Seán Ó Riada Portrait Concerts Announced to Mark 50th Anniversary

Seán Ó Riada

Seán Ó Riada Portrait Concerts Announced to Mark 50th Anniversary

Original Ceoltóirí Chualann members Seán Ó Sé, Michael Tubridy and Seán Keane will feature alongside children and grandchildren of other members; plus the RTÉ NSO will perform several of the composer's orchestral works.

Two major concerts have been announced to mark the 50th anniversary of Seán Ó Riada’s death. The events, titled ‘Portrait of Seán Ó Riada: Parts I and II’, will take place at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 25 September.

Part I at 2pm will see the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Brophy, explore Ó Riada’s orchestral output. The programme includes Hercules Dux Ferrariae, The Banks of the Sullane and Ceol na Laoi as well as his film scores for Mise Éire and Saoirse. The concert also includes contributions from fiddler Aoife Ní Bhríain and uilleann piper Mick O’Brien. 

Part II at 8pm will feature the composer’s son, Peadar Ó Riada, with a reassembling of the composer’s 1960s traditional music group Ceoltóirí Chualann, including original members Seán Ó Sé, Michael Tubridy and fiddle-player Seán Keane alongside concertina player Cormac Begley, composer, pianist and fiddle-player Ryan Molloy, singer Sibéal Ní Chasaide and Ó Riada’s granddaughters, the fiddle-players Doireann and Siún Ní Ghlacáin, Mick O’Brien, Kevin Glackin and Éamon McGivney. John Kelly, Seán Potts and Mel Mercier, whose fathers were in Ceoltóirí Chualann, will also feature. 

During concert two, Crash Ensemble will also present an interpretation of Ó Riada’s Hercules Dux Ferrariae: Nomos 1  for strings. Representing Ó Riada’s impact on the world of poetry, Stephen Rea will explore the works of Séamus Heaney and Thomas Kinsella.

Commenting on the concerts, Robert Read, CEO of the NCH said:

We are delighted to present these two special concerts with the Arts Council and RTÉ to honour the extraordinary legacy of Seán Ó Riada. Ó Riada shaped not only the evolution of the Irish musical tradition but also Ireland’s cultural life and our national identity. His work as a composer, musician and broadcaster is unparalleled. These two exceptional concerts featuring a gathering of acclaimed Irish artists pay homage to the innovative and poetic nature of his work. 

Part I is curated by Anthony Long of the RTÉ NSO with curatorial advisor Liam O’Connor, fiddle-player and director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Part II is curated by O’Connor with Gary Sheehan of the NCH.

Both concerts, which are presented for live audiences by the NCH, the Arts Council and RTÉ, will also be live-streamed on and and are free to view. Highlights will be aired on RTÉ One on Saturday 2 October and on RTÉ lyric fm on Sunday 3 October. Tickets (€20) for the concerts go on sale Friday 17 September at 10am. Visit    

Published on 16 September 2021

comments powered by Disqus