Marja Gaynor hails from Finland but has been a resident of Cork since 2005. She completed a 1st class honours MA in modern and baroque violin in Cork School of Music in 2004, with Adrian Petcu and Swiss baroque violinist Maya Homburger as her teachers. She continued her early music studies on violin and viola in The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk.
Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and plays with Camerata Kilkenny and the Crow Street Consort. She is also a founding member of Cork’s only Baroque group, Beyond the Pale, which specialises in Irish and Ireland-related repertoire from the 17th and 18th century. Outside of Ireland Marja acts as a guest principal viola of Dutch-based group Musica Poetica, and often tours with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European early music groups, including virtuoso violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch’s ‘Wallfisch Band’, with whom she is undertaking to record a series of six previously neglected Telemann concertos. Marja has also recently recorded J.S Bach’s enigmatic “Musical Offering” with Camerata Kilkenny, joining such Irish and international baroque celebrities as Maya Homburger, Wilbert Hazelzet, Malcolm Proud and Sarah McMahon for the project. The CD is due to be released later this year. Camerata Kilkenny have already toured this intriguing piece around Ireland, to much critical acclaim.
Marja has contributed to the Irish contemporary music scene, premiering and recording music by composers such as Elaine Agnew, Fergal Dowling, John O’Brien and Irene Buckley. Apart from her career as a baroque player, Marja is in demand as a studio musician, composing music for RTE documentaries, and arranging and composing with various pop/rock/indie groups and singer-songwriters. Albums with strings arranged and played by her include Adrian Crowley’s critically acclaimed Choice Award album “Season of the Sparks” and Glen Hansard’s “Swell Season”, from which the 2008 Oscar-winning track “Falling Slowly” was taken. She plays with the cult band Interference and the acclaimed world music group Polskadots. Marja’s composition “The End”, written for an art video piece by Breda Lynch, was chosen to be performed at the prestigious Bangkok Experimental Film Festival in March 2008.