Opinion & Book Reviews

If RTÉ Won’t Speak Up About Its Importance to Irish Music, Who Will?
RTÉ has just published its document 'A New Direction for RTÉ', but where is the renewed vision for music, asks Toner Quinn.
Exploring the Rich Musical World of Céilí Band Competition
Fiddle player Philip Duffy has recently published a substantial volume on the history of senior céilí band winners at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann from the beginnings in 1951 right up to recent times. Méabh Ní Fhuartháin reviews.
Opening Up Music, History and Creativity
Composer Benjamin Dwyer's new book, 'Music Autopsies: Essays and Interviews (1999–2022)' is a collection of sixteen essays exploring many aspects of creativity, from the impact of Ireland's historical traumas to the work of Beckett, Volans, Crumb, Ligeti and Bernstein. Deirdre Gribbin reviews.
When it Comes to New Music, the NSO Needs to Get a Move On
The National Symphony Orchestra's new season begins on Friday 8 September, the second full season since it moved to the NCH. Adrian Smith looks ahead to some of the highlights and also considers the orchestra's programming of new music.
How Ireland Treats Its Free Thinkers – The Life and Death of Sinéad O'Connor
The great Sinéad O'Connor has left Ireland with a lot to think about with regard to how we deal with dissent, writes Toner Quinn.
Widening the Cracks in the Edifice of Neoliberalism
Are contemporary music groups falling prey to 'the experience economy'? Or are they challenging the neoliberal consensus? Sebastian Adams, composer and Artistic Director of Kirkos, responds to a recent discussion on the Contemporary Music Centre’s Amplify podcast.
Does the RTÉ Crisis Imperil Music?
RTÉ is immersed in a crisis that has long-term implications for the broadcaster, but what will the consequences be for music, asks Toner Quinn.
A Summer Without Siamsa – Are We Forgetting About Local Arts Communities?
The board and management of Siamsa Tíre in Tralee have suspended ‘all non-profit-making productions' for the summer season, but what does that mean for the original vision of the theatre and in particular the local arts community, asks Daithí Kearney.
A Traditional Fiddler in the Modern World: Exploring the Music of Paddy Canny
A new book by Helen O’Shea, 'No Better Boy: Listening to Paddy Canny', journeys into the art of the great East Clare fiddle player. Martin Dowling reviews.
‘Listen, listen and listen’: RIP Fiddle Player Seán Keane
A tribute to the Irish fiddle player Seán Keane who died on 7 May.