RDS Bursary Winner Announced

Clara Daly Donnellan

The Royal Dublin Society has announced its winner of the 2014 RDS Bursary as 18 year old Cork trombonist Clara Daly Donnellan, Clara is the youngest ever winner of the prize which has been awarded annually for the past 11 years. Valued at €10,000, the RDS Music Bursary is not only one of the largest music awards in Ireland, it is also one of the largest in Europe.

Clara Daly Donnellan Biography

Clara started in the Cork School of Music in 2001, taking classes in music theory. At age 6, she began to study piano there with Jan Cap and at age 9, trombone with Tony Neal. Clara moved to Wells Cathedral School, Somerset in 2011 to pursue her trombone studies and she finishes at Wells in July. From there she will move on to study with Ian Bousfield (ex-principal trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic) in Bern, Switzerland. She was an award winner and scholarship holder at every grade level in trombone and piano in the Cork School of Music from age 5, winning awards as the most distinguished student in senior cycle musicianship and brass/wind/vocal.

Clara took part in the assessment test for the Irish Centre for Talented Youth when she was 8, and was accepted to their programme of courses for academically gifted children, and was awarded the PPMTA award for the highest mark in Junior Certificate music in Ireland in 2011.

In 2012 she received an EMI music sound foundation award for the purchase of her pride and joy, a new Shire trombone. In 2014 she won the Yamaha Brass Bursary at the ESB Feis Ceoil. She plans to continue to broaden her horizons when she takes up her place in trombone performance in Bern University of The Arts – it has a renowned Jazz Department, led by Courtney Pine.

In addition to the €10,000, Clara will also benefit from some key RDS partnerships in 2014 which would add a high note to any aspiring musical career. A partnership with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will offer a 2014/2015 season engagement.

Irish Heritage are delighted to offer Clara a solo recital in London, with full travel costs, in the 2014/15 season.

The RDS Music Bursary was set up in 2003 by the RDS whose goal is: “To provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual arts, crafts or music.”

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