Norah Constance Walsh

(b. 1973)
Francis Donegan


Norah Constance Walsh is a composer, musical director and musician based in Dublin, Ireland. 

She holds a first class honours BMus in composition from the DIT Conservatory where she studied under Jane O’Leary and Dave Flynn. She was also been selected to receive master classes from numerous renowned national and international composers including Clarence Barlow, Hans Abrahamsen, Nichola LeFanu, Kevin O’Connell, Martin O’Leary, John McLachlan, Tarik O’Regan and Brian Irvine.

Writing for voice is an important focus of Norah’s work. In 2021 she won the Seán Ó Riada Choral Composition Competition with her piece On A Quiet Day In The Future which received its premiere from Chamber Choir Ireland at the Cork International Choral Festival. Recent choral commissions include We Catch Our Breath, commissioned by the European Climate Change Adaptation conference 2023, the UNESCO Earth Futures award-winning Inception Horizon, premiered in 2020, which travelled to Slovenian caves in 2022, and the CMC’s collaborative short opera Beneath Iseult’s Tower written for Culture Night, 2017. In 2021 Norah composed two choral pieces commissioned under the Arts Council Agility Award which were settings of of poems by Dermot Bolger. Setting the works of living Irish poets and dealing with contemporary Irish themes are a central focus of her vocal works and she has also set poems by Catherine Ann Cullen, Moya Cannon and Peter Sirr and Tony Curtis. Vocal works of Norah’s have been performed by Mellow Tonics, Laetare Vocal Ensemble, the Mornington Singers, the TU Chamber Choir, Rathdown Cantori, Ossia Youth Choir as well as numerous nationally renowned vocalists. Norah has also participated in choral workshops with Chamber Choir Ireland (CCI/CMC Choral Sketches programme) and Ulster Youth Choir.

Recent instrumental works have been performed by the Dublin String Quartet, the Delmaine String Quartet, Duo Sincronia, the Hilltown Ensembles and instrumentalists from the RTE National Symphony and Concert Orchestras. In 2021 her horn quintet Resilience was performed as part of the Sandford Summer Music Series and also for Culture Night. Norah has also worked with Concorde, the ConTempo and Vanbrugh string quartets and the DIT Orchestra on various orchestral and ensemble pieces. 

Norah works as a musical director for two Dublin based choirs, the Forget Me Nots and Mellow Tonics, and as a facilitator in many community and education projects. She recently worked as choral conductor and arranger for telelvision programmes/concerts of RTE and Tyrone Productions, including RTÉ’s Choir of Ages and the Papal Visit concert at Croke Park, 2018. Norah also works as a pianist and accompanist, and as a tutor/mentor both privately and for Chamber Choir Ireland and Technological University Dublin education projects.

Norah’s compositions are predominantly acoustic drawing from a broad range of influences including classical, popular, Irish traditional and jazz. She is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin since 2013.