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JJ McNamara

JJ McNamara has just turned 18 years old and is currently studying for A Levels in Music and Music Technology.

JJ learned to play the piano from the age of 5 and was born into a very musical family. At the age of 11 he toured Ireland with his parents and siblings on the McNamara family tour playing at 13 venues in which he performed some Beethoven and Chopin. In 2011 at the age of 12 in the Newpark Music Festival JJ received the highest ever mark of 97 in the Concerto Cup and was the youngest ever winner of the award for his performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto (1st movt). Since then JJ has won 1st prize in many national piano competitions and feiseanna, most notably in April 2014, first prize in The Junior Piano Concerto Competition in the Feis Ceoil - Concerto No. 2, 3rd movement by Shostakovich (with Dad Frank on 2nd piano). He was the youngest ever competitor in the Mabel Swainson Repertoire Cup at Feis Ceoil 2016 and was Highly Commended with special mention for his understanding of Beethoven (Sonata Op 2 No 3 1st) and his “brilliant bravura performance” of Liszt Gounod Faust Waltz. He is also a multiple first prizewinner in the Sligo Feis, Arklow Music Festival and the Piano Academy of Ireland Music Festivals. Most recently, JJ has been awarded the World Piano Teachers Association Special Prize for his performance in the Chopin International Piano Festival in Poland (school students competition) and he has been invited to attend master classes and perform a 40 minute recital at the World Piano Teachers Conference next June! In September JJ won his first international piano competition in the Great Composer series for piano sonata playing. He performed Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No 2 First Movement.

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