Tom Cullivan, one of Ireland’s finest classical composers, and a long-term resident of Furbo, recently premièred his piano piece ‘Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh’ for Prince Albert II of Monaco.
The performance took place at the Palais Princier, on the Rock of Monaco, and was to mark the 25th anniversary of the Princess Grace Irish Library.
Performing in the Salle des Gardes on the Pleyel piano made in 1915 for Princess Charlotte (the mother of Prince Rainier III and HSH Princess Antoinette of Monaco ), Tom Cullivan enchanted the guests with his four-minute piece composed specially for the evening and dedicated to HSH Prince Albert II.
In his welcome speech, Prince Albert spoke about the library.
“When Prince Rainier founded the Princess Grace Irish Library in memory of my mother and her Irish roots, he hoped it would be a success,” he said. “Now, a quarter of a century later, thanks to the dedication of the trustees and staff and the support of all of you, it has flourished beyond our expectations.”
Speaking afterwards Tom Cullivan said: “Since I first visited the Princess Grace Irish Library almost a decade ago, there has been a very warm welcome in Monaco both for me and for my music. While ‘Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh’ means, literally, ‘the Welcome of the Kellys’ I thought it a most appropriate title for the piece.
“When I finished playing, I had the added pleasure of presenting the prince with a copy of the score. It was bound into an emerald green velvet cover using red and white cord (the Monegasque colours ). It was a very pleasant, welcoming occasion and quite inspiring to hear the prince conclude his address in the Irish language.”