Irish violinist to perform live at Joe Biden inauguration Mass

Patricia Treacy’s invite to ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ came direct from Biden family

Leading Irish concert violinist Patricia Treacy will play live during the inaugural Mass for US president-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday.

It follows concerns there would not be any live music on the day of Mr Biden’s inauguration because of the riots at the Capitol Building in Washington earlier this month.

The invitation for her to play came directly from the Biden family last year and Treacy practised in Chicago over the weekend for what she described as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

She will be playing a 315-year-old Stradivarius violin from Bein & Company in Chicago, which is estimated to be worth $4 million (€3.3m).


Treacy will perform The Proclamation, composed by Patrick Cassidy, and Ag Críost an Síol.

“I will also join soprano Renée Fleming for On Eagle’s Wings, Schubert’s Ave Maria and the Celtic Alleluia,” she said. “I have been told this will be the only live music event on the day.”


Treacy, who is from Blackrock, Co Louth, has played for Mr Biden on several occasions including when he visited his ancestral home in Co Louth in 2016.

The violinist was also asked to perform at some of the Biden rallies in Chicago and other cities.

When she was asked to play at the inauguration, she said: “I feel both honoured and privileged and obviously super excited.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to perform for the inaugural Mass for the president-elect and his amazing family which I have become very close to. I am hugely honoured to be a part of this momentous historical occasion.”

Meanwhile, the US flag will fly alongside the Tricolour at County Buildings in Dundalk, Co Louth, on Wednesday.

The American flag is being flown at the request of Louth councillor Emma Coffey.

Cllr Coffey, said that, “even with the Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions Louth County Council is in agreement with myself that it was important to mark the occasion given the strong connection Joe Biden has with the county.”

“His ancestors hail from the Cooley Peninsula and he was awarded the Freeman of Louth in 2016 when he visited the county as vice-president.

“I believe there is already talk that post-Covid restrictions, president Biden hopes to visit Ireland and I would hope that Louth and the Cooley Peninsula would be one of the places he visits on that trip.”