Art News

Celebrated Uilleann Piper Louise Mulcahy Announced as Winner of The Liam O’Flynn Award 2022 by The National Concert Hall and The Arts Council | The Arts Council

The National Concert Hall and The Arts Council are pleased to announce celebrated traditional musician and piper Louise Mulcahy as this year’s recipient of The Liam O’Flynn Award for 2022.

An internationally renowned performer and tutor on both uilleann pipes and flute from Co. Limerick, Louise will enjoy a period of artistic reflection and creation in residence at the National Concert Hall and will receive an award bursary of €15,000. She will have space at the NCH to collaborate, innovate and create a new work to be performed as well as engaging audiences with traditional arts.

The Liam O’Flynn Award, established in memory of the late great piper Liam O’Flynn who passed away in 2018, celebrates the role of the individual creative 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. 

Louise Mulcahy said: 

“I am incredibly honoured to receive the Liam O’ Flynn Award. Huge thank you to the National Concert Hall and The Arts Council of Ireland for this wonderful opportunity. Liam O’ Flynn has left an incredible legacy. Throughout his career, Liam O’ Flynn made an indelible mark in Irish traditional music. His music, recordings, collaborations and ideologies inspire me on multiple levels on a daily basis.

Many years ago, I was fortunate to meet Liam O’ Flynn and attended a master workshop at Na Píobairí Uilleann. Most recently, I had the opportunity to research Liam’s personal collection at the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Within the collection, Liam documents the magic that happens when a performer engages with the audience and vice versa, “it’s like a spell is cast and a terrific passage of feelings moves from the musician to the audience and back again.” I really look forward to engaging with the audience at the National Concert Hall and exploring this relationship.

The award is a unique and special artistic opportunity. I look forward to researching, collaborating, innovating, performing and bringing new material to the performance platform at the National Concert Hall this year. During my time at the National Concert Hall, I will honour Liam O’ Flynn’s legacy, memory and music.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of The Arts Council commented:

“The Arts Council is delighted to honour the artistry and legacy of Liam O’ Flynn – a pioneer of traditional music who in his lifetime brought traditional music in new and exciting paths without losing sight of where the music came from. Louise Mulcahy is an accomplished artist dedicated to exploring and celebrating the music of Liam O’Flynn. Louise is a custodian of Liam’s uilleann pipes and I am delighted that this award will give her the opportunity to further develop her interest in his work.”

Robert Read CEO of the National Concert Hall added:

“In acknowledgement of Louise’s unique position in traditional music as an extraordinarily accomplished musician and advocate for female pipers and pipe music, The National Concert Hall, alongside our partners The Arts Council, is delighted to present this unique opportunity to Louise to work in a supportive and professional environment at the NCH and in the creation of a new work to be performed. Louise is a most deserving candidate who will, in producing new work and performance, continue Liam O’Flynn’s legacy in furthering the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of Irish music, in particular pipe music for current and future audiences”.

Louise who released her highly acclaimed début solo album Tuning the Road in 2014 has toured extensively throughout the world. She uses her voice and instrument in building appreciation and enjoyment of traditional arts and music through performance and education as well as advocating for female pipers. She recently completed a documentary for TG4 ‘Mná na bPíob’, in which she explores the lives of female uilleann pipers from the past.

Louise is the fourth recipient of the award. Previous recipients include concertina player and composer Jack Talty (2021), multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Barry Kerr (2020) and harper and composer Úna Monaghan (2019).

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