Dublin-born Carol McGonnell has been described as ‘an extraordinary clarinettist’ by the New York Times and with such a varied and accomplished career it is not hard to see why she has been proclaimed this way. She has studied in Ireland with Brain O’Rourke and in New York with Charles Neidich and she is currently one of sixteen handpicked fellows of the first phase of the Academy, a programme of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute.
Throughout her career Carol has balanced standard repertoire with more contemporary repertoire to great effect being expressive whilst being at the cutting-edge of new music and working with great historical works.
Carol has performed as a soloist for John Adams’ ‘In Your Ear Festival’ held at Carnegie Hall, as well as for LA’s infamous ‘Monday evening concerts’ which are curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has also performed as part of the Marlboro music festival in Vermont and the inaugural concert at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Auditorium.
Carol has performed as a soloist with many great orchestras over her career including: the Ulster Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra and the Knights Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed with a variety of smaller ensembles such as: the Zankel Band, Ensemble Modern, Camerata Pacifica and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. Her playing has also been broadcast on national television and radio in Ireland, Lyric FM, BBC Radio 3 and American Public Broadcasting.
Carol is a founding member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble whose work has received critical acclaim with their recording of works by Tristan Murail, on the Aeon Label, was listen as one of New York Time Out Magazine’s top ten classical recordings of 2007.
Whilst performing in New York Carol has become somewhat of a cultural ambassador for Ireland, a role demonstrated in her successfully curated ‘New Music New Ireland’ programme held at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall by request of the Irish Consulate also in the city. The concert included the premier of Cassini Void, a clarinet concerto specially written for McGonnell by Irish composer Ian Wilson. She has also performed as part of a special concert programme at the Miller Theatre which gave a musical portrait of another Irish Composer Gerald Barry. She has also curated programmes for the Kilkenny Arts Festival and is on the advisory board of the Argento New Music Project.
Whilst performing and curating for many ensembles and festivals Carol also holds a role as the artistic director of Music for Museums and exciting and innovate project seeking to bring music to interesting historical venues, working in association with the National Gallery of Ireland to provide music for spaces such as: the Metropolitan Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and the LA Getty.