Malachy Robinson is a dedicated chamber musician, as passionate about Early Music as he is about New Music. He is a founder of the Gregory Walkers, a group performing “Early Music from Ireland and beyond” in which he plays the viola da gamba, and is director of the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, a revelatory alternative to the standard string quartet. Principal double-bass with the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 1995, he is also a founder member of the Crash Ensemble and was a founder member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He has appeared with period-instrument orchestras such as the OAE and the Academy of Ancient Music and has performed with the Vanbrugh, Callino, Parisii, T’ang, Con Tempo and Vogler String Quartets and the Phoenix Piano Trio. His Far Flung Trio (with Katherine Hunka and Dermot Dunne) is about as much fun as three people can have in public.
He has worked closely with and premiered pieces by many Irish composers including Kevin O’Connell, Ian Wilson and Raymond Deane. His double-bass playing has been described by the Irish Times as “rich in rhetoric” with “rhythmic life” and “unassuming virtuosity” and by the Irish Examiner as “remarkable virtuosity” employing a “variety of timbres”.
Studying double-bass in London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where his second study was conducting) he graduated top of his year with first-class honours and the Dove Memorial Prize for General Excellence. After taking a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology at the University of London, Malachy returned to Ireland in 1994. Recent compositions include Hallow’d Ground, Light & Depth and Barograf for the Eidola Trio, Irish Republic Declared for the RPQ and Shark for the Crash Ensemble (his previous work for Crash was String in 2001). He has also written music for theatre and is engaged as composer for the 2017 celebrations of 200 years of DunLaoghaire Harbour.