Brian comes from the Parish of Kilmainhamwood in North County Meath. He started playing banjo at 7 years old and his Dad, who also plays, was his first teacher and influence. He took lessons from banjo player, Paddy Price from Kingscourt in County Cavan, who was always a great source of music for him. He was also influenced by De Dannan , Liz Carroll, Seamus Egan, Dermot Byrne, Mick O’Connor, Luke Daniels, Martin Quinn, Marcus Maloney, Sharon Shannon and Mairtin O’ Connor to mention a few , and these players helped shape his style of banjo playing. He played at many music festivals and Fleadh Cheoils over the years where he had a good degree of success.
During a time living in Galway in the mid 90’s, Brian got the opportunity to play along with some of Ireland’s finest musicians including Mary Shannon, Liz Kane, John Kelly, Harry Bradley and Mirella Murray which enhanced his music repertoire. He performed in Europe and North America with The Emerald Revellers, an Irish music and dance group from the West of Ireland and he has also performed on RTE Radio and Television. Brian complete a Master of Arts in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick in 2006, and absorbed the vibrant trad music scene in the City. During his time at UL he tutored banjo to undergraduates and he also Taught banjo for a number of years at Ballinteer and Monkstown Comhaltas branches in Dublin. While living in Sweden he performed at Folk Festivals in Stockholm and was a regular Performer on the Irish and Folk music Scene in the City. Later, he was a regular performer in Irish traditional music circles when living in London.
In the early 1770s Thomas Taylor, the first Earl of Bective (his son would become the first Marquis of Headfort), commissioned Irish architect George Semple to build Headfort House. It was designed in a severe unadorned neoclassical style with an impressive scale and position. The interior contains a magnificent suite of six state rooms designed by the renowned Scottish architect Robert Adam. Adam’s influence on domestic architecture in the UK and Ireland during the 18th century cannot be overestimated and history has given his name to the distinctive design style he created.
These Adam rooms are the only major commission of his to survive in Ireland and the interiors hold a unique place in Ireland’s architectural history. Headfort is important also in that a valuable archive of drawings, correspondence and photographs survive. A set of the Adam drawings is housed in the Mellon collection in the US and other drawings are with the Sir John Soane museum in London. The remarkable archive is of great importance to architectural historians and being twinned with existing historic fabric is even more unique.
Headfort remained the private residence of the Taylor family until 1949, when the family removed to one wing and the central pavilion was leased to the newly formed Headfort School. In 1996 ownership of the buildings was transferred to a building preservation trust, The Headfort Trust, and the buildings are currently leased back to Headfort School. This relationship has saved the interiors from the fate of many similar sized properties which have suffered from alteration and over-repair.
Contemporary flautist Brendan Rowan grew up in Dunboyne, Co. Meath and first developed his passion for traditional flute while studying with one of the masters of Irish traditional music, Catherine McEvoy. Achieving first place at both provincial and all-Ireland level in the Fleadhanna Cheol, his unique style and flare for Irish Music has established and grounded his playing firmly on a national-level. Brendan also studied the classical flute under the renowned William Dowdall, as a scholarship recipient to the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is seated as a principle member and is a scholarship recipient of the UCD Symphony Orchestra and has been placed at national competitions on numerous occasions. In 2017 he was publicly announced as deputy flute/whistle player with the Irish Memory Orchestra.
Performances in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, and North America, as a soloist and chamber musician, have further developed his international career. Brendan is currently a fifth year medical student at University College Dublin, and recently spent the summer completing a research project in cancer biology at Harvard University.