top of page

The Luminosa String Orchestra



The Orchestra members include multi-award-winning world-class professional musicians and freelance performers and teachers in Galway. As a multicultural city, Galway gives us this diverse group of dedicated instrumentalists bringing the influence of many nations and cultures to us and bringing together this amazing new group of performers in a truly classical genre with a contemporary outlook.

Bridgid Leman Pic.jpg

 Brigid Leman

First Violin

 Brigid Leman was born in Ottawa, Canada, where she began violin lessons at age seven. She has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a Masters in Orchestra Performance from the Zürich University of the Arts (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste), and a Postgraduate Certificate from the University of Music (Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt) in Weimar, Germany. From 2012 to 2019 Brigid held a contract position as second violin with the Hamburg State Opera (Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg) under Simone Young and Kent Nagano. She has played as a substitute with orchestras in Germany such as the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (Hamburg), the Hamburg Symphony, Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg), and the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Lübeck, as well as in Denmark with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. 

Brendan Garde.jpg

Brendan Garde

First Violin

Violinist Brendan Garde recently completed a Master’s in Music Performance at CIT Cork School of Music and was awarded Best Taught Master’s Degree Student 2019. Brendan was also the recipient of the Cork Orchestral Society Emerging Artist Award 2019.

While studying for his BMus degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, Brendan was an ABRSM EU Scholar and was a finalist in both the Norman George Violin Scholarship and the

Helen Porthouse Paganini Prize competitions. Opportunities to perform as an active chamber musician at the RNCM were many, and he was awarded the Weil Prize in 2016.

Brendan has performed at many events and festivals, including the Ortús Chamber Music Festival, Salisbury International Arts Festival, Finding a Voice Festival, Kaleidoscope and the

West Cork Chamber Music Festival. As a freelance orchestral player, he has played with numerous orchestras, including the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Cork Opera House Concert

Orchestra. (


Dr Ingrid Nicola

Principal Second Violin

Ingrid Nicola is the violinist/founding member of ConTempo quartet,a celebrated string quartet that has become RTE's quartet in residence (Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster) in 2014 and is Galway's Ensemble in Residence since 2003.


Ingrid is a chamber music visiting teacher at the Royal Academy of Music/Dublin, held lectures/workshops at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1999-2002), Gedai University of Music Tokyo/Japan, DIT and Cork School of Music.


In 2016, Ingrid was awarded a Degree of Doctor of Music (honoris causa) by the National University of Ireland (NUIG).


David Clarke

Second Violin

Dave Clarke studied music with Ruth Dalton in Manchester and later on with Penny Stirling at the Royal Northern College of Music where he obtained his Associated Board diploma working with the Junior Strings project there.


His chamber music career has spanned over 30 years and is a freelance violinist/violist both here in Ireland and in the UK. Since 2003 he has played with the Corrib String Quartet who have been playing together for twenty five years.  He is a dedicated music pedagogue and is currently teaching the Colourstrings method of violin tuition which has produced extraordinary results.

Harold Berjamin.png

Harold Berjamin

Second Violin

Born in 1992, Harold began playing the violin at the age of seven in Saumur, France. He pursued his musical training at the Conservatoire in Nantes and later in Marseille, where he graduated with the Diploma of Musical Studies (2016). Passionate about ensemble playing, he devotes most of his musical practice to local chamber music groups and orchestras.



Nuala Ní Chanainn

Second Violin

Originally from Cork, Nuala lived and played in Galway for 20 years and toured extensively as violinist and singer in theatre and in various ensembles both here and abroad. She now lives and works between Cork and Galway. 

 Dr Andreea Banciu

Principal Viola


Dr Andreea BANCIU is the violist/founder of the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, Galway Ensemble in Residence since 2003 & 

RTE Quartet in Residence since 2012. 

She is a lecturer in viola at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin (2017) and a chamber music visiting teacher at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, (2014). 


Eilish Devine


Originally from Dublin, Eilish was awarded a Bachelor in Music Degree from Trinity College Dublin and a PGCE in Music and Specialist Strings Teaching from the Royal Northern College of Music/Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK. She returned to Ireland to complete a Masters in Classical String Performance in violin with Marianna Sirbu at the University of Limerick where she commenced studies of the viola with Bruno Giuranna. She has performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra, the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra, Hibernian Orchestra and Co-Orch Dublin, and plays viola with String Serenade and Soundpost Quartets here in Galway. 

Tom Murphy


Tom graduated with a B. Mus. from University College Cork. He also holds Licentiate diplomas from The Associated Board, The Royal Irish Academy of Music and the London College of Music. He has studied with Una Kindlon of the NSO in Cork, Viola with Seamus O Grady also of the NSO. Tom really enjoys playing chamber music and regularly plays with the Corrib String Quartet and Yukatope String Quartet. He is a founding member of the Loughrea Music Club which presents free monthly concerts in Loughrea Library.


Dr Adrian Mantu

Principal Cello

Dr Adrian Mantu is the cellist/founder of the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet (since 1995),  Galway Ensemble in Residence since 2002 and RTE, Ireland’s National Television & Radio Broadcaster’s Quartet in Residence, since 2012. Adrian is the Curator of both ‘Enescu Festival Dublin’ (2017) and Our Tunes/Dublin Music Town Festival (since 2014), cello teacher & chamber music visiting teacher at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (since 2015) and the ‘Romanian Cultural Institute’ representative in Ireland. 

Alona Kliuchka Photo.jpg

Alona Kliuchka



Alona Kliuchka was born in Ukraine in 1991. When she was 17 she started studying cello at the Lugansk Music College. After this time she moved to Moscow and began studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (2012-2017). Here, she obtained her diploma with the highest qualifications in the class of Evgeny Rumyantsev. She was a member of the chamber orchestra Moscovia, conducted by E. Grach. Also, she  played first cello in the chamber orchestra Antonio and from 2016 she worked with  composer Nikolai Poluboyarov, which involved playing concerts in many different countries in Europe (Poland, Spain, Slovakia, etc.) Kliuchka also won first prize at the Fermata competition and the international "Prokofiev" competition in Moscow (2015). After this Alona got her Master’s  degree in the Hague Royal Conservatory (2019).Alona has played with Residentie Orkest in the Hague, Adda Simfonica orchestra in Alicante, as guest player performed with Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick and Dublin.  

cellissimo pic.jpg

Originally from Scotland, Nicola Geddes studied Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art, and Cello Performance at the London School of Music. She has a wide range of experience in chamber music, orchestral and solo performance, and has also toured and worked as session player with many bands and ensembles. Based in Galway, Nicola has a busy teaching practice both privately and in schools.

Nicola Geddes




Teresa Turner

Double Bass

Teresa graduated in 2005 with an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from the Cork School of Music. A keen orchestra musician, she started playing first with Wexford Sinfonia, and then went on to join the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. She is currently principal Double Bass with the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra. She has participated in many orchestra tours abroad including Germany, Holland, Denmark, and Finland. Teresa has been teaching individual  lessons and working as a grade exam accompanist for over 10 years. In 2011 she completed a three year training to become a fully certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Paul Ezergailis


Orchestra Leader

Born in Australia to musical parents from Latvia, erstwhile member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, currently alternating concert master with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and regular guest leader with RTÉ national Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ concert orchestra

Dr Bogdan Sofei

Co-principal Violin

Co-founder of ConTempo Quartet, Bogdan Sofei was born in Bucharest, 1975 and is the leader of ConTempo String Quartet. ConTempo have been the Ensemble-in-Residence in Galway since January 2003 and appointed as the RTE Resident Quartet since May 2014. 

Áine Kelly

First Violin

Over her 20 years as a teacher and performer Áine has created, developed and directed 2 children's orchestras, one of which received a National Award during the children's Orchestra Music Festival held annually in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Áine is now based in Galway and performs on a regular basis with her String Quartet “String Serenade”.  Orchestrally Áine works as a deputy player with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Áine also completed a Masters in Performance at the University of Limerick. 

bottom of page