- 29 Oct 18
The Arts Council and the National Concert Hall last night announced the Liam O’Flynn Award of €15,000 at a concert in homage to the late musician at the NCH.
The Liam O’Flynn Award is a joint initiative of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the National Concert Hall/An Ceoláras Náisiúnta as part of its partnership for the promotion, appreciation and enjoyment of traditional arts, which includes the Tradition Now festival of traditional music.
Liam O’Flynn, who died earlier this year in March at the age of 72, was a virtuoso piper of international renown who brought uilleann piping and Irish music to the world stage.
He had many important artistic relationships in his life, including master pipers who had gone before him, such as Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis and Leo Rowsome, and he played a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting traditional music.
As a member of Planxty, which he co-founded in 1972 and also as a solo artist, he had a huge influence on the artistic life of Ireland.
In memory of Liam O’Flynn, the Liam O’Flynn Award celebrates the role of the individual creative traditional artist in the creation of new works, the inception of unique artistic collaborations and innovations, and in the transmission of traditional arts for future generations to enjoy and practice.
The purpose of the Liam O’Flynn Award is to provide a traditional artist with a period of artistic reflection, inspiration and creation in residence in the National Concert Hall (NCH) and to enhance appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the traditional arts across the rich milieu of the NCH.
For the Liam O’Flynn Award recipients, it will provide career-changing artistic opportunities, including the chance to work with a wide range of artistic collaborators in a supportive and professional environment where they will be positioned alongside high-performing artists from other genres and where there is high expectation of creative outputs.
“Together with the Arts Council the NCH is delighted to announce this award," said NCH CEO Simon Taylor.
"We believe that supporting a traditional creative artist in this collaborative way, as part of the rich musical life of the NCH, is a fitting tribute to Liam O’Flynn’s unique contribution to Irish music and an ongoing celebration of the many memorable and innovative collaborations that were such a feature of Liam’s extraordinary career.”
While Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride said: “Liam O’Flynn has left an incredible legacy; through his recordings, through his careful support of other musicians and artists, and by his dedication to transmission of the great heritage of Irish music to future generations. As a member of Planxty, which he co-founded in 1972, and also as a solo artist, he had a huge influence on the artistic life of Ireland. He worked with a great range of prominent Irish artists, such as Christy Moore, Seamus Heaney, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin and Shaun Davey. The Liam O’Flynn Award will ensure that his legacy continues, and that the direction he has steered music will continue to engage and excite.”
NCH and Arts Council Liam O’Flynn Award will offer:
• An award of 15,000 Euro will be offered to one artist to create new work at NCH
• The work(s) will be performed as part of Tradition Now
• The award will support new ways of conceiving music
• The successful artist will be located at the NCH and the bursary will support collaborations with the other resident musicians at NCH (e.g. Crash Ensemble, RTÉ NSO, Chamber Choir Ireland)
The deadline for applications for the first Liam O’Flynn Award will be 5.30pm, Thursday 17 January 2019.
The Arts Council has worked in recent years with the National Concert Hall to deliver four editions of Tradition Now which have been successful in broadening the audience and creating greater visibility for the traditional arts.
The main event of Tradition Now 2018 was Ómós: A Celebration of the Music and Life of Liam O’Flynn which will take place on Sunday 28 October.
Tradition Now 2018 also included Freedom Doesn’t Fall from the Sky; a landmark concert in collaboration with Fair Plé - a movement of artists addressing gender imbalance in Irish traditional and folk music; newly commissioned work performed by Iarla Ó Lionáird and Crash String Ensemble, a prominent learning and participation programme including dedicated concerts and participative events for target audiences, and a residency for the exceptional young fiddle-player, Aoife Ní Bhriain.