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Killian White 3

Artist Profile:
Killian White

Killian White is the first cellist to be awarded the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Music Bursary, the single largest annual classical music award in Ireland, and one of the largest in Europe.  Killian was described as “an outstanding winner who impressed with a superb performance and a crystal-clear sense of purpose,” by John O’Kane (RTE) and, “undoubtedly a performer with a very exciting career ahead of him” by Michael Duffy (RDS CEO).  In addition to being awarded the bursary, Killian has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Phillip Crawshaw Memorial Prize at the Royal Overseas League International Competition, the Fr Frank Maher Award (2017), the Aileen Gore Cup and RTE Lyric FM Award at ESB Feis Ceoil, the National Concert Hall Young Musician Award, the Flax Trust Award and the Audience Prize at Camerata Ireland Clandeboye Music Festival. 

Born in 2000, Killian studied first with Martin Johnson, principal cellist with the NSOI, and then with Christopher Marwood at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  He recently completed his bachelor’s degree at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, with Professor Frans Helmerson.  Since commencing his studies in Berlin, he has enjoyed a busy concert schedule – performing many times in Germany while also engaging in solo performances in London, Berlin, the NCH in Dublin, and numerous other venues throughout Ireland.

His career has led him to play as soloist with many orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Halle, Camerata Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, RTE Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony Orchestra, the Hibernian Orchestra, Dublin Symphony Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Concerti Sinfonietta at Carnegie Hall.

Killian has a fierce passion for chamber music and has performed in Quartets and throughout Europe and Ireland.  Highlights include performances at the Bartok Memorial House, Budapest, the Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, and at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Orchestral playing has been an important part of his career since taking part in the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra from 2015-2017.  Since then, he has gone on to perform on numerous occasions as part of the Pierre Boulez Ensemble and as principal cellist of several orchestras, including the Irish Chamber Orchestra for an Irish tour in 2022.  Killian’s life as an orchestral musician has culminated this year in becoming a member of the prestigious Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) Academy, where he performs regularly as a part of the orchestra.

Not afraid to go beyond the boundaries of the classical genre, Killian has also recorded a full-length feature film score for solo cello and has composed and performed features on songs for several Dublin-based songwriters.

He is performing on a 2020 Gruszow-Baumblatt Cello, supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.  Music Network is funded by the Arts Council.