I'm bringing Mozart to Cork this Easter

Person To Person: A proud Cork girl at heart, pianist Fionnuala Moynihan takes part in the Mozart Festival being hosted by the Triskel Arts Centre in April
I'm bringing Mozart to Cork this Easter

Fionnuala Moynihan is the youngest of seven children from Bishopstown

Tell us about yourself;

My name is Dr Fionnuala Moynihan, I’m a classical concert pianist and resident pianist at the University of Ireland, Maynooth. I am a lover of the arts, many styles of music, great films and documentaries, reading, walking and hiking, running and cycling!

Where were you born?

I was born in Cork and grew up in Bishopstown. I went to primary school in St Mary’s National School, Glenville, and travelled every day with my Dad who taught there.

My secondary school was Mount Mercy Collage on the Model Farm Road in Cork. Now I live in Dublin with my husband Tim. I always love visiting home and am definitely a proud Cork girl at heart.


I am the youngest of seven children. I adore my family. I have three wonderful brothers and three wonderful sisters. We are all very good friends and often perform concerts together.

My father Pat passed away in 2014 and I miss him every single day. He was my buddy and an amazing dad. He always thought ‘outside the box’ and really inspired us all to follow our dreams. A wonderful teacher, musician and explorer of life. My mum Eileen is an amazing lady whose love for history has been passed down to us all. I often think she is like ‘super woman’... she raised seven kids whilst being vice principal at Maria Assumpta Primary school and still had time to enjoy life and do as much as five people in one day! My mum and dad were a great team and I think we all admire the fantastic life they had together. I also have a wonderful set of cousins whom I adore too.

Tim and I married in 2016 and he is my best friend, husband, travel buddy, running partner all in one! We are very lucky to have such a lovely life together and he is simply the love of my life! He is also a fabulous cook, a lovely guitar player and singer and loves to travel and see the world as much as I do. He is fabulous at making me laugh too!

Earliest childhood memory?

I have two very early memories, I think: I remember my 3rd birthday and seeing a lovely teddy bear called ‘Fluffy’ sitting in a small deckchair waiting for me with my family singing Happy Birthday to me!

I also remember my grandfather who used to live with us coming home from mass and running to meet him at the front door. He was a very tall man and he would lift you high into the air and swing you round and round. He also loved giving you chocolate!

Person you most admire?

I admire my husband and my family. I always want to make them proud. I admire who they are, their kindness, determination, and understanding natures. They are always there for me and have never once left me down.

I admire true artists and true supporters of the arts.

Person who most irritates you?

I am way too polite to answer this question! But let me give you an idea of traits that annoy me: those who are constantly late, messy, arrogant, badly-behaved, unkind, rude, lazy, and people who upset others, especially on Twitter where they can hide and be anonymous!

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

I think Paschal Donohoe is the right person for the job. He is highly capable and very well respected internationally.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

I absolutely love going on holidays, often to smaller and less visited regions. There are too many wonderful memories to pick just one: touring around France with my family during the summers, an American road trip with Tim, hiking the SalzKammergut in Austria with Tim, hiking the Basque-Pyrenees with Tim, and spending some lovely time in the region afterwards, performing in Warsaw as a family, visiting Rome with Tim and standing inside the Colosseum, happy visits to Athens to see my friends over the years.

Favourite TV programme?

Enjoying lots of great programmes and documentaries on TG4. Also love travel shows and Rick Stein’s travels in France.

Favourite radio show?

RTÉ Lyric FM of course! I am also loving my brother Diarmaid’s show on Castlebar Radio called The Wandering Minstrel. I may be a bit biased but he plays a really unique and fantastic mix of music.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I like trying lots of different recipes. I often try and recreate what I might have had out at a restaurant. Tim is a much better cook than I and my family are quite into their cooking. I feel like I am the least talented one at this, to be honest!

Favourite restaurant?

I miss all the lovely restaurants and cafes we took for granted before Covid-19 and hope they will be back again.

In Cork, I love a restaurant very close to home: Gallo & Galletti, a really fantastic restaurant with a lovely atmosphere.

Last book you read?

Graham Norton’s latest novel Home Stretch. He is a great creator of characters and I have enjoyed all his books. I love reading and read a broad range of books. I hate being without a book!

Best book you read?

To Kill A Mockingbird has always stuck with me as one of the best books I ever read. I think it made a big impression on me as a teenager. I guess it showed me that life is not fair and that you have to be true to yourself, make the right decisions and be at peace with the decisions you make. I love the classics and history books. I read a wonderful book about the life of Caesar … that took a while though! I also love the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom.

Favourite song?

Fly Me To The Moon sung by Frank Sinatra

One person you would like to see in concert?

Mozart! I also wish he could come to our Mozart Festival at the Triskel Arts Centre, broadcast online this Easter!

Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person! I love the mornings and I work much better then also.

Spendthrift or saver?

I think I am good with money. I enjoy life but know what I can and cannot afford.

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my husband Tim, with my family and friends, playing music and performing, walking, running, hiking, good films, travelling the world, and having the peace to enjoy each day.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good person, a grateful person and as a dreamer who aimed for the stars!

What else are you up to at the moment?

For all of us involved in the arts, Covid-19 is dictating what we are up to, but when it will be safe to do so I have some wonderful concerts lined up here in Ireland and abroad in Russia, Egypt and in the Czech Republic.

I am incredibly happy to say that I will be joined by wonderful musicians Geraldine O’Doherty (harp), Kieran Moynihan (flute) and members of Musici Ireland over the Easter weekend to bring a fantastic Mozart Festival to the Triskel Arts Centre, Cork.

For more details please visit: www.triskelartscentre.ie And please do join us!!

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