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Altan stalwart leads roll of honour in 2013 Traditional Music Awards

Donegal accordion maestro  Dermot Byrne heads the list of recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2013 (Traditional Music Awards) announced at a media reception in Limerick this evening.    Born and reared in Buncrana in the north-east of the county, his roots stretch to the Teelin Gaeltacht in the south-west and his musical tastes range far and wide.  He has been one of the country’s top box players since his teenage years and has been a long-serving member of the internationally renowned group Altan as well as performing regularly with the top names in traditional music and releasing solo recordings too.

This year’s Gradam recipients range over a wide spectrum of talents.  Those honoured include a legendary Donegal fiddler and composer,   a much-travelled and loved West Kerry singer and musician,   a  Clareman who was a founder member of The Chieftains, a young fiddler from Monaghan and a pioneering organisation that has almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of an instrument that was in terminal decline.

The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2013 recipients is:
·                                      Gradam Ceoil TG4 –  Dermot Byrne
·                                      Ceoltóir Óg  TG4  (Young Musician) –  Dónal McCague
·                                      Gradam Saoil TG4  (Hall of Fame) –  Michael Tubridy
·                                      Cumadóir  TG4  (Composer) –  Tommy Peoples
·                                      Amhránaí TG4  (Singer) – Séamus Ó Beaglaoich
·                                      Gradam Aitheantais TG4 (Special Contribution) – Na Píobairí Uilleann

An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil each year.  Recipients are presented with a specially-commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a stipend.    This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil Concert in the UL Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 30th March.    At the concert, hosted by Aoife Ní Thuairisg and Páidí Ó Lionáird, the 2013 Gradam recipients will be joined on stage by their special musical  guests.  It will be recorded for broadcast on TG4 on the following day Easter Sunday March 31st and promise a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters.  This year’s concert is being organised to celebrate The Gathering Ireland 2013 and will showcase the impact that Ireland’s finest musicians have had on the world.
TG4 Director General Pól Ó Gallchóir says that the Gradam Ceoil honours major figures in Irish traditional music during their lifetime.  “We are privileged to organise and sponsor this recognition for these extraordinary and talented artists who instill such pride to our culture and adorn our lives with their music,” he said.

Jim Miley, Project Director of the Gathering Ireland 2013 said: “I’m delighted that the Gradam Ceoil has joined a packed calendar of Gatherings taking place throughout Ireland this year. Irish musicians are world-class ambassadors of their craft and their country so we’re delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate their unique contribution to Ireland’s cultural reputation at this very special gathering.”

Tickets for the Gradam Ceoil concert can be obtained by telephone from 061 331549 or on

Permalink - Posted: February 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm