Michelle O’Brien, from County Clare, learned her music from acclaimed music teacher Frank Custy at primary school and was then taken under the wing of her neighbour, the legendary Tommy Peoples. It is Tommy who became Michelle’s main influence and his distinctive style of playing can be heard in her music. Michelle moved to Dublin in the 90’s and is an influential member of the Dublin traditional music scene ever since.
Michelle has an All-Ireland Fiddle title and Pan-Celtic fiddle title to her credit and is a much sought after tutor of the fiddle, teaching at the World music centre, Limerick and at many Festivals throughout Ireland and Europe. She is currently ‘musician in residence’ for Wicklow Arts council.
Michelle has featured on recordings by Sharon Shannon, Providence, The Bow House Quintet, Aogán Lynch (Slide) and Gavin Ralston, amongst others.
She currently plays in a duo with harper Laoise Kelly, and regularly performs with Tommy Peoples, Siobhán Peoples, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Providence.
“The Peoples influence on O’Brien’s fiddle playing is easily (eerily at times) heard in her crisp ornaments and bow triplets” - celtic grooves review
“Michelle O’Brien, this pretty girl amazes the audience with her stunning fiddle style. Taught by the fiddle master Tommy Peoples, you can hear a clear influence from that side. Playing with full passion, mostly with her eyes closed, her music opens any heart.” – The Pure Irish Drops tour of Germany
“Young fiddle player Michelle O’Brien comes from a strong musical tradition, and her innate talent shone through in the more-than-able company of trad stars Siobhan Peoples (fiddle) and Steve Cooney (guitar) in a showcase that thrilled us at the Courthouse in March 2009” – Tinahely Courthouse, Wicklow