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Frank TorpeyBodhrán

Frank Torpey took a familiar path among Irish musicians: Learn the tin whistle first and early (in Frank's case, at age eight), then quickly pick up every instrument you can get your hands on (piano accordion, banjo, and drums) and learn those. At age 11, Frank was already giving instrument lessons, excellent training for a future career teaching music at the university level.

Frank prepared further through a music degree at University College Cork. He entered the program playing piano and banjo, but, the course of his musical life quickly changed on hearing a bodhrán performance by Mel Mercier and he switched to bodhrán learning from the styles of Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh, Colm Murphy and Mercier.

In 1990, three University College Cork students founded the traditional group Nomos. Frank, Niall Vallely (the band's concertina player), and Liz Doherty (Nomos' first fiddler) launched what was to become one of the most popular Irish music acts of the 1990s. Over their ten year history, Nomos recorded two albums and toured the world playing at all the major folk festivals in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Frank has performed with Riverdance, Mícheál ÓSúilleabháin, and Seamus Tansey, and has recorded with artists such as John Spillane and Alan Stivell. He has appeared on the television shows River of Sound with Mícheál Ó'Súilleabháin and Donal Lunny, and on Sult, again with Dónal Lunny. Frank was the bodhrán tutor at University College Cork for 15 years and it is from this experience that this set of lessons developed. He continues to teach bodhrán, particularly in Ireland, but also throughout Europe and the USA, and has played in more recent times with Buille & Karan Casey, Brendan Ring & Gerry McKee, and with Caitriona O'Leary at concerts and festivals in the UK and mainland Europe.

Listen to Frank

In 1990, three University College Cork students founded the traditional group Nomos. Frank, Niall Vallely (the band's concertina player), and Liz Doherty (Nomos' first fiddler) launched what became one of the most popular Irish music acts of the 1990s. Over its ten-year history, Nomos toured the world playing at all the major folk festivals in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Frank continues to teach bodhrán throughout Europe, the United States, and Australia. He has performed live with Riverdance, Mícheál ÓSúilleabháin, and Seamus Tansey, and has recorded with the likes of Mel Mercier and Alan Stivell. Frank has even appeared on the television show River of Sound with Ó'Súilleabháin and Donal Lunny.