Irish conductor Sinead Hayes was the chorus master and conductor for Irish National Opera’s productions in the 2018/19 season. The 2019/20 season is her sixth season as conductor of the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (HRSE) in Belfast. Already this season, alongside her work with HRSE, she has worked with Crash Ensemble and Opera Collective Ireland conducting the premiere performances of Raymond Deane’s new opera Vagabones. She returned to the RTE Concert Orchestra in August to conduct the Irish National Opera Studio Gala. In November she makes her Ulster Orchestra debut conducting the orchestra in 9 educational concerts across Northern Ireland, and will conduct a new opera by Elaine Agnew (co-production between Irish National Opera & Galway European Capital of Culture 2020). She returns to Irish National Opera as musical supervisor for their production of a new installation opera, This Hostel Life.

Highlights of the 2018/19 season included return visits to Northern Ireland Opera to conduct productions of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Greg Caffrey’s children’s opera The Chronic Identity Crisis of Pamplemousse, as well as working with Irish National Opera as assistant conductor and Chorus Master on Bartok: Bluebeard’s Castle, Dennehy: The Second Violinist, Verdi: Aida, Puccini: Madama Butterfly & Mozart Die zauberfloete. As conductor of the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble she premiered many new works as well as revisiting Eliott Carter’s Triple Duo on a tour of the UK and Ireland.

Sinead took her first violin lessons at age 7, followed by piano lessons at age 9. At age 13 she won the Irish Local Centre Scholarship for distinction in Grade 8 violin, and commenced her studies in violin with Deirdre Ward at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. In 2008 Sinead graduated with a BMus (First Class Honours) in violin and composition from City University London. She completed her Masters in orchestral conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in 2009, winning the Mortimer Furber Conducting Prize. Equally at home working with choir, orchestra and in opera, from 2009 – 2013 Sinead was music director of Bury Choral Society, UK. She was principal conductor of the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra and was assistant music director of Stockport Youth Orchestra. Sinead was assistant conductor and chorusmaster for British Youth Opera in 2011 (Le nozze di Figaro).   

As well as a conductor, Sinead is active as a leading exponent of Irish/Celtic fiddle, in 2017 playing alongside members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in a number of family concerts at Berlin’s Philharmonie.

Sinead's teachers and masterclass mentors have included Peter Eotvos, Martyn Brabbins, Johannes Schlaefli, Jorma Panula, Clark Rundell, Mark Shanahan, and Sylvain Cambreling. She has worked in masterclasss with the Chamber Orchestra of Luxembourg, North Czech Philharmonic, Bochumer Symphoniker, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Essener Philharmoniker and Ensemble and Orquestra do Cadaques, and Argovia Philharmonic. She was also a guest conductor with the Orquestra do Algarve and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.