the world with many different ensembles and orchestras including The National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, The National Folk Orchestra of Ireland, The University of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Suptrio and Atlas.
Maria Ryan is a violinist from Pallasgreen, County Limerick. In 2015 she graduated with a first class honours BMus Degree from CIT Cork School of Music and has recently completed the second year of CSM’s Masters in Performance whilst on erasmus in Gothenburg, studying with Oyver Volle. Maria won the Senior Concerto Competition in her final year of studies in Cork School of Music and performed as soloist with the Cork School of Music Orchestra and the University of Limerick Orchestra. She studied with Elizabeth Charleson in CIT Cork School of Music and previously with Eileen Hudson and Simon Dalton in Limerick School of Music. A versatile musician, Maria has travelled extensively performing Irish Traditional Music, Jazz and Bluegrass. Maria has also toured with Ireland’s leading contemporary orchestra ‘The Crash Ensemble’. She performs on a Claude Lebet violin, supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Seán Warren is a 23 year old Dublin born cellist who completed his BMus degree at the Cork School of Music and recently graduated from The University of Limerick with a Masters in Music Performance. From a young age, Seán underwent classical training and has held numerous principal cellist roles in many orchestras and chamber groups, including touring as a soloist with the Dublin Youth Orchestra in 2011. During his second year at college, he found a hidden passion for traditional Irish music - this was of course no surprise, as Seán’s father Kevin is a well respected Irish dance musician. Seán subsequently received Irish traditional music tuition from Johnny McCarthy. During his masters, Seán continued his classical training from ICO member Aoife Nic Athlaoich but also got a chance to participate in masterclasses with Rushed Eggleston and Natalie Haas, two unorthodox cellists who are pushing the boundaries of cello techniques and styles. Seán continues to explore these alternative styles in cello playing and hopes to push the boundaries of what is possible as a cellist in Strung.