Trinity graduate to become first woman to lead Oscars orchestra

Eímear Noone to conduct orchestra at 92nd Academy Awards

Trinity graduate Eímear Noone is set to conduct the orchestra for part of the 92nd Academy Awards, becoming the first ever woman to take on the position.

Noone will lead the orchestra in the Dolby Theatre as it performs excerpts from the five scores nominated for best original score.

In an interview with Variety, Noone said: “The wonderful producers at the Oscars decided that they would like to finally see a female presence on the podium after all these years.”

The music throughout the rest of the show is expected to be conducted by Oscar musical director Rickey Minor, who Noone described as “generous” to “hand over this incredibly poignant moment”.

Announcing her role at the Oscars on social media, Noone said: “Thanks to visionary producers Stephanie Allain and Lynette Howell Taylor @TheAcademy and the incredible Rickey Minor, genius music director for the Oscars for inviting me to perform at the Oscars 2020!”

Noone, from Galway, has a degree in Music from Trinity and co-founded the Dublin City Concert Orchestra alongside her classmate Jillian Saunders at age 19. When she was 22, Noone became the first woman to conduct at Ireland’s National Concert Hall, and has since conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Sydney Symphony, among other orchestras worldwide. She moved to Los Angeles in 2004.

Noone has composed and conducted work for 26 films and video games. She received a Hollywood Music in Media Award in 2014 in the Best Video Game Score category for her score for “World of WarCraft: Warlords of Draenor”.

Later this year, Noone is set to work with participants in the National Concert Hall’s Female Conductor Programme, a ten-month programme encouraging female musicians to become conductors.

The soundtracks nominated for best original score at this year’s Oscars, which Noone will conduct the orchestra in performing excerpts from, are Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score for Joker, Alexandre Desplat’s score for Little Women, Randy Newman’s score for Marriage Story, Thomas Newman’s score for 1917, and John Williams’ score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

This year’s Oscars take place on February 10 in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The awards have attracted criticism in recent years for a lack of racial and gender diversity among its chosen nominees, with this year’s awards coming under fire for nominating only men in the best director category.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.