“Concerts at Mermaid”, A Series of Six Concerts Curated by Musician in Residence Eamon Sweeney

27 November 2018


Music Network, with Wicklow County Council and Mermaid Arts Centre, are pleased to announce a series of six concerts curated by musician in residence Eamon Sweeney taking place from Thursday 13th December 2018 to Saturday 25th May 2019. The series highlights some of Ireland’s finest musicians while introducing international musicians of renown. Musician in residence Eamon Sweeney has put together a rich and varied programme of outreach and concerts reflecting his passions – Early Music, Irish Music, Classical Music, Poetry, Song, Music for Children and Babies. More at mermaidartscentre.ie.

On December 13th ‘Tradition in the Royal Court’ features Paula Murrihy (Mezzo Soprano), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (Violin), Cormac Breatnach (Susato Whistles), Eamonn Bonner (Tenor) and Eamon Sweeney (Lute and Early Guitars) performing music by Dowland, O Catháin, and from the traditional canon. Irish music and musicians were prized in Renaissance Europe, and this special concert explores Irish music in Renaissance Europe.

 'The First 100 Years' with the Irish Chamber Orchestra takes place on January 17th and features special guests Mary Coughlan, Theo Dorgan, Sonamus – Cormac Breatnach (Susato Whistles), Annette Cleary (Cello), Rachel Factor (Harpsichord) and Eamon Sweeney (Guitars).  In 1919 the first Dáil convened in Dublin and the first Democratic Programme for Government was devised.  There have been changes in Irish society over the last century that would have been inconceivable to those first TDs. This very special concert will reflect on 100 years of the Irish Republic through poetry, music, and song - including a newly composed work by Fiachra Trench and featuring some of Ireland’s finest artists.

On Friday 8th February, “Evocative and agile…” [The Irish Times] harpist Triona Marshall comes together with guitarist Tim Edey, and the Rithim Orchestra from Music Generation Wicklow in a  once-off meeting of established and up-and-coming virtuosos. Hear some stunning guitar and harp playing from two leading lights of the traditional music world; music from musical stars of the future; and an exciting coming together of all the musicians. Tríona has been playing the harp with The Chieftains for over a decade. Her music has been hailed by critics as both sensitive and revelatory. Drawing from the centuries-old harp tradition, her performances are renowned for their depth, virtuosity and flair. Tim Edey (BBC Radio Two's Musician of the year 2012, BBC R2 FOLK AWARDS) multi-instrumentalist and singer, has toured the world and recorded with most of the major names in Celtic/Contemporary roots music including; The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Capercaillie, Seamus Begley,  Shaun Davey, Lunasa,  Mary Black, Frankie Gavin to name but a few… “Stunning” [Aled Jones BBC R2]. The Rithim Orchestra are an extraordinary Bray-based traditional ensemble of 25 talented young musicians running under the Music Generation Wicklow umbrella with tutors Gerry O’Donnell, Tim Doyle and Rachel Duffy. The group comprises harps, flutes, fiddles, uilleann pipes, concertina, bodhrán, banjo, guitar.

On Friday 29th March the unique, multi-award winning, musical dynamo that is composer and musician Brian Irvine will be joined by Malachy Robinson (bass), Francesco Turrisi (multi-instrumentalist) and Eamon Sweeney (guitar) for a concert of newly-composed works, improvisations and on-the-spot creations produced in association with Music Generation Wicklow.  Belfast born composer/conductor Brian Irvine’s work includes operas, orchestral works, large-scale participatory work, films, multi-media installations, dance works as well as ensemble, solo, and chamber pieces. His sound world is a personal concoction of contemporary classical, cartoon, punk, jazz, thrash and trash and combines the lost, the fixed, the free, the learned, the naïve, the precious and the junk. He has won two BSACA British Composers Awards as well as the Radio 3 Jazz Award for best new work.  “Some of the most exhilarating and imaginative music you'll ever hope to hear…”   [Washington Post]. Multi-instrumentalist and “musical alchemist” [Irish Times] Francesco Turrisi has collaborated with a diverse range of musicians such as Bobby McFerrin, L’Arpeggiata and The King Singers. Joining them with “unassuming virtuosity” [Irish Times] is Malachy Robinson, Principal Double Bass with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Eamon Sweeney, Music Network Artist-in-Residence at the Mermaid 2018/19.

Friday 26th April, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, one of the world's leading baroque guitarists brings his incredible virtuosity to Ireland for the first time. The 17th century was a golden age for the guitar and some of the period’s greatest musicians played and composed for it. In this concert the magical sounds of the Baroque guitar will transport you from the Dublin of Carolan and Swift to the palaces and taverns of Imperial Spain. Xavier Díaz-Latorre is recognised as one of the world’s leading lutenist and baroque guitarists. He is the lutenist of choice for the internationally acclaimed viol player and conductor, Jordi Savall. Xavier has a busy international performing career including at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Covent Garden and has made over 40 recordings for international labels. He teaches Early Plucked String Performance and Continuo at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.  “...breathtaking…” [Early Music Review].

For the final concert in the series on Saturday 25th May, renowned Portuguese company 'Concertos para Bébes' perform with Eamon Sweeney, a concert of music for babies and families that will include their own arrangements of Irish and Baroque music including  – Dia di bheatha (Aodh Mac Aingil); Canarios (Gaspar Sanz) and Monteverdi. Concertos para Bebés specialise in concerts where babies are invited to listen to classical music, traditional songs, from pop-rock, and vocal-instrumental improvisations with the participation of everybody in the audience. From Monteverdi to Mozart, from the small Portuguese guitar to the didgeridoo, astonishment is exchanged and sighs are heard.

Initiated by Music Network in 2015, the first Music Network Artist Residency programme was developed in partnership with Triskel Christchurch and supported by Cork City Council and was curated by pianist Phil Ware.  In 2017 the programme was developed in collaboration with Wexford County Council Arts Office and the National Opera House, Wexford and was curated by guitarist Redmond O’Toole. 


“Concerts at Mermaid”

Thursday 13th December 2018, 8pm

Tradition in the Royal Court - Renaissance Europe and Irish Music

Irish music has never recognised borders - not 400 years ago and not now. Hear the magic of Irish music abroad in Renaissance Europe with some of our finest traditional and classical musicians

Paula Murrihy (Mezzo Soprano), Eamonn Bonner (Tenor), Cormac Breatnach (Susato Whistles), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (Violin) and Eamon Sweeney (Lute, Early Guitars) - performing music by Dowland, O Catháin, and from the traditional canon.  

Tickets €16/14 Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie 


Thursday 17th January 2019, 8pm

‘The First 100 Years’

Music, poetry and song contain the emotional resonance of an era. At this unique concert 100 years of Irish democracy will resonate – courtesy of some of the country's leading artists

Irish Chamber Orchestra with guest artists: Mary Coughlan, Theo Dorgan, Sonamus [Cormac Breatnach (Susato Whistles), Annette Cleary (Cello), Rachel Factor (Harpsichord) and Eamon Sweeney (Guitars)]. This very special concert will reflect on 100 years of the Irish Republic through poetry, music, and song - including a newly composed work by Fiachra Trench.

Tickets €18/16 Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie 


Friday 8th February 2019, 8pm

Triona Marshall (harp), Tim Edey, Rithim Orchestra from [Music Generation Wicklow] performing traditional Irish music.

A once-off meeting of some of Ireland's most exciting traditional musicians: both well-established and up-and-coming

Tickets €16/14 Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie 


Friday 29th March 2019, 8pm

Composer Brian Irvine is joined by multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, Malachy Robinson on bass and Eamon Sweeney on guitar

An exciting, unpredictable musical adventure for children of all ages with a musical wizard, Brian Irvine, as your guide...

Tickets €14/12, Family Ticket €45 (2 adults, 2 children), Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie 


Friday 26th April 2019, 8pm

Xavier Díaz-Latorre - Baroque Guitar

'Baroque Guitar Music from Ireland and Spain'

One of the world’s leading Baroque guitarists makes his Irish debut

Tickets €16/14 Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie 


Saturday 25th May 2019, 4pm

'Concertos para bébes'

A quality music experience designed for all - but with a special regard to the enjoyment of babies, children, families and friends - direct from Portugal. 

A concert of Irish and Baroque music for babies and families including Dia di bheatha (Aodh ac Aingil); Canarios (Gaspar Sanz) and Monteverdi.

Tickets €10 (adults) / €8 (babies), Family Ticket €30 (2 adults, 2 children) Tel 01-2724030/ www.mermaidartscentre.ie