Listen back to Seán Gavin’s Winning Set at Seán Ó Riada Competition

Seán Gavin (right), with, from left to right, Patsy Hanly, Mick O’Connor, Mary Bergin and Peadar Ó Riada. (Photo © RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta)

Listen back to Seán Gavin’s Winning Set at Seán Ó Riada Competition

US flute-player wins the sixth year of the traditional music competition.

Seán Gavin, a flute-player from Chicago and Detroit, was the winner of the 2016 Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in Cork on 5 February.

The competition, which was broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, was judged by whistle player Mary Bergin and flute-players Patsy Hanly and Mick O’Connor.

Gavin’s father, fiddle-player Mick Gavin, is originally from Meelick, Co. Clare. Seán played a variety of instruments as a child and finally settled on the flute at age 11. He subsequently also took up the uilleann pipes. Scariff flute player Leo McNamara, who moved to Seán’s hometown of Detroit in the late 1990s, was a particular influence.

Fifteen whistle and flute players were selected to take part in the final, following an open call for submissions last October. 

This is the sixth year of the competition, which was established by Peadar Ó Riada and focuses on a different instrument each year. Previous winners include fiddle players Aoife Ní Bhriain and Darragh Curtin, harper Oisín Morrison, uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and concertina player Cormac Begley.

The winner receives a Seán Ó Riada medal made by Cashel goldsmith Pádraig Ó Mathúna and €2,000.

Listen back to Seán Gavin’s winning performance below (recording courtesy of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta)


Published on 16 February 2016

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