Theresa Kavanagh is a leading Donegal fiddler who has two solo albums to her credit, has guested on many recordings and has toured the world as a soloist and band member.
Theresa’s new album An Choill Uaigneach (The Lonesome Forest) follows her highly-regarded solo debut The Seventh Veil, released in 2006.
Theresa has been involved in recording and performance projects with the likes of Manus Lunny, Donal Lunny, Cherish the Ladies, Luke Daniels and many more. She has toured extensively, from ‘Women of Ireland’ tours in the US to cruising the Caribbean with Cherish. She has performed at major festivals including Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, Canada; Celtic Connections in Glasgow; and L’Orient in Brittany.
Theresa is also known as a composer. She wrote the opening music for the BBC Two programme ‘Gleann Bheatha’. Theresa was also commissioned to write ‘The Teelin Voyage’ with Henry Girl Joleen McLaughlin.
Theresa was born to Donegal parents in Glasgow, the city sometimes called ‘the capital of Donegal’. Her mum was an Irish dancing teacher, her dad played the accordion and loved the singing of Jim Reeves and Hank Williams. Music and song were a constant.
Theresa began learning to play Irish music at the famous classes run by Frank McArdle at St Roch’s School in Glasgow.
When Theresa was nine, her family returned to Donegal. She was fortunate to have fiddle lessons from Francie Mooney, father of Altan’s Mairéad, and Seamus Gibson, nephew of the great Tommy Peoples.
“I fell in love with Irish music,” she says.
Since then, music has been a driving force in Theresa’s life. After school, she studied a HND in Professional Traditional Irish Music Performance at Ballyconnell House in Falcarragh and was awarded from Ballyfermot College Dublin. She then completed a BMus degree at Ulster University, Magee.
Theresa has always combined performing with composing and teaching. Since 2010 she has been a teacher at Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair.
The release of the new solo album ‘The Lonesome Forest’ means a busy time ahead for Theresa. There will be a series of concerts and short tours during 2018.