Ronan O'Hora has generally eschewed the role of flashy virtuoso, choosing instead to develop a versatility and maturity in his interpretive persona, reserving his considerable technical skills for more demanding and musically appropriate passages. While his style can thus be viewed as steady and dependable, a description that might suggest routine performance, he is nearly always compelling and spirited in his interpretations, not given to bouts of waywardness or random whim. Thus, critical assessments of his playing often point out his grasp of form and his tendency to sidestep momentary effect. O'Hora has regularly appeared in solo, chamber, and concerto repertory at leading concert venues across the globe, and his repertory is broad and eclectic featuring works by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Grieg, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, Debussy, Britten, and many others. O'Hora has appeared in chamber concerts with the Britten Quartet, cellists Stephen Isserlis and Robert Cohen, and clarinetist Emma Johnson. He has concertized throughout the U.K., Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the U.S., and has performed on television and numerous radio programs of the BBC, and for other broadcast networks in Europe. He has made over 30 recordings, many of them available from such labels as the Royal Philharmonic, Regis, EMI, and Tring International.
Ronan O'Hora was born in Manchester, U.K., in 1964. He studied piano at the Royal Northern College of Music, where his teachers included Ryszard Bakst. While there O'Hora won the Dayas Gold Medal, the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Silver Medal, and the 1985 Stefania Niekrasz Prize for his performances of works by Chopin.
O'Hora steadily built his career and by the early 1990s was recognized as one of the most talented young British pianists. He recorded the Grieg Piano Concerto and several Lyric Pieces in 1994 for the Royal Philharmonic label, and critics were impressed. An acclaimed Debussy disc followed two years later on the Tring International label.
From 1999, O'Hora has taught at the Guildhall School of Music as Head of Keyboard Studies. He has also taught at the Royal Northern College of Music and Chethams School of Music.
In the new century O'Hora remained busy on both the concert stage and in the classroom, and he is regularly conducting master classes and serving on juries at prestigious international piano competitions. In 2008 he was appointed Head of Advanced Performance Studies at the Guildhall School of Music, while maintaining his keyboard teaching post there. Among O'Hora's more acclaimed recordings is his 2009 Regis disc of piano sonatas by Haydn.