Past. Present. Future.

Dónal Rafferty was born in Dublin Ireland and has been obsessed with creating music ever since hearing Beethoven’s 5th symphony on his grandfather’s stereo when he was 6 years old! His earliest formal musical education was singing with The Palestrina Choir from age 7, at which time he also commenced studying piano, clarinet, and music theory at The College of Music in Dublin.

Dónal first completed an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Trinity College Dublin (2004) before deciding to undertake an undergraduate music degree at National University of Ireland Maynooth (2007), but he quickly discovered his passion and talent for composition, and continued on to complete a master’s degree in composition at King’s College London (2009). He is an alumnus of the IMRO Irish Composition Summer School (2007) and also holds diplomas in piano performance and music theory from London College of Music and Trinity College London.

Dónal composes and produces original music for all kinds of instrumental ensembles - including orchestra, chamber ensemble, and choir - as well as practicing songwriting. His quintet ​Aquastrata (2005) was awarded the IMRO Award for Chamber Ensemble composition in 2010. His music has been performed by ensembles such as Lontano, Concorde, The Penbridge Trio, the Taylor Festival Choir, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in Europe and the USA and used to score commercial content by Google. Most recently, Dónal composed and produced the music to the The Queen Who Cancelled Christmas​ theatre production which premiéred in Dublin in December 2018.

Dónal relocated to the US in 2013 following years spent in London, including time spent working with the London Chamber Orchestra.  He now resides in California and produces high quality music for clients from his professional home studio. He has a special interest in collaborating with visual storytellers in the environmental activism and social justice fields.

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Copyright © 2020 Dónal Rafferty.  Selected photos by matterandemptyspace.