Irish conductor Sinead Hayes is equally at home working with choir, orchestra and in opera. The 2019/20 season is her sixth as conductor of the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble (HRSE) in Belfast. Already this season, 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 made her Ulster Orchestra debut conducting the orchestra in 7 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 chorus master and assistant conductor for the company’s New York Armory performances of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist in September 2020.
Highlights of previous seasons include making her debut with the Irish Chamber Orchestra (Der Schauspieldirektor), return visits to Northern Ireland Opera to conduct productions of Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, 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, winning a scholarship to the junior department of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. Following an exploratory detour, during which she completed her degree and masters in structural engineering in NUI Galway and Imperial College London, her passion for music won out, and in 2008 Sinead graduated with a BMus 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. From 2009 – 2013 Sinead was music director of Bury Choral Society, UK. She was principal conductor of the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra (2010 – 2018) and was assistant music director of Stockport Youth Orchestra (2009 – 2013).
Sinead was one of three finalists chosen by members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Berlin for the 2014 Interaktion Conducting Workshop. This led to her decision to move to Berlin, where she supplemented her conducting activities by playing Irish/Celtic fiddle gigs, eventually playing fiddle alongside members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in a number of family concerts at Berlin’s Philharmonie in 2017!
Sinead's teachers and masterclass mentors have included Alex Ingram, Peter Eotvos, Martyn Brabbins, Johannes Schlaefli, Jorma Panula, Clark Rundell and Mark Shanahan. She has worked in masterclass with the Argovia Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Luxembourg, North Czech Philharmonic, Bochumer Symphoniker, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Essener Philharmoniker and Ensemble and Orquestra do Cadaques. She was also a guest conductor with the Orquestra do Algarve. She is currently based in Ireland.