Aoife Ní Bhriain

Aoife Ní Bhriain

The Influences went to Kilkenny, Ireland and invited local musicians to join them in the tower of the monumental Kilkenny Castle to record sessions. And they did. One of the days started with real Irish music by fiddle virtuoso Aoife Ní Bhriain, recently named as ‘RTE Radio 1 Folk Instrumentalist of the Year 2024‘. Just before taking a train back to Dublin, Ní Bhriain played four pieces and made our day. Let her make yours as well, forget about everything in the world for about twenty minutes and watch these four videos with slow airs, reels and marches.

A richly versatile musician.

Born in Dublin to a family of musicians, Aoife Ní Bhriain has established herself as a richly versatile musician, expert in both classical and folk music. Thanks to her musical heritage combined with her classical studies she has collaborated and performed with musicians such as pianist Eliso Virsaladze, fiddle player Martin Hayes, jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and Oscar winning actor Tim Robbins. She is a member of the Goodman Trio with whom she has explored the manuscripts of the music collected around Ireland in the 1800’s by Canon James Goodman. In 2021 Aoife joined forces with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and the duo released their debut album in 2023.


She is also part of Wooden Elephant; a contemporary classical string quintet who reimagine classic electronic-based albums by artists like Björk, Beyoncé, Aphex Twin and Radiohead, and present them as totally acoustic, longform contemporary classical concert works.

“Without my grandparents and my incredible parents I wouldn’t be playing today.”

In 2024, Aoife Ní Bhriain won the Best Folk Instrumentalist award at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, which was a big honor for her, as she wrote: “It was truly a shock to receive such an accolade and the emotion in my voice was at times overpowering as I searched for the words I wanted to say. The award immediately brought to mind my grandparents who have gone before us and who gave us every opportunity, encouragement and love of our music. Without them and my incredible parents I wouldn’t be playing today.”

“The music in our family has gone from generation to generation and to see the future generation learn today fills me with pride. As I said […] music is the language of our house, our family and it’s the most inclusive and beautiful language we have in this world. It shows us our similarities rather than our differences and breaks down barriers that words sometimes cannot. In this world – today’s world – I believe we need that more than ever.” 

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Most of the compositions in this session are traditional tunes, meaning that the composers of the originals are unknown.

Airs Dans Le Genre Roumain I Moderato
(George Enescu)
Tidal | Apple Music

Aoife Ní Bhriain

Apple Music


Filmed by Matthijs van der Ven & David Lawson Froggatt
Edited by Matthijs van der Ven.
Audio recorded & mixed by Matthijs van der Ven.

Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny, Ireland

David Lawson Froggatt
Marjie Kaley
Kilkenny Arts Festival
Kilkenny Castle
Aisling Doyle
Rollercoaster Records
Paul Mahon
David Thompson

There is no better way to discover music than watching great musicians cover the songs they love. The Influences has been producing these videos ever since 2008.

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Thank you for watching and enjoying this session. You’ll probably like some other sessions from The Influences’ archive too, like these earlier ones we filmed at TakeRoot festival.

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