Ailís studied the piano seriously until her mid-twenties, focusing primarily on contemporary and classical repertoire. She has performed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto II, the two piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the Berg Sonata and various pieces from the contemporary piano repertoire. Her interest these days is mostly in the area of improvisation especially focusing on the inner piano in addition to interpreting graphic scores. In 2016 she was an Associate Artist at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida taking workshops with the American composer/pianist/improviser Myra Melford.

The first movement from Into the Sea of Waking Dreams for solo piano with optional texts. Composed by Ailís Ní Ríain. Recorded at The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida in 2016.

An improvisation recorded with the German vocalist Silvia Sauer at ArtOmi, New York State, USA 2017.

Ailís introduces and performs her 2017 graphic score Will it be Easy? Recorded at Leeds College of Music as part of Sound & Music/Unlimited Impact Embedded Programme.

In 2015 Ailís was commissioned by The Brontë Parsonage Museum (the home of the Brontë family in West Yorkshire, England) to compose a new suite of pieces especially for the Brontë family piano.