Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennitt


2/17/1957, Morden, Manitoba, Canada

Birth Name

Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt


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Loreena McKennitt was born in raised in rural Manitoba, Canada. In the 1970s, she became fascinated by Celtic music. It wasn\'t until later that she started to connect herself with its history. The more she learned about the Celts, the more she liked. She loved the people and…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Loreena McKennitt is mentioned on page 28 of the novel Summer Light by Luanne Rice. Luanne depicts Loreena's music as beautiful and has the main characters play her music in their bridal shop.

    • Loreena prefers to keep details of her private life private.

    • Loreena's fiance was killed in a boating accident in 1998.

    • "Skellig" was written to recount the last words of a dying monk.

    • Musicians working for Loreena include:

      1. Anne Bourne - cello 2. Aidan Brennan - acoustic guitar, mandola
      3. Martin Brown - acoustic guitar, mandolin, mandola
      4. Stuart Bruce - assembled drone, vocal drone
      5. Paul Clarvis - snare drum
      6. Nigel Eaton - gurdy gurdy
      7. Steäfän Hanningan - bodhram
      8. Nick Hayley - serangi, rebec, lira da braccio
      9. Bran Hughes - oud, electric, acoustic, classical guitars, bouzouki, guitar synth, vocal drone
      10. Robin Jeffery - Victorian guitar
      11. Martin Jenkins - mandocello
      12. Manu Katchë - drums
      13. Caroline Lavelle - cello
      14. Rick Lazar - percussion
      15. Joanna Levine - viola da gamba
      16. Hugh Marsh - violin
      17. Osama - violin
      18. Steve Pigott - keyboards
      19. Donald Quan - table, timba, esraj, viola, keyboards, vocal drone
      20. Hossam Ramzy - percussion
      21. David Rhodes - electric guitar
      22. Danny Thompson - acoustic bass
      23. Bob White - tin whistle, shawm 24. Jonathan Rees - violin 25. Iain King - violin
      26. Andy Brown - viola
      27. Chris van Kampen - vello 28. Caroline Dale, Brian Gascoigne, Doug Riley - string arrangements

    • The Visit was Loreena's breakthrough album.

    • The Mask and The Mirror highlights Loreena's travels through Spain and Morocco featuring a distinctly Mediterranean sound.

    • The Book of Secrets has proven to be the Loreena's greatest commercial success, going Platinum in the U.S. The songs were researched and written all over the world and feature incredible stories. The most successful songs from the album were "Skellig", "The Highwayman", "Dante's Prayer" and "The Mummers' Dance".

    • Loreena's album Live in Paris and Toronto was released in a charitable effort in support of The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety.

    • The Book of Secrets and An Ancient Muse was recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios in England.

    • To Drive the Cold Winter Away was recorded on location at The Church Of Our Lady in Guelph, Ontario, and, in Ireland, a Benedictine monastery and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.

    • Elemental was recorded in a barn in Southern Ontario amongst a field of flowers.

    • A Winter Garden:

      "Coventry Carol"
      "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"
      "Good King Wenceslas"
      "Seeds of Love"

    • An Ancient Muse:

      "The Gates of Istanbul"
      "The English Ladye and the Knight"
      "Penelope's Song"
      "Sacred Shabbat"
      "Beneath a Phrygian Sky"
      "Never-Ending Road (Amhran Duit)"

    • The Book of Secrets:

      "The Mummers' Dance"
      "Marco Polo"
      "The Highwayman"
      "La Serenissima"
      "Night Ride Across the Caucasus"
      "Dante's Prayer"

    • The Mask And Mirror:

      "The Mystic's Dream"
      "The Bonny Swans"
      "The Dark Night of The Soul"
      "Marrakesh Night Market"
      "Full Circle"
      "Ce He Mise Le Ulaignt?/The Two Trees"
      "Prospero's Speech"

    • The Visit:

      "All Souls Night"
      "Bonny Portmore"
      "Between the Shadows"
      "The Lady of Shalott"
      "Tango to Evora"
      "Courtyard Lullaby"
      "The Old Ways"

    • Parallel Dreams:

      "Samain Night"
      "Moon Cradle"
      "Huron 'Beltane' Fire Dance"
      "Annachie Gordon"
      "Standing Stones"
      "Dickens' Dublin (The Palace)"
      "Breaking the Silence"
      "Ancient Pines"

    • To Drive the Cold Winter Away:

      "In Praise of Christmas"
      "The Seasons"
      "The King"
      "Banquet Hall"
      "Let Us the Infant Greet"
      "The Wexford Carol"
      "The Stockford Carol"
      "Let All That Are to Mirth Inclined"

    • Elemental:

      "She Moved Through the Fair"
      "Stolen Child"
      "The Lark in the Clear Air"
      "Banks of Claudy"
      "Come By the Hills"

    • Loreena McKennitt played "Lady Traveler" in a TV movie called Heaven on Earth in 1987.

    • Videos:

      The Mummers' Dance (1997)
      The Bonny Swans
      Loreena McKennitt: Nights From the Alhambra (2007)

    • Singles:

      "The Lady of Shalott" (1991)
      "All Souls Night" (1991)
      "The Bonny Swans" (1995)
      "The Mummers' Dance" (1997)
      "Marco Polo" (1998)
      "Caravanserai" (2006)

    • Shorter Recordings:

      A Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season (1995)
      Live in San Francisco (1995)
      Words and Music (1997)

    • Albums:

      Elemental (1985)
      To Drive the Cold Winter Away (1987)
      Parallel Dreams (1989)
      The Visit (1991)
      The Mask and Mirror (1994)
      The Book of Secrets (1997)
      Live in Paris and Toronto (1999)
      An Ancient Muse (2006)

    • In 2005, Loreena was involved in a court case when her former best friend, Niema Ash, published a book that contained intimate details about their relationship and confidential information that went against the English law on the privacy of celebrities.

    • Loreena's parents are Jack and Irene.

    • Loreena can play the harp, accordion, kanoun, keyboards, and piano.

    • Loreena donated money raised by sales of Live in Paris and Toronto in Turkey and Greece to the earthquake relief funds of the Red Crescent Turkey and the Hellenic Red Cross.

    • Loreena established The Three Oaks Foundation, which is a charitable body which gives money to cultural, environmental, historical, and social groups.

    • Loreena's Awards and Honors include:

      The Juno Award for Best Roots/Traditional Album for The Visit in 1992 and The Mask and the Mirror in 1994

      The Billboard International Achievement Award in 1997

      Headline performer for HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at The Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002 The Order of Manitoba in 2003 Member of the Order of Canada in 2004

      Honorary Doctor of Letters atWilfrid Laurier University in 2002 Honorary Doctor of Laws at University of Manitoba in 2005

      Honorary Doctor of Laws at the Queen's University in 2005 Investiture as Honorary Colonel, 435 Squadron, at the Canadian Air Force in 2006

      "eclectic Celtic" songwriter/singer

    • Loreena composed the original music for the National Film Board of Canada Studio D documentary series Women and Spirituality. She also made contributions to Highlander III, The Santa Clause, Leolo, and Una Casa Con Vista Al Mar.

    • Loreena has 13 million albums sold worldwide, to date, over a catalogue spanning 7 studio recordings and 1 double live CD.

    • Loreena acted, sung, and composed music for Stratford Festival of Canada productions such as The Tempest and Merchant of Venice.

    • Loreena has a garden that she takes care of herself.

    • Loreena bought the Falstaff School in Stratford in 2000 and founded the Falstaff Family Centre in 2002. It offers facilities to a number of volunteer and non profit community and family groups.

    • In 1998, Loreena started the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety. She founded this because three people very dear to her perished in a boating incident. They are: Ronald Rees, Richard Rees, and Gregory Cook.

    • Loreena learned about the geographic and historic spread of the Celts while visiting an artifacts museum in Venice in 1991.

    • Loreena dreamt of becoming a veterinarian when she was little.

    • Loreena is the daughter of a nurse and a livestock dealer.

    • Loreena fully owns and operates Quilan Road, which is an independent record label and management office founded in 1985.

  • Quotes

    • Loreena: Beyond the transportation into fantasy, dreams have served as a vehicle through which we have integrated our conscious and subconscious, the real and the surreal, the powerful and the intangible.

    • Loreena: As a child, my most vivid impression of music for the winter season came from songs and carols recorded in churches or great halls, rich with their own unique ambience and tradition. In that spirit, I have ventured into several similar locations that I have come to cherish in my travels.

    • Loreena: We are all an extension of each other's history. Wanting to learn about our neighbours is also a desire to learn about ourselves.