Galway’s Eimear Noone to be first woman conductor at Oscars

Irish composer and conductor Eimear Noone will become the first woman to conduct at the Oscars this February.

Galway native Noone will conduct excerpts from the five nominated scores. She is the first female to lead the orchestra in the history of the televised awards, the Academy said.

Noone moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and has worked on almost 30 film and video-game titles. She is married to a US composer, Craig Stuart Garfinkle, and the couple have two children. They live in Malibu.

Noone’s first love was video game music, and her first job was with Blizzard-owned World of Warcraft. She told the Irish Examiner in 2016: “When I was in school, my job didn’t exist so it was my passion for orchestral music that led me to my first job on World of Warcraft.

“Seeing the cinematics for that game, that’s what really made me want to go into video game music — it was just overwhelming. They were beautiful.”

She added: “Huge, bombastic scores that require a giant orchestra and choirs — I’m like a kid in a candy store. I’ve followed my love of the orchestra to its most unimaginable conclusion.”

She will take to the pit with the orchestra this coming 8 February. Noone will be one of two high-profile Irish women at the event, as Saoirse Ronan is nominated in the awards for her role in Little Women.