Bríd Harper is regarded as one of the leading Irish traditional fiddle players of the last forty years.
She grew up close to the east Donegal village of Castlefinn and started playing the fiddle at the age of nine. There is music on both sides of her family. Her grandfather Stephen Harper was a fiddler and came from a musical family. On her mother’s side her uncle Frank Kelly is a well known fiddler.
In the mid 1970’s Bríd began taking music lessons with Pat McCabe at her local branch of Comhaltas. She was also heavily encouraged by her parents who brought her to sessions and fleadhanna. There was a lot of Irish music in the house in the form of LPs and Cassettes.
She won all the underage competitions at the annual All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil both in the Slow Air and Dance Music categories. In 1988 she won three prestigious titles - Senior All Ireland, Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas na Gaeilge.
She is an MA graduate of the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance at University of Limerick. She has toured extensively and performed with many great musicians including Dermot Byrne, Steve Cooney, Tony O’Connell, Arty McGlynn, Nollaig Casey, Maeve Donnelly, Harry Bradley, John Doyle, Sylvain Barou Nicolas Quemener and more.
Bríd is highly respected and much sought after as a teacher. She has tutored at Summer Schools and workshops throughout Ireland, The UK, The USA, Canada, many parts of mainland Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
She has appeared on every major broadcast channel on the island of Ireland as well as BBC Alba Scotland. She has featured on local radio stations in France, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Her much anticipated solo recording “Bríd Harper” released in 2015 was described by Tradconnect.com as “solo fiddle of the most exquisite kind” and “ one of this year’s best traditional albums”.
She is a member of UAINE which was formed in 2019 with Tony O’Connell, Lisa Butler and Paul Meehan. Their debut album released in November of the same year was described by Daniel Neely of the Irish Echo as an album of “extraordinary and beautifully rendered music”.
Bríd is also a member of the SíFiddlers formed in 2018 which is made up of 13 female Donegal fiddlers. They released a recording in 2020 showcasing some of the most popular and better known Donegal repertoire.
Bríd who resides near Dungannon Co Tyrone teaches fiddle on a one-on-one basis from her home and in recent times has begun composing tunes in her spare time. She is a visiting tutor and performer at The Irish World Academy in Limerick University.
14th - 18th: Sam Henry Summer School (Portstewart/Portstewart, N. Ireland)
17th - 21st: Bríd Harper Tony O'Connell & Magnus Soltvedt Wiik (Oslo, Norway)
2nd - 20th: Celtic Spring Tour with UAINE (Austria)
14th: CD launch at Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair at 7pm
29th - 1st May: Cup of Tae Festival Ardara Co Donegal Fiddle Workshop
7th: An Droichead Belfast with UAINE
13th: Inishowen Gateway Hotel Buncrana Gavin/Glynn Foundation Charity event
21st: Knocklishen Beg Co Carlow with Tony O’Connell
2nd: Craic Theatre Coalisland with Dermot Byrne & Steve Cooney
8th - 12th: Norway with Tony O’Connell & Magnus Soltvedt Wiik
16th: Féile Ealaíne an Earagail, An Grianán Theatre Letterkenny with SíFiddlers
18th - 22nd: Meitheal Ennis Co Clare
24th: Earagail Arts Festival. Literary Event at Rathmullan House 3pm
25th - 29th: Belfast Trad Summer School
4th: All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil Mullingar with UAINE
15th - 19th: Oulu Finland Fiddle Workshops
25th: Johnny Doherty Festival Ardara with Dermot Byrne & Steve Cooney
For many years the wonderful Bríd Harper has been held in very high esteem by many musicians, including myself, as a very powerful and creative world class voice for Irish traditional music and a musician that is outward looking towards other traditions... An exquisite fiddle player in the very top echelon.