William Barry Douglas


Barry Douglas (born April 23, 1960 in Belfast(1)) is an Irish classical pianist. He is married with 3 children. He shares his time between Paris and Lurgan.

Barry has performed with every major international orchestra and collaborated with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Colin Davis, Lawrence Foster, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, André Previn, Slava Rostropovich, Kurt Sanderling, Leonard Slatkin, Yvegeny Svetlanov, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Yuri Temirkanov, as well as Neemi Jarvi, Krjstian Jarvi and Paavo Jarvi.

With the great success of his orchestra Camerata Ireland Barry Douglas increasingly devotes part of his time to directing from the piano and conducting. He has led cycles of the complete Beethoven Symphonies (in November 2002) and Mozart and Schubert Symphonies and Mozart Concertos in 2000 and 2001. They have completed a 3-disc recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos in 2007. Barry and Camerata Ireland enjoy a long-term relationship with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, where they are performing all the Mozart Piano Concertos.

Barry Douglas was born in Belfast where he studied the piano, clarinet, cello and organ. He also conducted choirs and chamber ensembles. At the age of 16 Barry had lessons with Felicitas LeWinter, a pupil of Emil von Sauer (a pupil of Liszt). In London he studied at the Royal College of Music with John Barstow for four years and studied privately with Maria Curcio, herself a pupil of Arthur Schnabel, before going on to study with the Russian pianist Yvegeny Malinin in Paris.

Barry Douglas won the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow - the only non-Russian since Van Cliburn to have won this prestigious award outright. He had previously won the Bronze Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition in Texas in 1985 and the top prize in the Santander Paloma O'Shea competition in Spain.

Barry's guides in his conducting studies were Marek Janowski and Jerzy Semkov in Paris.

Barry's recording of Rachmaninov Concertos 1 and 3 with Yvegeny Svetlanov was released by Sony BMG in June 08. Other discs are being planned.

Barry has made many recordings for the Sony/BMG label. Recently with his chamber orchestra, Camerata Ireland, he has released discs of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos for Satirino.

Barry Douglas received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for services to music. In the 2021 New Year's Honours he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) For services to Music and to Community Relations in Northern Ireland.  He also received a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music where he is Prince Consort Professor of Piano and an Hon. Doctorate of Music from Queens University Belfast. In September 2007 an honorary D.Mus was conferred on Barry by the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.

Barry is performing concerts with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and will be a Visitng Professor at the Dublin Conservatory of Music at Dublin Institute of Technology. He is also Prince Consort Professor of piano at the Royal College of Music in London.

He his Artistic Director of The Clandeboye International Festival in N Ireland (August each year), the Manchester International Piano Festival and the Camerata Ireland at Castletown series of mini festivals, organised by Camerata Ireland.



Barry lived for years in the French capital with his Lurgan-born wife, the singer, Deirdre Andrea, formerly O'Hara, and their three children (Liam and ??) were born there.

Deidre, born in February 1963, performed with a number of different musical companies including St Agnes' Choral Society and Castle Ward Opera and met Barry when she sang at a family wedding.

Barry and Deidre have a home in Lurgan.


Possibly Barry Douglas, a member of the Lurgan Celtic football tear in 1982





1RGIN-TOP: 4.05pt">1.  Or born in Lurgan, Northern Irland?


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This page was last updated on 26 March 2023

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