‘I’m Ruairi… I am a percussionist, composer,  presenter, documentary maker and educator.

Music has been a constant character in my life, ever since I first picked up a bodhran aged 4, then discovering the awesome world of percussion during my late teens in Cork, Ireland, where I grew up. 

Today, I'm based in London and my work has taken me across the globe, from India and Indonesia to the Middle East and the USA, where I have worked with choirs, orchestras, bands, composers and everything inbetween, and I have been fortunate to collaborate with some truly incredible and inspiring musicians.                         

Ruairi Age 8 w bodhran.jpg

I do not believe there is any such thing as natural musical talent. Anyone can play an instrument, and make music with a bit of help and self belief. It is within us all. My mission - and passion - is to open up music in all it’s shapes and forms to as many people as possible. I believe this can help unlock the power of music as a positive force in life.’

Ruairi Glasheen is an award winning percussionist, composer, presenter, film maker and educator based in London. Drawn by the limitless creativity and possibilities of being a percussionist, and indeed a love of drums and percussion from all around the world, Ruairi studied as a scholar at The Royal College of Music graduating with 1st Class Honours and recipient of the Presidents Award in 2013.

Since graduating, Ruairi has led a truly diverse career in music. In 2019, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Ruairi released his first documentary, Hidden Drummers of Iran. The film made the official selection at SoundTrack Cologne and the San Francisco Iranian film festival and was featured on BBC News, CNN, The Irish Independent and Songlines Magazine.

His folk group, Tir Eolas, with whom he drums, sings and composes, has performed with John Williams at the Globe, for five thousand school children at the Royal Albert Hall and other prestigious venues such as Kings Place, The Sage, Ronnie Scotts, The Purcell Room and the BBC Proms (broadcast on BBC Radio 3). Ruairi has worked and recorded with numerous artists including Evelyn Glennie, Roo Panes, DJ Yoda, Sam Lee, folk duo Josienne Clark and Ben Walker, The Multi-Story Orchestra and in 2019 joined the London cast of Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End. Ruairi has composed and directed a number of productions for Chickenshed Theatre Company including We Are All Born Free for Amnesty International. The title song for this production has been performed for numerous Amnesty events including the Dali Lama’s visit to London in September 2015.

Passionate about social inclusion and wellbeing through the creative arts, Ruairi has worked with numerous leading organisations such as the BBC, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal College of Music, Wigmore Hall, English Touring Opera, London Music Masters, Live Music Now, The Horniman Museum and Opera Holland Park as a project leader, presenter, composer and music director.


·       Scholarship -Silk Road Ensemble Global Musician Workshop - 2017

·       Help Musicians UK Emerging Artist’s Fund 2016

·       City Music Foundation Award – Tir Eolas 2014

·       The President’s Award, Clarence House and The Royal College of Music, 2013

·       Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Finalist 2013

·       Countess of Munster Musical Trust Scholarship, 2102

·       Musicians Benevolent Fund Postgraduate Performance Award, 2012

·       Irish Arts Council Travel and Training Award, 2012

·       Royal College of Music Post-Graduate Performance Award, 2012

·       PASIC International Scholarship USA, 2010

·       Cork County Council Performing Arts Bursary 2008

·       Highly Commended and Highest Percussion in Cork School of Music Recital Competition 2008

·       Senior Repertoire Competition, Macroom Feis - 1st Prize 2008

·       Cork School of Music Concerto Competition (Creston Marimba Concerto) - 1st Prize 2007