JJ McNamara is 18 years old and is currently completing levels in Music and Music Technology. He has been awarded a scholarship to attend London Guildhall School of Music to study piano with Martin Roscoe in September 2017. JJ was born into a very musical family who encouraged him to start playing piano at the age of five. He was only eleven when he embarked on his first tour through Ireland with his family and siblings, during which he performed Beethoven and Chopin at thirteen venues. In 2016 JJ won the Solo Silver Jubilee Cup (Piano Academy of Ireland Festival) and the Henry Loretto Cup (Sligo Feis). He was the youngest ever competitor in the Mabel Swainson Repertoire Cup at Feis Ceoil 2016 and was Highly Commended with special mention for his understanding of Beethoven (Sonata Op 2 No 3 1st) and his “brilliant bravura performance” of Liszt Gounod Faust Waltz. JJ received a standing ovation in March 2016 at the RDS Concert Hall for his lunchtime recital as part of the Videogame Music Festival. He performed Beethoven “Waldstein” Sonata and Liszt Gounod Faust Waltz. JJ was a participant in the Dublin International Piano Festival in 2015 and 2016 and attended masterclasses with Evelyn Brancart, Edmund Battersby (RIP) Lance Coburn and Archie Chen and is excited to return again for his third festival.