Cormac De Barra is a harper and television presenter and comes from a family of traditional Irish musicians and singers. He is the third generation of harper in the family and first studied with his grandmother, Róisín Ní Shé, in Dublin. He went on to study concert harp in the USA.
As a traditional harper, Cormac has recorded and toured with his brothers Fionán and Éamonn in the family group Barcó and performed with many groups and musicians including fiddle player Máire Breatnach, Sligo-based trad group Dervish, Brian Kennedy and Clannad.
Cormac has pushed the boundaries of Irish harp beyond the traditional and the classical through his collaborations with a variety of artists including actress and punk icon Hazel O’Connor and composer and singer Julie Feeney. Theatre performance credits include music for Playboy of the Western World at the Ambassador in Dublin, Tine Chnámh and Mallachtaí Muintire at Project Arts Centre, Mysteries 2000 at the SFX, Dublin and W.B. Yeats’ Cuchulain Cycle at The Riverside, London. He also made his acting debut alongside Hazel O’Connor in a show called O’Carolan’s Dream at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Cormac has also found time to work in television for nearly two decades now. He presented the award-winning traditional music series Flosc on TG4 and originally hosted IMEALL, up until, and including, its third season.
He is currently touring and recording with Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, and has been performing and collaborating with Hazel O’Connor since 1998.
His first recording Barcó and his duo CD Double Strung with harpist, Anne-Marie O’Farrell, recieved much critical acclaim and his latest CD Tarraing Téad with Máire Breatnach on fiddle & viola was released in autumn 2010.