The Arts Council and the National Concert Hall announced the Liam O’Flynn Award at a concert in homage to the late musician at the NCH. The award is a joint initiative of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the National Concert Hall/An Ceoláras Náisiúnta.
Liam O’Flynn was a virtuoso piper of international renown who brought uilleann piping 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.
The Liam O’Flynn award celebrates the role of the individual 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 award is to provide a traditional artist with a period of artistic reflection, inspiration and creation in residence in the National Concert Hall and to enhance appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the traditional arts across the rich milieu of the National Concert Hall.
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 .
Speaking about the award, 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.”
National Concert Hall, CEO Simon Taylor said:
“Together with the Arts Council the NCH is delighted to announce this award. 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.”