- complément
Thursday 13th April 2023 at 7pm

About Dr Helen Lawlor

About the speaker

Dr Helen Lawlor (neé Lyons) specialises in research on music in Ireland with a focus on the musical practice, education and history of the harp.  She lectures in music at the TU Dublin Conservatoire. She is author of Irish harping 1900–2010 (2012) and co-editor with Sandra Joyce of Harp studies: perspectives on the Irish harp (2016). Her work is also published in The Encyclopaedia of Music in IrelandAncestral ImprintsSonus, American Harp Journal, JSMI and JMI. 

Helen is Executive Editor of the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland (JSMI) and Secretary of Performance Research Ireland. She is an advisory board member of Irish Musical Studies and previously served as Chair of the Irish national committee of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM Ireland).

In 1999 Helen graduated from Trinity College Dublin and the TU Dublin Conservatoire with a BMusED. In 2005 she graduated from UCD with a Masters in Musicology Degree before embarking on her doctoral research at UCD for which she was an Ad Astra Research Scholarship recipient. Her PhD (2010) was supervised by Professor Thérèse Smith and subsequently published as her first monograph by Four Courts Press (2012).

Current research projects include: Harp Studies II: World Harp Traditions (in preparation, 2023) and Sounding Empowerment, an edited collection of essays co-edited with Adrian Scahill. Her research is grounded in the discipline of ethnomusicology, drawing also on performance practice and musicological methodologies.

            Helen has shared her research both nationally and internationally. She has lectured/performed at Harvard University, Boston College, New York University, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, University of Limerick, University College Dublin and at many music festivals including the Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and Gaelic Roots. Television appearances include: Comhluadar Ceoil (2021, TG4) and The Flourishing (2022, RTE 1).

            Helen has supervised PhDs and Masters by research in Irish traditional music, arts practice, ethnomusicology, music education, musicology and composition.


Read the NEWS.MC article HERE - the audience enjoyed an insightful lecture by Dr Lawlor and a unique musical performance by Dubh Linn, joined by Conor Lyons on the bodhrán, performing songs from the Princess Grace Song Sheet Collection at the Library in Monaco. We are grateful to the Dubh Linn musicians who donated their time and talent to the library for all to enjoy this amazing performance.


Dr Helen Lawlor and the traditional Irish music group, Dubh Linn with guest bodhrán player Conor Lyons, from Fingal in Dublin, who performed at the Princess Grace Irish Library and received rave reviews in the media!  Enjoy a taste (3 minutes) of their wonderful music (click above). Further down you will find the full lecture and music performance (one hour).

Click above for the entire event, a lecture by Dr Lawlor, her harp playing and music performance by traditional Irish music group 'Dubh Linn' (duration one hour)


An inspiring event with Dr Lawlor & performances by Dubh Linn

including songs from the Princess Grace song sheet collection

The lecture, 'The Irish harp in music, literature & culture', considers the music and symbolism of the Irish harp in musical practice, literature and cultural representations. The harp as an instrument and symbol of Ireland has a rich history, reaching back to Gaelic antiquity. Its music and symbolism have been mythologised in painting, literature and song for centuries. This lecture will include a live performance by Helen Lawlor of the Irish-American music contained in the Princess Grace Irish Library Song Sheet Collection.

Our thanks for support from 

Irish Research Council New Foundations Award

Add to your calendar