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Authority record

Hardebeck, Carl Gilbert, 1869-1945

  • IE ITMA P00019
  • Person
  • 1869-1945

Carl Gilbert Hardebeck was a classical pianist, organist and composer, a music teacher and choirmaster, and also a dedicated collector, arranger and publisher of Irish traditional music. Traditional song was his main area of Irish interest, and he edited and arranged for voice and piano several influential collections of Irish-language songs. But he was also responsible for three published collections of instrumental traditional music.

Born in London of prosperous German and Welsh parentage, the precocious Hardebeck was blind from childhood. He received his music education at the Royal Normal School for the Blind, and in 1893 moved to Belfast to establish a music store. When this failed, he devoted the rest of his life to music, living in Belfast until 1919, moving to Cork to take up academic positions before returning to Belfast in 1923, and ultimately moving to Dublin about 1933. His final years were spent in poverty but he remained a keen advocate of Irish music until his death.

Married to an Irishwoman and poet Mary Reavy, Hardebeck became involved with the Gaelic League and Feis Ceoil movements in the 1890s. He learned Irish and devoted his life to Irish traditional music after coming into contact with traditional singers and musicians: ‘I decided to leave all and follow it’. His arrangements respected the nature of the music and are still highly regarded. Hardebeck’s music was published by himself in Belfast and by various London publishers; his other publications and re-publications came from Dublin publishers: Conradh na Gaeilge, Pohlman, Whelan & Son, Sullivan & Co, Pigott & Co, The Sign of the Three Candles, Browne and Nolan Ltd, and Oifig an tSoláthair.

Ó Lochlainn, Colm, 1892-1972

  • IE ITMA P00037
  • Person
  • 1892-1972

Colm Ó Lochlainn was born in Dublin as William Gerard O’Loughlin to an Irish-speaking father who was a Kilkenny businessman-printer, and a Limerick mother from a family of printers. Having studied Irish in University College Dublin under Eoin Mac Néill from 1910 to 1916, and acted with the Theatre of Ireland, Ó Lochlainn taught in Patrick Pearse’s school St Enda’s and was at the time deeply involved in the Independence movement, especially as a publisher and printer. After the 1916 Rising he continued his Gaelic studies, graduated MA, continued his involvement in printing and publishing, and from 1933 to 1943 was an assistant lecturer in Irish and librarianship in UCD. In 1926 he founded the Three Candles Press in Dublin, which would become for decades a leading Irish imprint as well as a general printer, and which specialised in history, biography, topography, bibliography, music and Irish studies. Ó Lochlainn travelled and studied printing techniques on the Continent and designed an Irish-language type-font. From about 1928 to 1957 he was also editor, printer and publisher of the bibliographical journal The Irish Book-Lover. Co-founder of An Óige, the Irish youth hostelling organisation, in 1960 he was awarded an honorary D.Litt.Celt, from the National University of Ireland. He was married to Ailish McInerney; they had three children.

In music Colm Ó Lochlainn is remembered particularly for his two famous collections of English-language songs Irish Street Ballads (1939, reprinted 1946, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1978, 1984) and More Irish Street Ballads (1965, reprinted 1968, 1978, 1984), which were the chief source-books for the 1960s revival of interest in Irish traditional song. He himself was a singer, often appearing with his sister Úna on national radio in the 1920s, and a musician on piano, uilleann pipes, warpipes and harp. In the 1960s he introduced the traditional song series As Zozimus Said on the new Irish television service. He was also interested in Scottish Gaelic songs and edited and published a collection: Deoc-Sláinte nan Gillean: Dórnan Óran a Barraidh (1948). He was also the author of Anglo-Irish Songwriters since Moore (n.d., post-1947), later Song-Writers of Ireland in the English Tongue (1967), and occasionally composed song words and melodies. His Irish-language song publications are considered below.

O’Brien, Arthur Patrick, 1872-1949

  • IE ITMA P00049
  • Person
  • 1872-1949

Art O'Brien was born in London to a prosperous and established family, his father John Francis O’Brien being a native of Cork. He studied civil and electrical engineering and after working abroad returned to London in c. 1899. Late-Victorian London was the home of a variety of Irish cultural revivalist organisations such as the Southwark Irish Literary Club (founded 1883), the Irish Literary Society (1892), the Irish Texts Society (1896) and the Gaelic League of London (1896). Art O’Brien joined the Gaelic League of London in 1899, and gaelicised his name to Art Ó Briain… ‘thenceforth becoming a regular attendant at the classes and other gatherings’.

Art O’Brien was to play a substantial role in nationalist politics following the outbreak of the First World War as a member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood in London, and in founding the Irish Self-Determination League of Great Britain (1920–21). His political career was however marred by financial controversy and he removed himself from political life until 1933, but remained President of the Gaelic League of London until 1935. Under Sean T. O’Kelly he was appointed Irish Minister to France and Belgium 1935–1938. He died in Dublin in 1949.

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