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Liz Doherty

Liz Doherty

Lecturer in Irish Traditional Music

School of Creative Arts
University of Ulster
Northland Road

Londonderry BT48 7JL
Work: (028) 716-75134


Lecturer in Irish Traditional Music


MMus Master of Music (Music)
Lecturer - Specialism 1 Supervisor - Minor Project 2: Music Module Co-ordinator - Major Project Lecturer - Specialism 2 Supervisor - Minor Project 1: Music
BMus Hons Music (Music)
Module Co-ordinator - Introduction to Music Business Module Co-ordinator - Conversations in Irish Traditional Music Module Co-ordinator - Traditional Musics from around the North Atlantic Module Co-ordinator - Musicology 2


Dr. Liz Doherty from Buncrana, Co. Donegal is a well known fiddle player, academic, educator and consultant within the traditional arts community in Ireland and internationally.


As a performer she was a founder member of bands Nomos and Fiddlesticks and performed and recorded for a number of years with the Bumblebees. She has recorded and guested with many bands including The String Sisters and Blazin’ Fiddles and performed with ‘Riverdance – The Show’ for a brief period. Her touring schedule has taken her far and wide and her recording portfolio includes two solo and numerous band recordings.


As an academic Liz currently holds the post of Irish Traditional Music Lecturer at the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster. Following the re-location of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin to Limerick in 1994 she took up the position of Irish Traditional Music lecturer at University College Cork and taught there until 2001. She has taught courses at Cape Breton University, Canada and at Marshall University, West Virginia where she was the Edwards Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Arts in 2001. She is associated with various universities and institutions as a supervisor, examiner and guest tutor; these include the Irish Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick (External examiner on the MA pogramme, 2009), Dundalk Institute of Technology, RSAMD, Scotland and Instituto Universitario de Estudios Irlandeses, Amergin, La Coruna, Spain.


Her own PhD research combines her performance and academic interests with the fiddle music of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia being the topic of her 1996 doctoral dissertation. In terms of publications she has presented and published a number of papers and keynote addresses on Cape Breton music and is currently working on ‘The Cape Breton Fiddle Music Companion’, an encyclopedic guide to the tradition (with Cape Breton University Press). She has contributed papers and articles on various topics relating to Irish traditional music and Cape Breton music in a number of publications; she published a book on Donegal fiddle master, Dinny McLaughlin in 2005 and was co-editor of the proceedings of Crosbhealach an Cheoil/The Crossroads Conference. Liz is currently Chair of the International Council for Traditional Music, Ireland. She is also chief investigator on a collaborative project based in the University of Ulster concerning the prevention of performance-related injuries among traditional musicians.


Liz has worked and continues to work as a consultant and advisor within the traditional arts sector and has conducted various pieces of research for national and European bodies. She works regularly in an advisory capacity with a number of festivals and events e.g. NAFCO and Celtic Colours. From 2005-2008 she was Traditional Arts Consultant with the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and was responsible for securing significant funding, developing funding opportunities (e.g. establishing the Deis scheme) and working towards establishing parity of esteem for the traditional arts. She serves on various boards including the Irish Traditional Music Archive (2010- ; 1994-1997); Cultúrlann Uí Channain (2009- ) and TG4 Gradam Cheoil (2005-2009).


Liz has contributed to many tv and radio broadcasts as a performer and as an authority on Irish traditional and Cape Breton music. She is also highly in demand as a fiddle teacher. She has been involved in organizing many key events including conferences – ICTM’s ‘Ensemble; Playing Together’ (Limerick, 2010); Crosbhealach an Cheoil/The Crossraods Conference (Dublin, 1996; Derry, 2000); The Seán Ó Riada International Conference ‘The County Bounds’ (Cork, 1998); - and festivals – Éigse na Laoi, Cape Breton (Cork, 1991); Ar Ais Arís Traditional Arts Festival (Buncrana, 2006-2008); Fiddlefest (Derry, 2007); The Foyle Piping Festival (Derry, 2009).


Liz has received a number of awards and scholarships for her performing and academic achievement including the Fleischmann Prize for outstanding contribution to music in Ireland, UCC (2000), the Craig Dobbin Scholarship (1995), Research Scholarship, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Memorial University, Newfoundland (1994), Mary V. Harte Memorial Prize (1991), Seán Ó Riada Memorial Prize (1991).



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