A roundup of Music Network’s Spring Season 2014

30 May 2014


Our Spring 2014 season brought musicians from eight countries to seventeen towns and villages across fourteen counties. The exceptional line-up of talented Irish and international musicians enthralled audiences that were increased by 30% compared to Spring 2013.


We opened the season with one of the most successful Music Network-curated tours ever, when multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, piper Michael McGoldrick and guitarist Francis Gaffney were joined by actor Brendan Gleeson on fiddle and mandolin on a musical road trip from Kentucky to Ireland via the Louisiana bayous. 


Next up was two-man charm offensive The Little Radio, the inspired pairing of Stian Carstensen's bustling button accordion and Iain Ballamy's effortlessly lyrical tenor saxophone. 


Rising chamber music stars Attacca Quartet were on tour in March, and wowed audiences and critics equally with their landmark performances of both contemporary and classic works.


In April Rachel Kolly d'Alba, already touted as one of the best violinists of her generation, was on tour with award-winning Swiss pianist Christian Chamorel.


The season finale was a real talking point among those lucky enough to catch it - an exploration of the links between traditional Scots, Irish and American Old Time music in a unique collaboration between fiddler Alasdair Fraser, cellist Natalie Haas and trad superstar Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

Watch a special playlist of some of the best live music moments in Spring 2014 here.  




We continued to make linkages between our touring activity and local Music Education Partnerships, as well as new partners Age and Opportunity during Spring 2014, with the aim of giving children, young people  and older people rich, holistic musical experiences and developing audiences for live music.  


In March, classical ensemble Attacca Quartet worked with Mayo Youth Orchestra and Wexford School of Music. Fiddler Alasdair Fraser, cellist Natalie Haas and fiddler and singer Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh worked with Music Generation Mayo and Sligo and Donegal Music Education Partnership in May.

"Everyone performed a solo on their own with the 3 musicians joining in. They were very impressed with everyone's performance.   One boy sang Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat and everyone joined in harmonising.  It was a beautiful moment.   Two of the young people also danced.   At the concert that night, the children sat in the front row and the musicians often referred to them during the concert.  During the last tune, one of the girls got up and spontaneously danced with them."  Elaine Agnew, Music Network Learning & Participation Adviser 

This work will continue through the summer months and into the autumn. In July, we co-present workshops by Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (Scottish harp) with Music Generation Louth, Laois and Wicklow. 

In October fiddler Caoímhín Ó Raghallaigh will work with with Donegal Music Education Partnership, and Music Generation Sligo and Cork. 

In November cellist Leonard Elschenbroich will also be involved in our Learning & Participation programme.