Showing 193 results

Authority record

Athena Media

  • IE ITMA C00077
  • Corporate body
Athena Media is a digital agency based in Dublin that creates multimedia content and strategy.

Bell, Derek, 1935-2002

  • IE ITMA P00012
  • Person
  • 1935-2002

Derek Bell was born in Belfast on 21 October 1935. His father William Bell, was a banker, a traditional fiddle player and also played in an amateur orchestra. His mother died when Bell was very young. When Derek was two years old his parents received a misdiagnosis from a doctor that their son was going blind. In an effort to develop his sense of hearing Derek’s parents surrounded their young son with musical toys. This resulted in an early aptitude for music. Derek started piano lessons at the age of nine and within two years had composed his first piano concerto.

He was educated at Downey House Preparatory School, Cabin Hill and Campbell College in Belfast. At the age of sixteen he won a scholarship to study composition at London’s Royal College of Music where his teachers included Herbert Howells, Norman Greenwood and Lamar Crowson. During his time there he was awarded the Manns Prize for woodwind. He graduated from the Royal College of Music in 1957. He went on to study music at Trinity College Dublin where he graduated with a MusB in 1959. By now Bell played a number of instruments including piano, oboe, oboe d’amore, cor anglais and cimbalom or dulcimer. He continued to study in Europe and the United States with, among others, British oboist Léon Jean Goossens and Russian pianist Madame Rosina Lhévinne. He appeared as a soloist with many symphony orchestras in Berlin, Moscow, Budapest, Liverpool, Dublin and London and was oboist for four seasons with the American Symphony Orchestra in Pittsburgh.

In August 1957, Derek Bell became the manager of the Belfast Symphony Orchestra. It was only at this stage, in his late twenties, that he began to learn the harp. He made his living as chorus répéiteur and deputy chorus master of the Northern Ireland Radio and TV Orchestra, which he joined in 1965. His harp teachers included Sheila Larchet-Cuthbert in Dublin and Gwendolen Mason in London. Bell also travelled regularly throughout this career to Sea 5 Island, Georgia, United States of America to take lessons from harpist, Artiss de Volt. In 1965 he took up the position of principal harpist and second oboist at the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra. In 1970 he was appointed professor of concert and Irish harp at the Belfast Academy of Music.

Bell met the Irish music group, The Chieftains, in Belfast in 1972. The group were recording a television performance with the BBC orchestra. Bell made some guest appearances with the group after this initial meeting and in 1973 he recorded with them for the first time on their album Chieftains 4 . He officially joined the band in 1974, temporarily retaining his BBC post. By the late 1970s, The Chieftains had become an international attraction, helped by Stanley Kubrick's use of their music on the soundtrack of his film Barry Lyndon (1975). They toured extensively over the next thirty years in Europe, North America and the Far East. Bell's harp added extra colour to the mix of flute, uilleann pipes, fiddle, bodhrán and tin whistles. Bell contributed to more than thirty Chieftains’ albums and won six Grammy Awards with the group.

He maintained his career as a classical composer, writing two symphonies, three piano sonatas and numerous other compositions. He also continued to perform on piano, oboe, pedal harp and a variety of other instruments. He recorded eight solo albums including Carolan's receipt (1975); Carolan's favourite (1980); Derek Bell plays with himself (1981); Musical Ireland (1982); Ancient music for the Irish harp (1989); Mystic harp (1996); A Celtic evening with Derek Bell (1997) and Mystic harp II (1999). In 1999, Bell and Liam Ó Conchubhair published a book of Irish songs entitled Songs from the North of Ireland . Two documentaries called Derek Bell: one man band (1977) and Derek Bell’s concert party (1988) were made by producer/director Alan Tongue. Tongue used visual effects to have Bell playing together on Irish harp, concert harp, piano, tiompán, oboe, whistle, bodhrán and double bass.

Bell married his American born wife Stefanie Rees, who was also a harpist, in [1980?], she was originally from San Francisco. He was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for his contribution to traditional Irish and classical music. Bell died suddenly on 17 October 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona, after appearing in Nashville as part of The Chieftains’ fortieth anniversary celebrations.

Boyle, Finbar, 1951-2018

  • IE ITMA P00078
  • Person
  • 1951-2018
Boyle, Finbar. (1951– ). Singer, commentator. From Dundalk, Co. Louth, as a teenager, hearing The Dubliners germinated his interest in traditional singing, and local sessions in Mark’s Bar gave him a contiguous, supportive resource and platform. He taught for four years following college at St Patrick’s, Drumcondra, then worked with Dublin City Libraries prior to joining the Department of Folklore in UCD where he spent ten years. He became involved with the Tradition Club at Slattery’s, Dublin, c.1971 performing there regularly himself, and was one of the organisers of the Dublin Folk Festival in the later ’70s. He wrote reviews, critiques and commentaries on traditional music for In Dublin magazine over several years and researched music for RTÉ’s Sunday Folk radio show. Highly regarded for his detailed familiarity with all traditional musics, he programmed the Temple Bar Trad Festival from 2006 to 2008.

Boys of Ballisodare Folk Festival

  • IE ITMA C00112
  • Corporate body
The Boys of Ballisodare was a Sligo-based folk music festival that ran from 1977-1982. Founded by two brothers, Kevin and Philip Flynn, the festival was the first outdoor festival in Ireland to follow the

Bradshaw, Harry

  • IE ITMA P00131
  • Person
  • 1947
Bradshaw, Harry. (1947– ). Radio producer, researcher, record producer. Born Bray, Co. Wicklow. In 1965 he took up employment in recording at Dublin’s Éamonn Andrews Studios, then at film and sound work, while taking night classes in telecommunications and electronics. He joined RTÉ in 1968, where he did sound for Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin’s early RTÉ recordings, and Nóirín Ní Riain’s 1978 Seinn Aililiú. Associated with The Long Note radio programme, he became its producer in 1978, in this series devoting time to making field recordings of musicians throughout Ireland and to documentary features on traditional music subjects. He also produced a folklore series, Folkland, Music of the People and – his best-known achievement – The Irish Phonograph series, featuring 78 rpm recordings from the 1920s and ’30s and presented by Nicholas Carolan. The two also collaborated on the 1986 John McKenna – His Original Recordings. He produced the 1988 album Bunch of Keys which has the contents of nine acetate discs of uilleann piper Johnny Doran which were originally recorded in 1947; the 1990 Gravel Walks has Donegal fiddler Mickey Doherty. Both were Breathnach, Breandán 83 published by Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann. In 1989 he started his own label Viva Voce to market re-mastered 78s; the James Morrison – The Professor fiddle album was his first release, next was Fluters of Old Erin, then Michael Coleman 1891–1945, Packie Dolan and a Flanagan Brothers reissue. He worked half time on a joint RTÉ/ITMA project which transferred and catalogued the bulk of RTÉ radio’s traditional music archive tapes into a 300-cd catalogue designed to make the material easily accessible to the public. He was employed also by the ‘Ceol’ commercial music-heritage project in Smithfield, Dublin 1999–2001. He left RTÉ in 2003 and set up his own independent production unit providing specialist recording and remastering facilities and has produced a wide variety of titles, many in traditional music, for record companies and broadcasters. Brady, Paul. (1947– ).

Breathnach, Breandán, 1912-1985

  • IE ITMA P00003
  • Person
  • 1912-1985

Breandán Breathnach was born in The Liberties area of Dublin on 1 April 1912. His father Pádraig Walsh, was the last of the Dublin silk weavers and his mother Julia Parker died when Breandán was young.

From an early age he acquired an interest in the Irish language and Irish music from his father and Uncle Joe. He began playing music on the highland pipes, at an early age, and eventually took up his uncle’s uilleann pipes, this change of instrument brought him in contact with John Potts and the Potts family. Originally from Wexford, the Potts, who now lived in The Coombe, were steeped in the piping traditions of the previous century. This friendship began his lifelong love and passion for the uilleann pipes. Among some of Breathnach’s early uilleann pipe teachers were Billy Andrews, Brother Gildas (Ó Sé, Pádraig, ? 1881-1960) and Leo Rowsome (Rowsome, Leo, 1903-1970). Breandán was educated by the Christian Brothers in Synge Street and entered the Civil Service in 1930 where he served in the Departments of Posts and Telegraphs, Finance, Education and Agriculture.

Breathnach devoted his spare time to the study of Irish music. He actively sought out musicians in 1950s Dublin and noted down tunes they were playing. Since his marriage to Lena Donnellan from Mullagh, Co. Clare in 1943, he had also been in contact with Clare musicians like Willie Clancy (Clancy, Willie, 1918-1973) and Seán Reid (Reid, Seán, 1907-1978). As a result of this collecting work, he published his first collection of Irish music Ceol rince na hÉireann in 1963. Lifelong research of manuscript, printed and recording sources for Irish music lead to four more publications in this series. Ceol rince na hÉireann II & III were published in 1976 and 1985. After his death in 1985, two more volumes, edited by Jackie Small, were published in 1996 and 1999.

In 1964 Breathnach was seconded from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Education to undertake the task of making a complete collection of Irish traditional dance music. In 1972 Breathnach succeeded in establishing a national archive of Irish folk music within this department and in 1974 the archive transferred to the Department of Irish Folklore in University College, Dublin where he became Director of Irish Folk Music. He retired from UCD in 1977. The foundation of the Irish Traditional Music Archive was the Breandán Breathnach Collection, which was donated by his family after his death.

Breathnach was involved with many Irish music organisations, including Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, where he served for a period as Assistant Secretary. He was a founder-member of Na Píobairí Uilleann, along with Seán Reid and others, and was the organisation’s chairman from 1968 until his death in 1985. He was involved with the Willie Clancy Summer School, a founder-member in 1971 of the Folk Music Society of Ireland and also co-edited its journal Irish folk music studies Éigse cheol tíre. He lectured in Irish music in Trinity College Dublin and was a member of the Arts Council.

He contributed to many publications including the Encyclopedia of Ireland (1966), the New Grove dictionary of music and musicians (1981). As well as the previously mentioned Ceol rince series. He published a handbook on Irish music entitled Folk music and dances of Ireland in 1971 and Ceol agus Rince na hÉireann was published posthumously in 1989. In 1963 he began publishing Ceol: a journal of Irish music which continued to be produced by him for twenty two years. He edited and contributed to An Píobaire, the bulletin of Na Píobairí Uilleann from 1969 until his death in 1985.

Breathnach, Breandán, 1912-1985, collector

  • IE ITMA P00183
  • Person
  • 1912-1985

Breandán Breathnach was born in The Liberties area of Dublin on 1 April 1912. His father Pádraig Walsh, was the last of the Dublin silk weavers and his mother Julia Parker died when Breandán was young.

From an early age he acquired an interest in the Irish language and Irish music from his father and Uncle Joe. He began playing music on the highland pipes, at an early age, and eventually took up his uncle’s uilleann pipes, this change of instrument brought him in contact with John Potts and the Potts family. Originally from Wexford, the Potts, who now lived in The Coombe, were steeped in the piping traditions of the previous century. This friendship began his lifelong love and passion for the uilleann pipes. Among some of Breathnach’s early uilleann pipe teachers were Billy Andrews, Brother Gildas (Ó Sé, Pádraig, ? 1881-1960) and Leo Rowsome (Rowsome, Leo, 1903-1970). Breandán was educated by the Christian Brothers in Synge Street and entered the Civil Service in 1930 where he served in the Departments of Posts and Telegraphs, Finance, Education and Agriculture.

Breathnach devoted his spare time to the study of Irish music. He actively sought out musicians in 1950s Dublin and noted down tunes they were playing. Since his marriage to Lena Donnellan from Mullagh, Co. Clare in 1943, he had also been in contact with Clare musicians like Willie Clancy (Clancy, Willie, 1918-1973) and Seán Reid (Reid, Seán, 1907-1978). As a result of this collecting work, he published his first collection of Irish music Ceol rince na hÉireann in 1963. Lifelong research of manuscript, printed and recording sources for Irish music lead to four more publications in this series. Ceol rince na hÉireann II & III were published in 1976 and 1985. After his death in 1985, two more volumes, edited by Jackie Small, were published in 1996 and 1999.

In 1964 Breathnach was seconded from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Education to undertake the task of making a complete collection of Irish traditional dance music. In 1972 Breathnach succeeded in establishing a national archive of Irish folk music within this department and in 1974 the archive transferred to the Department of Irish Folklore in University College, Dublin where he became Director of Irish Folk Music. He retired from UCD in 1977. The foundation of the Irish Traditional Music Archive was the Breandán Breathnach Collection, which was donated by his family after his death.

Breathnach was involved with many Irish music organisations, including Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, where he served for a period as Assistant Secretary. He was a founder-member of Na Píobairí Uilleann, along with Seán Reid and others, and was the organisation’s chairman from 1968 until his death in 1985. He was involved with the Willie Clancy Summer School, a founder-member in 1971 of the Folk Music Society of Ireland and also co-edited its journal Irish folk music studies Éigse cheol tíre. He lectured in Irish music in Trinity College Dublin and was a member of the Arts Council.

He contributed to many publications including the Encyclopedia of Ireland (1966), the New Grove dictionary of music and musicians (1981). As well as the previously mentioned Ceol rince series. He published a handbook on Irish music entitled Folk music and dances of Ireland in 1971 and Ceol agus Rince na hÉireann was published posthumously in 1989. In 1963 he began publishing Ceol: a journal of Irish music which continued to be produced by him for twenty two years. He edited and contributed to An Píobaire, the bulletin of Na Píobairí Uilleann from 1969 until his death in 1985.

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