Irish classical guitarist Damien Kelly began his studies at the age of 10 with renowned teacher Marion Hyland at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. While studying there he won a number of national competitions and also scholarships to continue his studies at the RIAM. He completed a BA in Applied Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology (Louth, Ireland) in 2009 and in 2010 he graduated with a Masters in Performance from the DIT Conservatory of Music (Dublin, Ireland). At DIT he studied with internationally acclaimed guitarist Dr. John Feeley. In 2014 he was awarded a scholarship by Manhattan School of Music, New York to continue his post graduate studies and studied with Mark Delpriora as part of the Professional Studies Diploma. He was also awarded the Segovia-Augustine award of excellence at Manhattan School of Music, awarded to one graduating guitarist each year.
Damien is an experienced teacher and has taught all levels and in different teaching enviroments both in the US and Ireland. At university level he has taught at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Dundalk Institute of Technology. In addition to teaching undergraduate students indivdually he also lectured in popular music performance and guitar technique. He also taught at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, teaching group classes of adults as part of the Diploma in Community Music. While in Ireland he also taught at Kilternan School of Music and Newpark Music Centre (Dublin). In the U.S. he currently teaches at Lindeblad School of Music (New Jersey), New Song Studio, Long Island City Academy of Music, Church Street School of Music, Ezra Guitar (New York City), teaching the younger generation of aspiring guitarists. In addition to giving students the core basics in technique and performance practice, Damien also encourages ensemble playing and public performances.
As a performer Damien has given solo recitals in Kings College, Cambridge, the Irish Embassy, London and the American Irish Historical Society, NYC. In 2008 he performed as an opening act for Sir James Galway in the National Concert Hall, Dublin as part of the RIAM’s platform series. As a recording artist he has worked with the Irish composer Ciarán Farrell to produce two releases under the collaborative title ‘Farrell Kelly’. Their first EP ‘Jolt’ (2011) reached number one in the Irish iTunes chart. This was followed by the compete guitar works of Ciarán Farrell which was released as the album ‘New Frontiers’ (2012). In addition to performing the works of Ciarán Farrell he has premiered many new works by composers such as Eibhlis Farrell, David Stalling, Ricardo Romaniero and Victor Lazzarini. Damien also performs as the other half of Redbrick Duo with American flautist Jessica Lipstone. Performing their own arrangements of popular music combined with more traditional repertoire, they have engaged with audiences of all musical backgrounds. They have played many recitals around the US including the EU Ambassador’s residence in Washington DC. Their self titled album will be available on iTunes soon.