About Fiddlers Retreat -  Irish Music Holiday Specialists

Fiddlers Retreat was established in 2005 by Theresa Bourke - accomplished musician - qualified teacher - cultured traveller - passionate home cook and welcoming homemaker. After university she took to the stage in over forty countries as a professional fiddle player with internationally renowned Irish dance shows Lord of The Dance, Spirit of Ireland and Bru Boru. Theresa experienced various countries and cultures from a musical perspective and met many wonderful people along the way. 

Theresa Bourke and Marie Bourke at the Taj Mahal, India

Travel loving Theresa and Mum Marie embarked on a special journey together. 

These experiences let her to establish a dedicated Irish Music and Tourism enterprise from her home in Co. Tipperary that enables visitors access and experience a unique Irish music and culture holiday. She not only invites you into her home, but, shares her musical talent, local heritage knowledge and insights into aspects of Ireland that often escape tourists. You will discover why she is passionate about sharing Ireland with guests at Fiddlers Retreat.  She believes, "Ireland is the best little country in the world!" 


The Irish Fiddle and Culture Holiday was created especially with fiddlers in mind. Irish music is enjoyed and played all over the world. Irish bars from Hong Kong to Hawaii try to emulate the elusive traditional Irish music pub session. And Theresa has enjoyed playing in many of them! Classical violinists want to hear that distinctively Irish sound when they play Irish music. People have bucket lists and sometimes one wish is to be able play "just one tune in an Irish pub session." Others want to develop their repertoire, technique and style. People get to experience the buzz of joining in an inclusive Irish music session, meet new musician friends, share tunes, chat and get to know how the sessions in this locality work. Whatever stirs your interest in Irish music it will certainly be musically fulfilled while at Fiddlers Retreat. 


On many occasions musicians partners also wanted to come and enjoy the Fiddlers Retreat experience too, but without the Irish fiddle tuition. The Irish Music and Culture Appreciation package was created to include an array of different activities for all guests to enjoy. We have families and groups of friends who come from far flung places wanting to explore local Ireland. We leave no stone unturned in ensuring you experience exceeds your expectation. 


All holiday packages are designed and created specifically with you, the cultured traveller, in mind and are tailor made to suit individual and group requirements. 


You will be welcomed into the heart and soul of the real, country Ireland. 


Theresa welcomes people from all over the world, both musicians and non-musicians alike. Come and join us.

Biography - Theresa Bourke 

Your host is Ms. Theresa Bourke, Course Director and Co-Ordinator at Fiddlers Retreat.  


Theresa’s teaching career started when she gained her traditional Irish music teachers qualification, Teastas I dTeagas Ceolta Tire, in 1993 awarded by the national association of Irish music, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. An All-Ireland Champion Traditional Irish musician she competed at all levels and enjoyed bringing home the trophies! 


In 1993 Theresa was asked to join the acclaimed Irish music, song and dance show, Bru Boru, which she was a member of for 7 years, www.bruboru.ie


After completing her secondary school education at the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Theresa gained a B.A. Music with English degree at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 1997 and followed that with the Higher Diploma in Education, Trinity College Dublin in 1998. Theresa taught music and english in various secondary schools in Dublin and returned to pursue an M.A. in Traditional Irish music performance at the University of Limerick in 2001.


Following this Theresa embarked on a world tour as a professional fiddle player with internationally renowned Irish dance shows Bru Boru, Spirit of Ireland and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Theresa spent 3 years touring and performing in pristigous venues in over 40 countries throughout the world. Theresa left Lord of the Dance to establish Fiddlers Retreat and still finds the time to travel, perform and teach Irish music abroad when the opportunities arises.


In 2007 Theresa gained a Higher Diploma in Public Relations, with Irish Academy of Public Relations at University College Dublin and during the same time, took part in a Business Management Development Programme through Tipperary County Enterprise Board and the Institute of Technology Waterford.


Between 2012 and 2013 Theresa pursued her academic teaching career spending time in the Russian Federation as a school teacher and Head Teacher with Atlantic International School in Moscow and St. Petersburg.


In her spare time Theresa also is also a member of Rotary International, the world’s first service club charity and is a member of The Rotary Club of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, district 1160.