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Seán Ó Riada gold medal: Calling Pipers and Harpists

The competition for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal 2012 is now open to entries from harpists and pipers.  One winner will be chosen for each instrument, and will be presented with a Seán Ó Riada gold medal, and prize money, at a gala concert in Cork in January.  The closing date for entries is 31 October.

The competition, now in its third year, was initiated by musician and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter Peadar Ó Riada as a means of bringing the family of listeners to his programme Cuireadh chun Ceoil together, and building a worldwide network of traditional music fans.

Last year was for flute, and there were over 60 entries from all over the world, and the finalists included a Lutheran priest from Finland, a young Irish American musician, and award-winning Scottish guitarist and flute player.  The competition was won by Tim McHugh from Mayo.

Ó Riada feels that there is far too much emphasis on technique and ornamentation in traditional music competitions these days, and in this competition judges will deem  character, spirit and musicality as being equally as important, if not more so, than technical proficiency.

To enter, musicians should record 5 pieces of music and upload them to , or alternatively burn them to CD and send them to Peadar Ó Riada.  Full details are on the website.  Those intending to enter are advised to do so as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the closing date.

15 musicians will be shortlisted, and they will take part in a concert in January in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork, where the winner will be chosen.

Cashel goldsmith Pádraig Ó Mathúna has designed and created the Seán Ó Riada gold medal, which features a portrait of Seán Ó Riada on one side and an engraving inspired by the Song of Amergin on the other.

Over the next few months Peadar Ó Riada will play some of the entries to the competition on his weekly traditional music programme Cuireadh chun Ceoil on Raidió na Gaeltachta on Fridays at 7pm.  Listeners can also register with the website to hear the entries.

Permalink - Posted: September 14, 2012 at 11:21 am