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Fifteen flute and whistle players in Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal final

Top class flute and whistle players from across the country will compete in the final for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork on Friday 7 February, and the event will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

There will be a total of fifteen finalists on stage.  Eimhear Flannery, 15, from Co. Cork will be the youngest competitor and Michael Walsh, 52, travelling over from Sheffield in England, will be the oldest finalist this year.  There will also be competitors from Co. Clare, Mayo, Limerick, Cavan, Laois, Louth, Wicklow, Kerry and Tyrone.

Permalink - Posted: January 30, 2020 at 10:04 am

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network are pleased to announce details of the 2020 Musicians-in-Residence Scheme.

Established and emerging musicians and groups with a strong connection to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are invited to apply.

Details of the dlr Musicians-in-Residence Scheme 2020 were released today. The scheme is jointly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Arts Council, and managed by Music Network. Three residencies are offered in 2020: two for established musicians/groups and one for an emerging musician/group. The closing date for application is Thursday 20th February 2020 at 2pm. Full application guidelines are available at

The aim of the Musicians-in-Residence Scheme is to provide opportunities to develop and showcase new work which may be compositional and/or performance-focused, i.e. to create new material and/or to develop a new artistic collaboration.


Permalink - Posted: January 14, 2020 at 10:09 am

Peadar Ó Riada ag ceiliúradh míle eagrán dá chlár

Dé hAoine 10 Eanáir, craolfar an míliú heagrán den chlár Cuireadh chun Ceoil le Peadar Ó Riada ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta ag 7 pm.
Beidh clár an-speisialta ag Peadar dá chuid éisteoirí agus é i gcuideachta an amhránaí mór le rá, Corcaíoch eile, Seán Ó Sé.  Bhí Seán ina bhall den ghrúpa ceoil iomráiteach Ceoltóirí Chualann, a bhunaigh Seán Ó Riada.
Beidh Peadar agus Seán ag caint ar thábhacht an cheoil don spiorad agus don sochaí tré chéile ar an gclár ceiliúrtha speisialta Dé hAoine.  Beidh siad ag caitheamh súil siar ar mar a d’fhorbair an ceol Gaelach sa tír seo, agus mar a leath sé thar lear, ábhar iontais agus mórtais do Pheadar.  Céard is ceol maith ann?  Sin ábhar eile a bheidh faoi chaibidil ag an mbeirt, agus cloisfidh muid rogha ceoil Pheadair freisin ar an gclár, agus cloisfidh muid amhrán leis an laoch Seán Ó Sé.
Permalink - Posted: January 7, 2020 at 10:16 am

Celtic Colours releases seventh volume of live recordings, just in time for Christmas

Featuring an exciting transatlantic collaboration, a selection of traditional and contemporary tunes for listening and dancing, outstanding performances of some classics, and a jaw-dropping display of musical minds at work and play, this seventh volume in the Celtic Colours Live series offers a few highlights among the many that occurred during the 2019 Celtic Colours International Festival.

Recorded at venues all over Cape Breton Island during the Festival, Celtic Colours Live – Volume Seven kicks off with a very special collaboration between Cape Breton’s Beòlach and Breabach from Scotland, captured during the Kicking Ash concert in Mabou where this year’s Artists in Residence were featured. The tunes continue throughout the album with older and traditional tunes by Newfoundland and Labrador trad stars The Dardanelles and Celtic Colours first-timers Chartrand Babineau from Quebec, and more contemporary tunes from the Scottish contingent including Kinnaris Quintet, Ùr: The Future of our Past, and Breabach.


Permalink - Posted: December 13, 2019 at 3:13 pm

TG4 announces recipients of the 23rd Gradam Ceoil Awards

Women lead the way in this year’s Gradam Ceoil TG4 accolades, as ‘Musician of the Year’, ‘Young Musician of the Year’ and ‘Composer of the Year’ are awarded to highly-talented female musicians.
Harper Laoise Kelly from Westport, Co. Mayo is announced as TG4’s ‘Musician of the Year’, and is one of the youngest recipients of the main award to date. Laoise will be awarded the title at TG4’s Gradam Ceoil gala concert which will take place in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall next February.  She is one of Ireland’s most significant harpers of her generation and uses a style of playing combining the techniques of fingerpads in the bass and fingnails in the melody on a thirty-four gut strung Paddy Cafferky harp. Laoise was a founding member of the traditional group Bumblebees, who recorded two albums, Bumblebees (1997) and Buzzin (1999) and who toured extensively across Ireland, the UK, Europe, the US and Canada. She was also a founding member of Fiddletree, a folk group from the US, Ireland, Cape Breton and Scotland, who all play instruments made from the same tree and who have released two albums, The Fiddletree (2011) and The Unfathomable Menagerie (2013).


Permalink - Posted: November 14, 2019 at 11:16 am

The National Concert Hall announces the debut concerts by acclaimed musician Martin Hayes and the Common Ground Ensemble

Martin Hayes, fiddle | Cormac McCarthy, piano | Kate Ellis, cello | Kyle Sanna, guitar | Brian Donnellan, bouzouki harmonium, concertina

Guests: David Power, uileann pipes | Síle Denver, sean nós singer, harp

Saturday 14 / Sunday 15 March 2020. National Concert Hall.

Tickets €36, €32.50 & €27.50. On Sale 15 November 2019 at 10am

“… music isn’t about perfection. For me it’s about heart, feeling, trust, freedom, communication and true aliveness in the moment” Martin Hayes

Following on from the success of The Gloaming, the National Concert Hall is delighted to present the debut concerts by Martin Hayes, one of the world’s most celebrated fiddle players and a key figure in Irish traditional music, and his new band the Common Ground Ensemble, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March 2020 8pm. Although rooted in Irish traditional music the ensemble possesses a wealth of talent spanning improvisation, arrangement, jazz, avant-garde and cutting edge contemporary classical.

Permalink - Posted: November 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Mid-West to welcome top Scottish and Irish musicians

On Saturday 5th October, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will be bringing top folk and trad musicians from Ireland and Scotland together on stage in Glór in Ennis, Co. Clare for a gala concert to celebrate 25 years of the music programme Sruth na Maoile.

Audiences at the concert will be treated to the rare pleasure of a live performance from Karen Matheson, the outstanding Scottish songstress and lead singer with Scottish supergroup Capercaillie, accompanied by Manus Lunny.  Her Irish counterpart, Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, will be performing with harp virtuoso Cormac de Barra.  From Kerry, the legendary singer and box player Séamus Begley will be performing with his daughter Méabh and renowned guitarist Donogh Hennessy, who has played with Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon and John Spillane, among others.  (more…)

Permalink - Posted: September 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

International Harpists Gather at the Linen Hall for Exclusive Event on 12 September

On Thursday 12 September at 3.30pm – 7.30pm a pre-eminent group of harpists and scholars will gather for one afternoon only in the Linen Hall Library to celebrate Bengal and Belfast coming together to champion the Irish harp on the bicentennial of the Irish Harp Society of Belfast (1819 – 39).

The Linen Hall Library played a significant role in the preservation of traditional Irish harp music. Early members of the Library organised a festival of harp music in July 1792 ‘with the intention of having the music taken down and recorded for the first time’. The Library was also instrumental in supporting the subsequent publishing of this music.

The September colloquium will focus on the Linen Hall’s Beath Collection, which was donated in 1974 by Mrs. Norah Beath – the granddaughter of architect and noted music collector Robert Young. The collection contains a wealth of material from the 18th and 19th centuries tied to music, with many of the manuscripts connected with influential music collectors and musicians – including Edward Bunting, Patrick Lynch, Robert MacAdam, Mary Ann McCracken, and William Ware. Of special interest are papers regarding the Irish Harp Society of Belfast, which marks its bicentenary this year. The Society was funded almost entirely by a group of men and women in India. This group—the “Bengal Subscription”—were Irish, Indian, and of various backgrounds and religions, who came together to support a future for the Irish harp.

The line up on the day features internationally renowned harpist Lily Neill who has performed for presidents, ambassadors, and audiences all over the world. Also performing will be Simon Chadwick who will play on a reconstruction of an 18th century Irish harp. Speakers include Frank Bunting, whose distant relative Edward Bunting was the first person to research and write down traditional Irish harp music; Nicholas Carolan, Director Emeritus of the Irish Traditional Music Archive; Dr. Mary Louise O’Donnell, author and Fulbright Scholar who will discuss the role the Irish Harp Society of Belfast played in the education of Irish harpers; and Philip McDonagh, a former ambassador to India who will examine cultural links between Ireland and India.

Linen Hall Library Director Julie Andrews says: “The celebration of the Beath Collection and the bicentennial of the Irish Harp Society of Belfast on 12 September has been a monumental collaboration of musicians and Irish harp experts from various locations. To bring them all together for one afternoon is a phenomenal achievement and an event not to be missed. Not many people know that the Linen Hall Library played a vital role in the preservation of traditional Irish harp music. The story behind the archive is fascinating.”

Tickets can be obtained from the Linen Hall Library website and cost
£20pp. Proceeds from the event will be used for the long-term preservation and eventual digitisation of the Beath Collection.


Permalink - Posted: September 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Frank Harte Singing Festival a Celebration of Irish Song

  • Frank Harte festival to celebrate generations of traditional Irish song
  • Annual gathering to welcome guest singers from Ireland, Scotland & USA
  • 2019 also the 40th anniversary of Góilín Singers - Dublin’s leading singing club

One of the most celebrated gatherings of traditional Irish song takes place this month with the Frank Harte festival taking place over three days: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September.

A gala concert, a workshop, plenty of singing sessions and a tour of Dublin through its songs makes the weekend a must for anyone interested in the lore and tradition of unaccompanied singing. Dublin’s Góilín Singers Club, which organises the festival, this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, and in that time has seen many great singers attend its weekly sessions, from Christy Moore to Daoirí Farrell to members of groups such as Landless and Lankum, to give their own rendition of traditional or new songs.


Permalink - Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:16 am

The National Concert Hall’s Tradition Now Series

The National Concert Hall’s Tradition Now Series presented in partnership with The Arts Council to Feature Performances by Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds, Sam Amidon, Catherine Ennis, Steve Cooney, Paddy Glackin and more in Six-Day Festival

Tradition Now, the National Concert Hall’s traditional music series takes a unique look at the evolution of traditional music and provides a platform for forward-thinking musicians. This year’s series sees performances by Irish and International artists such as singer/songwriter Lisa O’Neill, musicians Catherine EnnisSteve Cooney, Paddy Glackin, Sam Amidon and many more from 1st to 6th October.

The 2019 programme features two main stage events on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October:

Rough Trade supremo Geoff Travis has always been a man ahead of the curve, with the establishment of River Lea records which embraces traditional and contemporary folk he has reflected the rapid growth in interest in all forms of the genre. As part of Tradition Now he and his label colleagues Jeanette Lee and Tim Chipping curate a special evening of River Lea artists on October 5th; BBC Radio Folk Award nominee Lisa O’Neill, brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn aka Ye Vagabonds whose harmony rich folk singing draws on traditional Irish and Appalachian sources and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, Skye piper Brìghde Chaimbeul. (more…)

Permalink - Posted: September 2, 2019 at 10:26 am
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