Established as one of Ireland's leading classical musicians since her teens, Cora Venus Lunny enjoys an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, interpreter of contemporary classical music, jazz violinist and composer.
Born into a musical family of Irish and German parents in Dublin, Cora Venus was given her first violin at the age of three, immediately showing a natural aptitude and love for the instrument, and a life in music became her goal. From the age of thirteen, she studied intensively with highly respected violinists around Europe, including Rimma Sushanskaya, Joji Hattori, Alexander Arenkov, Arkady Futer, Lara Lev and Vladimir Spivakov.
Cora Venus has performed at all of Ireland's major concert venues – both in the Republic and the North – including the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and the Point Depot in Dublin. Her concerto performances in Northern Ireland, which included the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Ulster Orchestra, were received with great acclaim. Since her first performance on live national TV at the age of five, she has recorded for numerous TV and radio channels in Ireland and the UK, and her debut at the Kremlin was publicised on Russian radio & TV.
In 2002, Cora Venus was a guest musician on Sinead O'Connor's album of traditional Irish songs, "Sean Nos Nua," her first excursion into the truly "non-classical" world. This inspired her to improvise more and experiment with other genres of music. A few months in Vienna among the classical establishment became an unintentional sabbatical, and confirmed for Cora that despite her love for classical music, she needed to broaden her musical horizons.
Cora's involvement over the past few years with MIT Media Lab, playing Tod Machover's Toy Symphony on the Hyperviolin, has taken her to Berlin (playing with the Deutsche Sinfonie Orchester Berlin under Kent Nagano), Boston and NYC where she performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra under Gil Rose.
Between 2003 and 2005, Cora Venus performed concertos by Bruch and Beethoven in the North and Republic of Ireland. A jam with the renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy in Dingle in the summer (for Philip King's broadcast documentary) resulted in him inviting her to Berlin to play with his band Polish folk music and a bit of Jimi Hendrix. Subsequently, Cora Venus accompanied Kennedy on a tour of Taiwan, Japan and New Zealand as second soloist, playing Vivaldi's Double Concertos and Bartok. Cora's musical travels took her as far as Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, and saw her make her first foray into film score composition.
A highlight of the 2005 season was Cora's first live performance on viola when she appeared in duo with the legendary Vladimir Spivakov in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, with the Ulster Orchestra under the direction of Spivakov. She then undertook a highly successful summer tour of the Auvergne in duo with harpsichordist Paulina Tkaczyk. In the 2005 / 2006 season she performed several times in Moscow, undertaking various recording projects, and starting two new duo partnerships, with Brahms Guitarist Redmond O’Toole, and pianist Irena Gulzarova.
In 2006, Cora Venus returned to tour the Auvergne and Krakow with Paulina Tkaczyk. She also released an improvised fusion album in collaboration with Paul Barrett and Wayne Sheehy, and Bartok's Solo Violin Sonata. Based in Dublin, she continues to work with musicians of many different genres, both live and in the recording studio, and is currently working on three EPs of original music, classical music, and covers. She was also chosen to be a member of the international jury of the prestigious 9th Sarasate Violin Competition in Pamplona.