Originally from Belfast, Dónal is currently the Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford where he is involved in all aspects of musical life in the college, including teaching and the training of the choristers. Before taking up this post in September 2020 he was organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he read music, graduating with a double first. At King’s, he accompanied the choir in daily chapel services, as well as in recordings, tours and broadcasts, including the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
Dónal achieved the FRCO diploma with the Limpus prize at the age of 17, and was subsequently awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. The following year he won the inaugural Dame Gillian Weir Medal at the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition. Dónal is also an accomplished pianist, having studied with Anthony Byrne at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, alongside organ studies with Professor Gerard Gillen at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral.
Dónal maintains a busy freelance schedule, having given many recitals around the UK and abroad. He has recently established collaboration with the Oxford Bach Soloists. In recent years he has appeared as a guest soloist with the Ulster Orchestra and the Academy of Ancient Music.