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Liz and Pat in Union Station, Kansas City, photographer Earl Richardson
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Bio

Liz Knowles’ fascination with music has always been rooted in how one can arrive, land, and leave a note. Her early foundations were in classical music but her discovery of Irish music connected the dots between memories of her grandfather’s singing, a lifelong exploration of modal melodies in Early music, and the “In-Between”, a life theme for Liz that illuminates the challenge and vitality of the liminal places in life and music. 

 

Liz has established herself as a dynamic performer and recording artist as soloist on the soundtrack for “Michael Collins”, fiddler with “Riverdance”, Broadway’s “The Pirate Queen” and “The Green Bird”, soloist with the New York Pops and featured artist for the Ireland 100 Festival at the Kennedy Center. She was music director and producer for several stage shows and recording projects that toured Europe, Asia and South America. Her compositions and arrangements of tunes and songs have been recorded by John Whelan, Flook, Chicago’s Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Liz Carroll, Beolach, Bachue, J.P. Cormier, Michael Black, John Doyle, and Ensemble Galilei. In addition to serving on the faculty at the New England Conservatory, she has an active online teaching schedule of lessons, seminars, and presentations on various topics, some of which have been presented by organizations such as New York’s Irish Arts Center, and Music Network Ireland and is a highly sought after teacher in the Irish music world both here in the United States and abroad.

 

Liz has composed and produced music for two exhibits featuring Irish art first at the Art Institute in Chicago as well as two commissioned pieces for Notre Dame’s Snite Museum and for a book release later this year. She and Liz Carroll produce a podcast called “The Lizzes Podcast” and Season 2 is due out in the spring of 2024. She currently tours with her trio Open the Door for Three, The String Sisters, The Martin Hayes Quartet, and a new trio with Niall Vallely and Niwel Tsumbu.  

Watercolor by Liz
The Schools

Bachelor of Arts in Music, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY

 

Associates Degree in Interior Architecture, Harrington College of Design, Chicago, IL

 

Archeworks, residency and internship

Chicago, IL

Teaching highlights

New England Conservatory | Adjunct faculty | ensemble, private lessons

University of Limerick | Irish World Academy | master class

Camps | Swannanoa Gathering | Acadia Trad Fest | MAD Week | Catskills Irish Arts Week |  

Tionols | St. Louis, Southeast, Northeast, Willie Kennedy | 

Theatrical highlights

Riverdance the Show

The Pirate Queen, Broadway

The Green Bird, Off-Broadway

Phantom of the Opera, tour

performer/violinist

Celtic Legends | France US Asia South America | 2010-2014

Celtic Dances | France 2012-2016

Musical director/performer/composer

Selected discography

The Celtic Fiddle of Liz Knowles

Art Institute of Chicago: Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design 

Martin Hayes Quartet: Blue

Open the Door for Three

Open the Door for Three: The Pennywager

Open the Door for Three: The Joyful Hour

Kieran O’Hare: Kieran O’Hare

Cherish the Ladies: The Girls Won’t Leave the Boys Alone

Liz Carroll: Lake Effect

String Sisters: Live album

String Sisters: Between Wind and Water

Ensemble Galilei: Alta

Ensemble Galilei: From the Isles to the Courts

Ensemble Galilei: A Winter’s Night: Christmas in the Great Hall

Ensemble Galilei: Come Gentle Night

John Whelan: Flirting with the Edge

John Whelan: Passage of Time

Lifescapes (Target store): Celtic Passion

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra: A Celtic Spectacular

J.P. Cormier | Michael Black | Christa Burch | Pamela Wyn Shannon | K.P. Devlin

String arrangements on recordings with:

Dance shows (producer):

Celtic Legends: The Show

Celtic Dances: The Show

The Cincinnati Pops: A Celtic Spectacular

With orchestra:

Other recording highlights:

Waukegan city project proposal (composer/performer)

Michael Collins, Neil Jordan film (solo violinist)

Paula Cole (w/Peter Gabriel): This Fire

The Pirate Queen (Broadway)

Where the Wild Things Are

Eight Lines (Steve Reich)

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