Toner Quinn

Toner Quinn is editor of the Journal of Music.

No One is Talking About What Musicians Get Paid
The new report on the night-time economy has 36 recommendations, but it has an unfortunate blindspot, writes Toner Quinn.
After the Silence
The return of live music to the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick featured Iarla Ó Lionáird, Úna Monaghan and Kevin Murphy on a Music Network tour. Toner Quinn reviews.
Music in Ireland has a Glass Ceiling and it’s Called Nationalism
Unless music is coated in nationalistic terms it will struggle, writes Toner Quinn.
Does Irish Music Need One Voice?
The restrictions on live music are frustrating and perplexing for musicians and they point to larger issues, writes Toner Quinn.
Irish Fatalism and the Lack of Planning for Live Music
When it comes to reopening the live music sector, we have fallen for the classic Irish mistake: dreaming, but not taking practical steps, writes Toner Quinn.
Music and the Arts Need Ideas and Debate Too
The writer Desmond Fennell, who died this week, had clear ideas about the role of new thinking and debate in society. They are relevant to Irish music today, writes Toner Quinn.
Why Isn’t Irish Traditional Music ‘Curated’ Too?
Now in its seventh edition, the latest 'Tradition Now' festival took place at the National Concert Hall on 19–20 June, but it is still not clear what this event is trying to achieve, writes Toner Quinn.
We Need to Talk about Creativity in the Post-Pandemic Era
Right now, the world is talking about ‘creative solutions’ for the post-pandemic era, for the climate crisis, and for every other challenge that we face, but, asks Toner Quinn, how committed are we to supporting creativity and creative people?
How RTÉ Can Restore Its Leadership Role in Music
Music and broadcasting go hand in hand, but RTÉ's leadership role in music has been shrinking in recent years. Toner Quinn suggests four ways to turn the situation around.
The Continuing Journey of Martin Hayes
Martin Hayes’ livestreamed concert from the National Concert Hall last week (8 December) gave an insight into the changing music of the fiddle-player, and revealed new collaborative directions. Toner Quinn reviews.
Understanding the Core Tradition
The latest release from the traditional music label Raelach Records is its very first compilation album, featuring Noel Hill, Aoife Ní Bhriain, Pádraic Keane and Nell Ní Chróinín. Toner Quinn reviews.
Rebuilding the Public Conversation Around Music
Why is the public conversation around music important, and how do we make it stronger? Toner Quinn reflects on twenty years of publishing the Journal of Music and the changes that have taken place.
How the Arts Made Their Funding Breakthrough
The government’s funding announcement for the arts in Budget 2021 was unprecedented, and there are lessons to be learned from the way in which it came about, writes Toner Quinn.
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'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?