Brendan Loughran is a well-known musician in high demand in the Belfast session scene. Brought up in a musical family steeped in the Irish language and culture his primary instrument is the concertina but he also holds a Performance Diploma on the tin whistle (DipLCM). He spent his youth growing up in both Belfast and the gaeltacht region of Gaoth Dobhair on the west coast of Donegal. Both culturally-rich regions have had strong influences on his playing. He was part of the award-winning band Athrú who have performed at various festivals at home and abroad, such as Slainte Asso in France. Brendan has also toured around Europe and America with different dance shows and represented Ireland at different cultural festivals. These experiences have allowed him to collaborate with musicians from many world cultures, having recently started an Irish-Basque musical project. He has been teaching music since his teenage years and most recently with Glengormley School of Traditional Music who received the prize for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Tradition’ at this year’s Gradam Ceoil TG4 awards. Brendan is currently based in Belfast and is undertaking a PhD in Physics at Queen’s University Belfast. He contributes to the art collectives ‘Belfast Beo’ and ‘East Atlantic Ensemble’ which helped Belfast to be awarded the UNESCO City of Music this year.