Wexford Sinfonia Orchestra People

Wexford Sinfonia Orchestra People

Fergus Sheil Sinfonia Conductor

Fergus Sheil

Born in 1971, Fergus Sheil studied music in Trinity College in his native Dublin. After graduation in 1992, he pursued private conducting studies with Leon Barzin in Paris and he also attended masterclasses with Ilya Musin, Myung-Whun Chung, Helmuth Rilling and George Hurst.

Fergus began orchestral conducting in 1989 when he formed the Trinity Chamber Orchestra while still at college. In 1995 he won the BRI Conducting competition run by the National Association of Youth Orchestras in the UK. He has appeared in concert with the National 
Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia (UK) the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St Cecilia, Orchestra 2000 (Cape Town) and many other groups.

In Opera, Fergus has conducted Verdi’s Aida and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore for Scottish Opera, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore for Opera Ireland, Rossini’s Cinderella and Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse for Opera Theatre Company as well as Donizetti’s Lucia di 
Lammermoor and Verdi’s I due Foscari and Attila (Irish première), Puccini’s La bohème and Madama Butterfly for Lyric Opera Productions, Dublin. A former Head of Music of Opera Ireland, Fergus has also worked as chorus master and assistant conductor at Wexford 
Festival Opera, Opera Ireland and Scottish Opera. He has also worked as assistant conductor for the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland’s 2002 performances of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Fergus Sheil is also dedicated to contemporary music. In 2002 he became director of Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading contemporary music group. With this ensemble Fergus has appeared throughout Ireland as well as in, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Estonia and Holland – and highlights have 
included the world première of Michael Gordon’s 2003 version of his video opera Van Gogh, in collaboration with the composer.

As well as performing throughout Europe, Fergus has undertaken engagements in South Africa (1999 – 2001) as a director of the Amateur Chamber Music Player’s orchestral concerts in Cape Town’s City Hall, and in Australia – where he worked as assistant conductor with the 
Australian Youth Orchestra’s 2005 performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Queensland Music Festival. In 2002 Fergus made his North American début in New York’s Carnegie Hall in the opening concert of a tour of highlights from the “Irish Ring” – The Bohemian Girl, The Lily of Killarney and Maritana.

Brian MacKay Sinfonia Guest Conductor

Brian McKayBrian MacKay has wide ranging experience as a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, orchestral oboist, chamber musician and teacher. A graduate of the Royal College of Music and the Kodaly Institute, he studied conducting under Lawrence Leonard, János Fürst, Katalin Kiss and Peter Erdei. In recent years he has conducted annually at Castle Ward Opera as well as performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, The Czech Virtuosi, Orchestra of St Cecilia, Fishamble Voices and the Nairobi Orchestra.

Brian was musical director of the St.George's Singers, Belfast, from 2002 to 2008. As a coach and repetiteur he worked for many years for Opera Theatre Company and Wexford Festival Opera and has been a guest coach at the RSAMD and the Liszt Academy, Budapest. During two years as a student in Hungary Brian sang with the professional Hungarian choir 'Ars Nova' and was made a life member for his services to the group.

Brian continues to pursue a performing career alongside his conducting work, concentrating on chamber music at the piano or harpsichord. He has played continuo with many ensembles, most notably the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Teaching experience includes Royal College of Music Junior Department, City of London School, St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, several years as Chair of the Kodály Society of Ireland, Artistic Directorship of Irish Vocal Masterclasses and many seminars, workshops and summers schools throughout Ireland, UK, Europe and Africa.

In 2007 - 2009 Brian was the principal Conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. In 2009 he moved to Portugal and now lives in Ferreira do Zêzere. The Council of Ferreira do Zêzere have offered him a residency in the town's Cultural Centre where he teaches, is forming a choral society and organising musical activities. Since arriving in Portugal he has given recitals with singers in theatres and halls throughout Portugal and including Palácio Foz and the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.


Liam Daly Sinfonia Wind Ensemble Director

Liam Daly was a member of the Artane Boys Band from the age of 9.

He studied French Horn with Victor Malirish at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra, National Wind Ensemble and National Youth Choir.He studied at the Waterford Institute of technology where he obtained a Diploma in Advanced Music Studies, an LTCL Performance Diploma on French Horn and a BA MUS.

Liam has worked extensively with youth bands and wind ensembles in Ireland and was Music Dir of the Barrack Street Concert Band Waterford, Carlow Choral Society, Mayfield Brass Band, Athlone and Fermoy musical Societies as well conducting the Ruckert Orchestra and the Cork Symphony Orchestra. Liam took up a commission with the Irish Defence Forces in 1989 and served 14 years where he was Office Commanding and Music Director of the Band of the Western Brigade Athlone and the Band of the Southern Brigade Cork.

In 2004 Liam took up a commission the Australian Defence Forces where he was Second in Command/Deputy Music Director of the Australian Army Band Melbourne, Officer Commanding/Music Director of the Australian Army Bands Darwin and Perth.

While in Darwin Liam worked at Darwin University teaching at a youth orchestral music programme. Liam also directed the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

Since settling back in Ireland in 2008 Liam now Teaches Brass and Theory at the instrumental music programme in Saint Canices Co-Ed National School. He also does conducting workshops with community bands around the country.

Liam is delighted to have been asked to Direct the University Of Limerick Orchestra for this concert.

Liam is married to Veronica and they live in Ballyduff West Kilmeaden Co. Waterford.


Liam Bates - Composer

Liam Bates is an Ireland based British composer, orchestrator and conductor. Renowned for his elegant brush strokes of orchestral colour he has quickly gained a reputation as an innovative and highly sought after composer. 

As a composer for film, his recent productions include Last Passenger directed by Omid Nooshin (starring Dougray Scott) for NDF, Future Films and Pathé and Earthbound directed by Alan Brennan starring Rafe Spall and David Morrissey. Songs he has produced for recent films include those for the romantic comedy Leap Year directed by Anand Tucker. 

Liam studied composition with Giles Swayne and Susan Bradshaw. He won the John McCabe prize for his composition Seven Last Words and a Promax World Gold Award for his orchestral work Part of Life. Liam went on to study conducting with Norman Del Mar and Austrian born conductor Albert Rosen and in 1993 he took up a six month position as conductor of the Teatrul National Opereta, Bucharest. During this period he was a regular guest conductor with the Bucharest State Opera Orchestra. 

In the concert hall, recent commissioned works include Automaton, performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, Dublin and the Lincoln Centre in New York andPsalm, performed in the Vatican this October. In September 2012, Liam was commissioned to write a new work for Irish ballet dancer and choreographer, Monica Loughman. 

He is regularly engaged as a conductor both in the concert hall and in the recording studio, having worked with Pete Townsend, Nancy Gustavson, Luciano Pavarotti, Meat Loaf and Bryan Adams and as well as other film composers.