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Orchestras & Choirs

John regularly gives workshops and masterclasses to choirs, orchestras and schools.

Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra



June 2016 - present

Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra is an exciting new professional orchestra for Cork, and in residence at the Opera House. Founded in 2016 for the acclaimed concert opera series, the orchestra has to date played 12 concert performances of classic operas with the greatest Irish and International opera stars, and many more are planned. Events like the Right Here Right Now and Christmas Concerts have allowed the orchestra to work with many great artists from other genres, often with custom-made orchestrations, resulting in unique collaborations. Led by the renowned violinist Alan Smale (former leader of both RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestra) the orchestra's membership is comprised of some of Ireland's most gifted professional musicians, most living in, from or connected to Cork.

RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Guest Conductor


June 2015 - present

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Guest Conductor


Debut June 2016

The Voice Effect

Conductor & Co-Director

2011 – 2017

The BIG SING! at Cork International Choral Festival

Rehearsing and conducting massed choirs and members of the public (800+) to make a unique performance.


2011 - 2016

Wexford Gateway Orchestra



WGO premiered Symphony No.1 "The Gateway" by John O'Brien at the Wexford Opera House in May 2011.


2008 – 2013

Opera Works (Youth Opera Company)

Music Director

Conductor of stage productions, Cork Children’s Chorus, Seraphim (female voice chamber choir), orchestras and ensembles.


2003 – 2008

Concert Series at the Honan Chapel, University College Cork


2001 – 2008

Cork School of Music

Guest Conductor


Symphony, Sinfonietta & Intermediate Orchestras, Wind Ensemble, Youth & Fleischmann (Symphony) Choirs.


2001 – present

National Chamber Choir of Ireland

Guest Conductor


University College Cork Choral Society


1998 – 2005

Togher Youthlink & Togher Children’s Choir

Artistic Director

1996 – 2001

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