Irish Flutist Amy Gillen plays with ‘incredible dexterity and musicality’ and ‘sparkling fluidity and pristine clarity’. This review comes from the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Final by music critic Dick O’Riordan where Amy was the winner of the 2018 Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year and was also awarded the Conrad O’Sullivan Memorial Award for the best woodwind/brass performance in the competition.
Amy recently virtually graduated from the Royal College of Music London as a Russell Race Scholar with a Distinction First Class Honours Masters of Music Performance in Classical and Jazz Flute and the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal. As part of being awarded the Tagore Gold Medal, Amy will be presented with the medal by HRH Prince of Wales and she will also perform for HRH at the Annual President's Visit at the Royal College of Music in 2021. She received a first class honours in her BA in Music Performance in Flute at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in June 2018. Amy was awarded the McCullough Cup and RTÉ Lyric FM Bursary at the 2019 Feis Ceoil Dublin. She has performed as soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and 2019 and will perform as soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Spring 2021 as a result of being awarded the 2019 RDS Jago Award.
In November 2018, Amy made her debut performance at the Wigmore Hall in London where she was awarded the 2018 Irish Heritage Bursary for Performance. Commenting on the bursary being awarded, John Gilhooly OBE Chairman of the adjudicators and director of the Wigmore Hall said, “Amy is an immediately engaging artist from the moment she steps on the platform. She is a true musician in every sense. She greatly impressed the jury and this bursary comes at an important time in her development.” In December 2019, Amy played at the Soireé d’Or Royal College of Music event at the Victoria and Albert Museum London.
Amy has won numerous prizes, which include the Sir James Galway Rising Star Award and a 14K Gold Nagahara head joint for her flute at the 2017 Galway Flute Festival (GFF), Switzerland; the Flax Trust Bursary and the Audience Award at the Flax Trust Music Awards in Belfast in October 2017; a Gemeinhardt piccolo at the 2016 GFF, Switzerland; the Yamaha Woodwind and Brass Bursary for Ireland in 2015; the Most Promising Young Musician at the 2015 Clandeboye Music Festival Belfast and a Haynes head joint at the 2015 GFF, Switzerland. As part of the Sir James Galway Rising Star Award, Amy gave a recital at the 2018 GFF Switzerland, which was supported by Culture Ireland. Amy also received funding towards the purchase of a new flute by the Music Network Music Capital Scheme and is supported by the Arts Council Travel and Training Award.
Amy regularly deputises with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and has deputised with the Ulster Orchestra. She was selected to participate in the BBC Symphony Orchestra Pathway Scheme for 2018/2019 and also participated in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme (2015-2017). Amy was selected as Principal Flute of the Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra to play in Windsor Castle for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. She was also Principal Flute of the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra for concerts conducted by Rafael Payare, Sir Antonio Pappano, John Wilson and Michael Rosewell. Amy recently moved back to London after working for a year as a Music Teacher in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Most recently, Amy won the 2021 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival Bursary. As a result of this, she was invited back to perform at the 2021 Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.