Derek Bell, who died in 2003, was not only the highly acclaimed harpist of the Chieftans, Ireland’s best known interpreters of traditional Celtic music, but also an exceptionally gifted and knowledgeable classical musician in his own right.
He was harp professor at the Belfast Academy of Music, and harpist and oboist with the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra.
A fine pianist and cimbalom and dulcimer player as well as a composer, he was awarded the Manns Prize by the Royal College of Music.
Among Derek Bell’s compositions are three piano sonatas and two symphonies. His “Three Images of Ireland in Druid Times” was premièred in Boston, USA. As well as making over 30 CDs with the Chieftains, Derek recorded several CDs of solo harp music.