Ethna Tinney Ireland's only female professional conductor enjoys life in Dublin and her work with Classical Graffiti.
Brought up in a musical family in the Dublin suburb of Rathgar, former RTÉ Symphony Orchestra piano soloist and Ireland’s only female professional conductor Ethna Tinney also spent time in London.
Since returning to Dublin she appreciates the city’s proximity to the sea and the mountains and spends much of her spare time in the wilds of County Wicklow.
Ethna Tinney lives in Dundrum and after London, she relishes the smallness and vibrancy of Dublin. She enjoys the city's social scene and how Dubliners interact with each other.
Dubliners are full of vitality when they are out for a night.
In May 1988 Eithne Tinney secured funding from the governments Social Welfare Scheme to set up Classical Graffiti, an orchestra for out of work musicians, which she both manages and conducts. Classical Graffiti was established because she was keen to do something positive about unemployment and a desire to have her own orchestra.
Classical Graffiti’s lively repertoire ranges from classical to popular and the musicians play a free lunchtime concert in St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.
The orchestra’s female French horn player has never come across a female conductor before and says it can be a little bit difficult sometimes.
However saxophonist Liam Kielthy disagrees,
Female doesn’t come into it at all, it’s just a conductor end of story.
Another male Classical Graffiti musician praises Eithne Tinney’s commitment and says he has,
No problem with a woman being the driving force.
This episode of 'I Live Here' was broadcast on 29 November 1989.