Dermot Crehan was born in Dublin into a family steeped in the traditional Irish music of Ireland. His formative years were spent making the hay, cutting the turf and generally getting in the way on his Uncle Junior's farm near Milltown Malbay in County Clare. Dermot, under the wing of this famous Clare fiddler and his father Vincie, went on to become 'All Ireland Champion fiddle player' holding this coveted award for 3 years.

Dermot studied classical violin under Jaroslav Vanecek at the Royal College of Music and has worked at the top of the London music profession for 25 years. Having formerly worked as a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he now enjoys a very successful freelance career. His extensive experience in the fields of orchestral and operatic music, combined with his experience of commercial and Irish folk music as well as music from other diverse ethnic cultures, places him in a unique position amongst London's elite professional musicians.

Dermot is renowned for his work as a folk fiddler, appearing on numerous film sound tracks and television scores. His solo work can be heard on films including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (on which he also plays Hardanger Fiddle, Sarangi, Dilruba & Kemara) Patriot Games, Harry Potter, Legends of the Fall, Mrs. Brown, Charlotte Gray. His unique sound can also be heard on recordings with Miriam Stockley, Carl Jenkins, Elton John, Bliss, Sting, Westlife, Il Divo and Ronan Keating.

dermot playing double violin


  • Give Me Your Hand
  • Toss The Feathers
  • Dermot & Clive: Celtic Duo
  • Give me Your Hand is a group of professional London based musicians brought together by the love and joy of Celtic music. The Group is available for hire for special occasions such as birthday partys, weddings, etc. The basis of the group is five musicians, but this can be expanded or modified to suit the particular requirements of every occasion. The group provides music from either a soloist, a duet, or a trio, for more intimate or solemn occasions, up to seven musicians for concerts and dancing, including a "dancing master", or "caller". Give Me Your Hand are particularly apt as a Ceili band for Irish, Scottish or English dancing.

    Toss the Feathers is a collection of arrangements of traditional Irish music, with additional self-composed pieces. It is the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the violinist Dermot Crehan and the composer/arranger Paul Honey. Having worked together for many years in a variety of professional situations, performing and producing music for other people, they decided the time was right to embark on their own project.

    Their aim from the start was to create a collection of arrangements of traditional Irish music that are contemporary in style whilst being true to the original melodies and the period in which they were created. The result is music that moves away from the bland sentimentality of so many arrangements of traditional Irish music and instead explores the deep profundity as well as the darker, more melancholic aspect of that this music holds. All the pieces are scored for strings, 3 horns, harp and piano and have been specially chosen as they encompass a broad range of themes from religious persecution to death, from sex to forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Crehan and Honey are joined by four highly respected exponents of Irish music; the vocalist Mick Sands, accordionist Luke Daniels, flautist Fiona Kelly and sister Jean Kelly on the harp. Some of the pieces have already been performed at a number of concerts. The premiere performance of the music at a concert in the Church of St Martin In The Fields received a standing ovation and has been enthusiastically received at subsequent performances including the Maidstone 'Proms In The Park' and a concert for the Musicians' Benevolent Fund at the Royal Opera House.

    Dermot has collaborated with acoustic guitar player Clive Carrol over the last five years to entertain a huge cross section of audiences. From Covent Garden and thoroughbred horse exhibitions to weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs as well as many of Guy Ritchie's parties, Dermot and Clive: Celtic Duo never fail to raise the rafters.


    Lord Inch Aquin

    Tomin O'Dea's


  • Hardanger
  • Dilruba
  • Sarangi
  • Kemenche
  • Fiddle

  • The Hardanger is a Norwegian fiddle (hardingfele) and is often sited as the national instrument of Norway. It is similar to the violin in that it has four main strings. It's body however is larger and lying under the fingerboard are four or five sympathetic strings that resonate beneath the tones of the main strings. In this way Hardanger music is heavily polyphonic with Asian inflections created by its' drone voice.

    By the mid-1700s the Hardanger had become the dominant folk instrument in much of the south-central inland and western coastal areas of Norway. Researchers have notated over 1,000 distinct tunes, or slattar, for the instrument. While the Hardanger is used in Norwegian folk and dance music it is most commonly associated with Norwegian bygdedans or regional dances such as springar and gangar. The Hardanger personifies one of the few European folk music traditions that have been able to survive the challenges of cultural change and foreign musical influences to continue nearly unchanged up to the present day.

    A typical Hardanger Fiddle is beautifully ornate, decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay and rosing. At its crown is a carved head of an animal - usually a lion - or occasionally a maiden.


    The Dilruba is an Indian classical instrument, the origins of which date back at least two hundred years. The Dilruba is smaller yet very similar to the Sitar; It has a wide neck with frets, on which four strings sit and under which eleven sympathetic strings resonate. The sympathetic strings are tuned using five wooden pegs in the centre of the head of the instrument and the four 'playing' strings are tuned using metal pegs to the side of the head of the instrument. The 'playing' strings are sounded using a bow with convex tension and the fingering is the same as the sitar in that the frets are merely there as guides, allowing the player to see where the notes are positioned while giving them the freedom to slide between notes - thus creating the characteristic vocality of quarter notes and microtones.

    The bridge is seated on a skin that is stretched over the hollow wooden body of the instrument. The Dilruba is played vertically like a cello, however its body is curved to allow the player to secure it between their knees. The combination of the sympathetic strings and hollow body produces a sound that is highly resonant and higher in pitch than the Sitar.


    The Sarangi is a small gut stringed instrument which was made popular in the 17th century by its extensive use in vocal accompaniment. The name "Sarangi" is understood to mean "a hundred colours" thereby illustrating its versatility, its flexible tuning, and its ability to create a large palette of tonal colour and emotional nuance. The Sarangi is venerated for its capacity to imitate the timbre and inflections of the human voice as well as for capturing the voice's intense emotion.

    The entire instrument is carved of a single piece wood. It has a sound board over which a goat skin is stretched - the bridge is seated at its base. The Sarangi has three main, thick gut strings which are bowed. Lying beneath these strings are thirty to forty sympathetic strings. Eleven of those lie on two flat bridges near the pegs and are tuned to the notes of the raga. The remaining sympathetic strings are tuned on all the srutis - the interval between two different pitches - of each octave. In addition there is bronze rhythm string tuned to the tonic.

    Unlike the violin, where the instruments' strings are pressed down onto the fingerboard to sound a note, the playing strings of the Sarangi are sounded by the musician applying the pressure of his cuticle against the string. In this way the left hand is free to move up and down the side of the string achieving the quarter tones. Again the Sarangi requires a convex bow.


    A kemenche is like a rebec or fiddle from the Black Sea region of Asia Minor and it is the main instrument used in Pontian music. In Turkey this instrument is also known as the "Kementche of Laz". The Kemenche is bottle-shaped with three strings played in an upright position with a Doksar (bow). It is sometimes played by resting it on the knee when sitting, otherwise it is held out in front.

    Being only half a metre high and light weight allows the musician to hold the Kemenche up for a long time. In some instances the musician will follow the first dancer around and may even dance as well!


    Dermot mostly plays fiddle. Dermot studied classical violin under Jaroslav Vanecek at the Royal College of Music and has worked at the top of the London music profession for 25 years.




    Badger, Ballykissangel, Cold Feet, A Christmas Carol, Lorna Doone, Talking Heads, Colour Blind, Co. Kilburne, Dr. Findley's Case Book, Sharp, The Generation Game, Downton Abbey.


    Michael Crawford, Elton John, Carl Jenkins' 'Adiemus', Incantations, 'The Las Vegas Show', 'Made in England', 'Bell Fire', Sade, River Dance, Sarah Brightman, Sting.

    Tours and Shows

    Shirley Bassey, Johnny Mathis, Don Maclean, Paul Anka, Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton, Jesus Christ Super Star, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, Beautiful Game.


    Lord of the Rings, Patriot Games, Harry Potter, Legends of the Fall, Mrs. Brown, Charlotte Gray, Henry IV.