Originally from Dublin, Ria began playing the double bass at the age of 11. Ria completed her undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) as an ABRSM scholar and continued her studies there, completing a Master of Music in 2013. Ria’s teachers have included Roberto Carillo Garcia, Max Zeugner and Jiri Hudec and she has participated in master classes with Bozo Paradzik, Joel Quarrington and Leon Bosch amongst others.
Ria is a passionate orchestral player and has enjoyed performing with orchestras including Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Cymru and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. During her time at the RNCM, Ria was Principal Double Bass of many RNCM ensembles and participated in projects conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Jac Van Steen and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Ria is a keen chamber musician and has received tuition from distinguished musicians including Hugh Maguire and Dora Schwarzberg. Ria has performed as a guest with many string quartets and trios, giving her the opportunity to play some of the greatest pieces of chamber music involving the double bass, as well as being a member of a double bass quartet.
Ria is very interested in teaching and education work and is currently a tutor at RNCM Young Basses, a series of workshops for young double bass players of all standards.
Ria would like to thank ABRSM, the Muriel Berry Scholarship and the Arts Council of Ireland for their support during her training.
Ria is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar, supporting her place in Southbank Sinfonia.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
Although my parents don’t have any background in classical music I (along with my twin brother) am the youngest of five siblings who are all professional musicians.
What do you love about classical music?
I love the variety of classical music – I like that when I listen to one piece of music I can experience so many different moods and emotions during it. As a performer I love that all styles of classical music require different skills, meaning that I always have something to challenge me.
What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
I was inspired to become a professional musician when I went on my first double bass course when I was 13. This taught me so much about the bass, and I got to hear a symphony orchestra rehearse for the first time. I was amazed by the amount of people involved and the sound they made, and I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of.