Derek Hickey hails from Adare, Co. Limerick. He started playing accordion at a young age. By the age of 18 he joined the band Arcady and then at 21 was invited by Frankie Gavin to join De Dannan. He recorded two albums with the band during the time he spent with them. Derek Hickey is a regular tutor at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University Limerick. In his rich and varied performing experiences, he has shared the stage with some of worlds greatest talents including Stephan Grappelli and The Rolling Stones.
A graduate of the BA in Irish Music and Dance at the Academy, Tadhg has established himself as a force in the world of traditional Irish music. A recent All-Ireland piano title win is among the various awards for piano, piano accordion and accompaniment that have cemented this fact across the traditional music community. As well as extensive tours of the US and Europe with Goitse, he has performed on a variety of stages around the world to huge crowds and esteemed audiences; from Ireland’s National Concert Hall to Music Crossroads in Zambia and from the infamous Festival Interceltique de Lorient to a garden party hosted by Uachtarán an hÉireann, the President of Ireland.
Tadhg has not only made a name for himself in terms of his performing career. In recent years, he has recorded on many albums and worked with singers and musicians alike, including collaborations with legendary singers Aoife Clancy and Seán Ó Sé. He was also chosen by none other than Dónal Lunny to be the pianist in his ‘Lorg Lunny’ project which was recorded for an eight-episode TV series and culminated in the formation of the band Ciorras.
Tadhg has also taught extensively at festivals across Europe and teaches a variety of classes from piano and piano accordion, to accompaniment classes for a range of accompaniment instruments. Having grown up in an Irish-speaking home, and having studied the Irish language to University level, he has even been known to teach a few Irish or ‘Gaelic’ classes.
Young composers in Irish traditional music are the topic of Tadhg’s current research. His study will examine the phenomenon of the young composer; exploring what motivates them to compose, how they go about composing, and how their work is responded to within the tradition. The changing role of the composer figure in the context of Irish traditional music will be explored as will the structure and makeup of the music being composed.