Brian McNamara is the eldest member of the renowned musical
McNamara family of Carrickavoher, Aughavas, Co. Leitrim. In 1979
at the age of 12 years old he was first introduced to the Uilleann
Pipes by family friend Peter Maguire, a native of Mullahoran, Co.
Cavan. Before receiving his first piping lesson from Peter, Brian
had previously learned to play the Tin whistle under the guidance
of his father, well known flute player Michael McNamara. His first
set of pipes was also made by Peter.
Throughout his musical life Brian has always expressed his great
indebtedness to Peter for everything he has selflessly given as
pipe-maker and teacher. Pipe tuition from Peter together with the
strong musical influence of his family meant that Brian rapidly
became an accomplished piper. He remembers fondly his experiences
attending workshops in Miltown Malbay during the early 1980s and
the influential tuition of a number of fine tutors. In addition
to the influence of the music of older pipers, he was always a big
admirer of contemporary pipers including Liam O'Flynn as he mastered
his instrument and developed his own style.
During the 1980s Brian competed at Fleadhanna Cheoil and other
musical events winning many All-Ireland titles at Junior and Senior
level. He became a regular member of
concert tour groups and has travelled extensively as a musician.
He has become a regular tutor at workshops and Summer schools nationally
and internationally and a frequent performer on the national and
In 1998 he produced and performed on the award winning album 'Leitrim's
Hidden Treasure'. This recording featured Brian and other members
of the McNamara family in a recording which gave exposure to a unique
repertoire of music associated with South Leitrim. Brian subsequently
launched his debut solo recording 'A Piper's Dream' in 2000 to widespread