Sunday 28 October

Ómós: A celebration of the music and life of Liam O’Flynn

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Time 8:00pm
National Concert Hall Dublin

Tickets: from: €32 more info

  • David Brophy
  • Hosted by John Kelly, RTÉ

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is proud to celebrate the life and work of Liam Ó Flynn with whom the orchestra had a rich and warm association. 

Guests include Sean Keane, Rod McVey, Matt Molloy, Steve Cooney, Neil Martin, Usher’s Island, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Olivia O’Leary with David Power and Triona Marshall. More guests to be announced. 

Programme includes The Brendan Voyage with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Mark Redmond, pipes.

“The pipes call and raise the spirit. They also quieten and open up the daydream part of people”, wrote Séamus Heaney of the playing of Liam O’Flynn. Liam O’Flynn, was a musician who commanded deep respect from his fellow musicians and was revered as a modern master of the uilleann pipes, for this special evening we are pleased to celebrate his life and work in the company of some of his friends and with some of the music that defined him as one of the greats of Irish music.   

Liam O’Flynn 
Born in 1945 in Kill, Co. Kildare close to the county bounds with Dublin Liam O’Flynn was widely acknowledged as one of the great figures of recent Irish music. His peerless command of the uilleann pipes and whistle established his reputation as a master of his craft. Liam had the unusual distinction of being close to three of the recognised giants of uilleann piping of the 20th century: Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy and Seamus Ennis. 

At the age of eleven Liam began his music studies under the Dublin pipe-maker and player, Leo Rowsome at the Dublin Municipal School of Music in Chatham Row, with his father driving him from north Kildare into classes in the sidecar of his motorbike. Through his teens Liam encountered many of the significant figures of traditional music in Dublin and wider afield. His father, also Liam, was from Kerry and his mother had west Clare connections and Liam was to spend much time in Clare where he came under the influence of  players like the fiddler Junior Crehan and piper Wille Clancy amongst many others. In 1972 Liam was involved in the Christy Moore recording “Prosperous” along with musicians who were to become long-time colleagues, Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine. Together they were to form the seminal band Planxty whose influence on Irish music reverberates to this day. Vibrant, exciting and innovative, Planxty were to the forefront in creating and energizing a new audience for Irish traditional music and song. Liam worked with Planxty for most of the 1970’s into the early 1980’s and again when they reformed in 2003. He did not neglect solo and other work, recording with a range of musicians among them, John Cage, Kate Bush, Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris and the Everly Brothers. All the while he continued  to maintain his involvement with lifelong musical friends from the traditional music scene Seán Keane, Matt Molloy, Arty McGlynn, Paddy Glackin and Steve Cooney. 

Since its premiere in the NCH in 1980 Liam became indelibly linked with composer Shaun Davey’s most famous and enduring orchestral work, The Brendan Voyage. Shaun Davey worked closely with Liam on developing and composing a symphonic suite for orchestra and uilleann pipes based on the fabled voyage of Brendan the Navigator, who in the sixth century sailed a hide covered boat from Kerry across the north Atlantic to eventually find landfall in Canada. Liam was to go on to perform the Brendan Voyage on many concert stages around the world. His links with the National Concert Hall and the two RTÉ orchestras was something that Liam was proud to maintain throughout his career.

Presented by NCH in partnership with The Arts Council with the support of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra