Toner Quinn

Toner Quinn is editor of the Journal of Music.

The Futures We are Imagining are Too Narrow
Toner Quinn reviews two new works, 'Óró', which brought together artists from around Europe and took place in the Conamara Gaeltacht, and Jennifer Walshe’s live-streamed premiere, 'Ireland: A Dataset'.
John Hume and the Artists That Make Us Think
John Hume's views on the role of artists in a conflict are worth considering today, writes Toner Quinn.
The Silencing of An Spidéal – Why Catherine Martin Needs to Set Out a New Vision for the Arts
The experience of one village in the west of Ireland shows that the new Minister for Arts faces a serious challenge, to change the way we think about culture and its role in our society, writes Toner Quinn.
The Unresolved Mystery of David Gray
A new documentary explores the extraordinary story of David Gray and Ireland in the 1990s, the making of 'White Ladder', and how it became Ireland's best-selling album of all time, but is the story as simple as it seems? Toner Quinn reviews.
The Songs We Don't Talk About
If we are going to tackle racism, we need to improve our conversations about culture, writes Toner Quinn.
‘Ireland Performs’ Series Backed Musicians into an Uncomfortable Corner
The government's 'Ireland Performs' series, which was partly funded by Facebook, put already under pressure artists in an unacceptable position. We have got to think hard about the way we support music into the future, writes Toner Quinn.
Traditional Music's Slow-Changing World
‘Slí na mBeaglaoich’, featuring the musical travels around Ireland of father and son Breanndán and Cormac Ó Beaglaoich, is currently showing on TG4. Toner Quinn reviews.
Carrying So Much: Liam O'Flynn and the Tradition
A new feature-length documentary on the great piper Liam O'Flynn was broadcast on TG4 at the weekend. Toner Quinn reviews.
There is No Going Back Now: Live Music and the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic means we are going to witness another radical shift in music in the digital age, writes Toner Quinn.
Can Anyone But Artists Themselves Solve Their Money Problems?
If artists and musicians are ever going to solve their perennial financial issues then it is time for a different approach, writes Toner Quinn.
The Beethoven Connection
The Midwinter Festival in Galway focused on early Beethoven this year, and brought a renowned piano-violin partnership to the west. Toner Quinn reviews.
The Harp and Soul of Ireland
Irish harping has been given recognition by UNESCO. It is an important moment for Irish music, writes Toner Quinn.
Are We Ambitious Enough for Irish Traditional Music?
The inaugural TradTalk conference, a new discussion forum for traditional artists, took place last weekend (16 November). Toner Quinn reflects on some of the issues raised.
Lankum Won’t Let Ireland Forget
Traditional music once comforted us and reassured us, writes Toner Quinn, but not Lankum.
Seeing Beyond
The Irish Memory Orchestra and 26 musicians with sight loss gave the world premiere of Dave Flynn's Vision Symphony last weekend. Toner Quinn reviews.
There Are No Winners
Last weekend, Irish National Opera gave the first ever Irish performance of an opera by Vivaldi – the story of a formidable woman subjected to ridicule and abuse. Toner Quinn reviews.
A New Irish Musical Language is Developing
We have entered a new era in Irish music, writes Toner Quinn, in which a language based on traditional music and song is producing extraordinary work across genres, but is it getting the attention it deserves?
Lyric FM Needs a New Vision, Not More Cuts
Lyric FM is under threat because of RTÉ's financial difficulties, but a better future for the station is possible, writes Toner Quinn.
Here Comes History
Cherry Smyth's 'Famished' – a collection of poems focused on the famine – was performed at Kilkenny Arts Festival last week, with singer Lauren Kinsella and composer Ed Bennett. Toner Quinn reviews.
A Cello's Song at the Centre
Kilkenny Arts Festival presented the Irish premiere of Ed Bennett's 'Song of the Books' last week, performed by Kate Ellis and Crash Ensemble. Toner Quinn reviews.
Ireland Needs to Celebrate the Work of Jennifer Walshe
The achievements of Ireland's composers abroad are not getting enough attention at home.
Narrow Focus on a Repellent Worldview
Irish National Opera gave the world premiere of 'Least Like the Other: Searching for Rosemary Kennedy' in Galway this week, a work by composer Brian Irvine and director Netia Jones that tells the story of JFK's sister. Toner Quinn reviews.
Shining a New Light
Luminosa string orchestra recently held its inaugural concerts in Galway, the first focussing on work by female composers and the second on the theme of landscape and music. Toner Quinn reviews.
Generation Borderless
Other Voices took place in Belfast at the weekend, accompanied by a number of discussions on borders, cultural breakthroughs and the redemptive power of music, writes Toner Quinn.
Toast the Nonconformists
The Open Ear festival of experimental and electronic music on Sherkin Island is now in its fourth year. It has a spirit of nonconformism, and provided one of the most unique moments one could imagine for a music festival, writes Toner Quinn.
A Future for Irish Music
How can we ensure that we have the infrastructure to support all Irish music into the future? Why have we not achieved this already? In an essay written to mark the twentieth anniversary of the music and arts station RTÉ Lyric FM, Toner Quinn, Editor of the Journal of Music, asks the question: what is holding us back?
How Music Can Empower Us in the Fight for Climate Justice
Young people are not waiting for action on climate change any more – they are taking action, and history shows that music is going to play a key role in their movement, writes Toner Quinn.
Anchoring the Tension
Toner Quinn reviews a Music and Musings concert in Galway featuring the world premiere of Greg Caffrey's fourth string quartet.
Why We Should Be Listening to Folk Music
Nobody spotted the rise of populism, say the media and the politicians, but that’s not entirely true when it comes to folk music. There is a case to be made for listening much more carefully to the music around us, writes Toner Quinn.
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin’s Example Will Continue to Inspire
A tribute to the renowned Irish musician, composer and educator who died on 7 November 2018.