Billy O’Brien enjoys an active career as solo pianist, chamber musician and teacher. His interpretations are characterised by their warm sensitivity and instinctive musicality. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RIAM Symphony Orchestra, Wexford Sinfonia and Trinity Orchestra in concertos by Ravel, Grieg, Gershwin and Beethoven. He has given solo recitals throughout Ireland in venues such as the Field Room, National Concert Hall, the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Gallery, as well as in Spain, France and the UK.
Billy is a keen performer of new music, giving premiere performances of works by Irish and international composers with the Kirkos Ensemble. In 2018 he gave the World Premiere of ‘Impulses’ by Robert Coleman at the New Ross Piano Festival.
He was 2020 winner of the Hibernian Orchestra Concerto Competition, and has been winner of the Maura Dowdall Concerto Competition (RIAM), the Teissier Piano bursary, and second prize in the Freemason’s Young Musician of the Year. He has represented Ireland in International Competitions, most recently performing at the Vigo International Piano Competition 2019 for a jury including Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire.
Billy completed his undergraduate studies at the RIAM with Professor Therese Fahy, and two-year's postgraduate study in Paris with Professor Rena Shereshevskaya. He is currently pursuing doctoral study at the RIAM under the supervision of Professors Hugh Tinney and Denise Neary. Billy is also a passionate teacher and has a deep interest in pedagogical issues. He is a Teaching Fellow at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and is a member of the Irish branch of EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association).