Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Home Biography Discography Interviews and Articles Links Concert Reviews Your Thoughts Video/DVD






Loreena's great grandparents arrived in Canada from Ireland in the 1830's.  She was born 17th February 1957 in Morden, Manitoba (Canada).  Her mother (Irene) was a nurse and her father (Jack) was a livestock dealer.  She has a brother Warren, who is three years her senior.  

Loreena took to performing at an early age,  Highland dancing. Apparently a  Sunday drive ended that, the McKennitt's car collided with another at the crest of a hill. Loreena came out of the hospital with her legs in casts. Exit Highland dancing.  Her grandmother sent over the family piano and Loreena began music lessons. She was five years old. She is a very accomplished piano player having studied classical piano for 10 years (and voice for 5).

Although being very musically talented Loreena wanted to be a veterinarian (I can imagine her in this role, but am very grateful that she didn't pursue it!!).  In the late seventies she was into folk music and frequented folk clubs, she listened to music by artists such as Steeleye Span, Planxty, The Bothy Band and Alan Stivell (it was his music that 'persuaded' her to play the harp). From then on she was smitten with Celtic/Folk music.  In 1981 she moved to Stratford, Ontario, where she still lives.  She worked for the Stratford Festival as composer and singer (she played the role of Ceres in Shakespeare's "The Tempest").  She also wrote the music for several Canadian movies ("Bayo" from 1984 was one of them).                      

In a about '82 she visited Ireland and was likely influenced by that visit (Ireland being a beautiful place is surely inspiration to any one whose been there - see my Ireland photos)

In about '83/84 she purchased her first harp from a pawnshop,  I believe, and it's the same one she travels with now!! She also performed in public (busking), which must have been quite an experience in it's self (if I ever have the guts to try this with my harp I will!).  She is quoted to have said regarding performing in this way "A useful experience, because it gave me a sense of independence and allowed me to know a lot of people who loved my music".  In 1985 she released her first album 'Elemental', and has obviously never looked back!  International fame came with the release of ' The Visit' in 1991.  Her best selling album, so far, is The Book of Secrets.

In recent years she has had to cope with the death of a loved one and has done a lot to help others i.e. Cook-Rees fund and the Flagstaff project (to name but a few).  She performed for the Queen in Winnipeg  October 2002 and has since received an honorary degree.  "Dr McKennitt I presume."