Concert of 18th century Irish harp music

By Kernan Andrews

Siobhan Armstrong.

Siobhan Armstrong.

ARTHUR Ó NÉILL, one of the last of the travelling harpers, who died in 1816, and whose influence on Irish harp music is immense, will be celebrated at a concert in Galway.

Siobhán Armstrong and Ann Heymann, two of the finest early Irish harpists, will be joined by Galway-based sean-nós singer and piper, Éamonn Ó Bróithe, to mark the bicentenary Ó Néill’s death, with a concert in the Nuns Island Theatre on Thursday August 25 at 8pm. The programme will feature music and songs collected from Ó Néill by Edward Bunting.

Ó Néill was one of the leading harpers who gathered in Belfast in 1792 for the famous Belfast Harpers’ Meeting, where he met Bunting, a 19-year-old organist. Ó Néill dictated his memoirs to the younger man, which served as an important source for Bunting’s work on Irish music.

Tickets are €18/12 through www.galwayartscentre.ie and at the door. This concert is part of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland’s 2016 Summer Concert Series and is associated with the society’s international summer school, Scoil na gCláirseach. See www.irishharp.org

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