Hailed by The Irish Times as ‘enterprising and wide-ranging’, Desmond Earley, Artistic Director of the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin, has established a reputation as one of Ireland’s foremost choral directors and early-keyboard specialists.

Desmond is a lecturer in Performance Studies at University College Dublin (UCD) and serves as rotating Artistic Director of the UCD Ad Astra Academy. In 2017-2018 he was Visiting Scholar at Lewis & Clark College, Oregon (USA) and Guest Conductor/Scholar at Bowdoin College, Maine (USA).

As a concert instrumentalist and director, Desmond works with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Desmond has also collaborated with some of the world’s great musicians including Sir James Galway, Roy Goodman, Christopher Hogwood, Monica Huggett, and Konrad Junghaenel.

As a celebrated composer and arranger, Desmond has published works with Music Sales (UK), Hal Leonard Corporation (USA), Alliance Music (USA) and with Seolta Music (IRL) where he serves as editor of the international ‘College Choral Series’.

His acclaimed work Body of the Moon (2017) based on a setting of texts by Galileo Galilei, was commissioned by All Classical Portland Radio (USA) for the total solar eclipse across the United States of America. He has created special arrangements for renowned ensembles including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine, USA), Tenebrae (UK), and the Irish Baroque Orchestra.

Handel’s Messiah with Portland Baroque Orchestra broadcast on AllClassical Portland – April 11th 2020

This weekend, AllClassical Portland will broadcast Handel’s Messiah performed by the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Capella Romana, conducted by Desmond Earley. Recorded in 2018 at the First Baptist Church, the performance features solos from Miriam Allan, soprano; Laura Beckel Thoreson, mezzo-soprano; Nils Neubert, tenor and William Gaunt, bass-baritone.

For more information and to listen, visit allclassical.org.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

The Christmas season hasn’t finished for the Choral Scholars as they have been working with Desmond Earley to prepare the music ready to record a brand-new Christmas album in the next few days. Reflecting their Irish heritage, the album will include songs in Irish, by Irish composers and based on Irish texts, as well as several new arrangements of much-loved seasonal songs. Following their successful collaboration in December, Desmond has invited the Irish Chamber Orchestra to join them on the album. The full track list will be revealed later in the year before the release.

Read more in this blog post […]

Beautiful Portland

Having spent three weeks in Portland (Oregon) for a composing retreat before heading into the studio with the Choral Scholars at the end of February, Desmond heads back to Dublin this weekend to prepare the choir.   The new album will be released on Signum Classics later in 2020.

His highly acclaimed work “The Body of the Moon” was commissioned by All Classical Portland in 2017 in anticipation of Portland’s first total solar eclipse since 1979. Drawing on Galileo’s letters, the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the universality of the humbling and magnificent experience of the eclipse, “The Body of the Moon” […]