A Year of Séamus Ennis: Launch of Centenary Celebrations

Ronan Browne and Sorcha Ní Scolaí launching the Séamus Ennis centenary celebrations.

A Year of Séamus Ennis: Launch of Centenary Celebrations

Séamus Ennis Arts Centre and Ronan Browne to present a series of concerts and talks marking Ennis' centenary.

Uilleann piper Ronan Browne will curate a year-long celebration of the renowned piper Séamus Ennis who was born one hundred years ago this year.

The centenary celebrations were launched at Fingal County Council today (22 February) by Dr Ivor Browne, who was a friend of Séamus Ennis. Pipers Peter Browne, Pádraic Mac Máthúna and Ronan Browne also spoke at the event and each performed on the ‘Coyne’ uilleann pipes, which belonged to Ennis.

Ronan Browne, curator of the #Séamus100 celebrations, said:

It is a wonderful honour to curate this Séamus Ennis centenary programme on behalf of the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre. I would like it to reflect the essence of the man, his musical magic and wit, and the fantastic living legacy he has passed on to future generations of pipers. I wish to present a series of centenary events that Séamus Ennis himself would delight in attending and that communicate the sense of surprise and spontaneity that were hallmarks of his performances.

Séamus Ennis was born in 1919 in Finglas, Co. Dublin, and died in 1982. As well as being a musician, he was a singer, raconteur, folklore collector and broadcaster. In the 1940s, he worked as music archivist for the Irish Folklore Commission, and then as an Outside Broadcast Officer for Radio Éireann, soon becoming a presenter also. In the 1950s he moved to London to work with the BBC, presenting the programme As I Roved Out.

The first event in the #Séamus100 series takes place on 29 March at the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre and features singer Brian Mullen and pipers Jimmy O’Brien Moran and Ronan Browne. This is followed on 26 April by ‘Music and Madness’ at Blanchardstown Library – psychiatrist Dr Ivor Browne in conversation with curator Ronan Browne.

Details on subsequent events will be released at a later date.

Speaking about Séamus Ennis’ legacy, piper Néillidh Mulligan, a member of the Board of the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, said:

The vast influence of Séamus Ennis on the world of Irish music can never be fully measured but rather felt and appreciated by present musicians, singers, students and lovers of Irish music for generations to come. As a collector, in both Ireland and Britain, of music, song and story, he was the right man in the right place at the right time to effectively capture so much of the available material, and record and document his collections for the Irish Folklore Commision, Radio Éireann and the BBC in the middle of the twentieth century.

The Séamus Ennis Centenary Celebrations are supported by Fingal County Council and the Arts Council. For further information and booking, visit http://www.tseac.ie/events/e/2588

Published on 22 February 2019

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