"The internationally acclaimed Irish composer Bill Whelan presented two gifted emerging Irish composers with substantial music bursaries at an awards ceremony in Dublin this week. Cormac McCarthy from Cork and Aoife Ni Bhriain from Dublin are the latest recipients of the Bill Whelan International Music Bursary which was established to support Irish music students studying abroad.
The Bursary, which was launched in 2005, has assisted students to further their studies in disciplines ranging from film scoring, orchestration and music composition.
The bursary scheme is administered with the assistance of The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO). Speaking today at the presentation of the awards Bill commented, 'Since the Bursary began over five years ago, I have had the honour and pleasure to meet some extraordinary young musicians, many of whom have gone on to flourishing careers as practicing musicians or in the academic field. Unfortunately, this is the last year of this particular bursary, but I am hoping to continue with something similar in the near future. My congratulations and warm wishes to all who have participated over the years."
Cormac McCarthy, who is entering into a Masters course in Jazz Composition at DePaul University School of Music, Chicago outlined 'receiving the Bill Whelan Bursary has benefitted me enormously in meeting the costs of living and studying in the U.S. Equally the prestige and honour associated with such an award is a massive personal boost and has given me a renewed belief in my composition'.
'The bursary is an act of tremendous generosity from Bill and is a fantastic opportunity for the young talent in Ireland to apply for. The musical opportunities that are to be found in Europe and farther afield are simply wonderful but unfortunately not always accessible to Irish musicians. With bursaries such as Bill's, doors are opened and the level of musicianship in Ireland is drastically improved. I am looking forward to learning and achieving as much as possible in the next 4 years' added Aoife Ni Bhriain who commences a Bachelor of Music degree at Hochschule in Leipzig.
Bill Whelan, best known as composer of Riverdance The Show, a Grammy Award winner for 'Best Musical Show Album', has worked extensively in theatre, television and film. His orchestral works include the specially commissioned piece, The Seville Suite (1992) and The Spirit Of Mayo (1993). His work in international film includes Lamb which he co-composed with Van Morrison, his emotive score for the Jim Sheridan/Terry George film Some Mother's Son and the original score for the film version of Brian Friel's award winning Dancing At Lughnasa which starred Meryl Streep. His production and arranging credits include U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris and The Dubliners. His chamber music suite, inspired by his recent life in Connemara, has been recorded by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Zoe Conway, Fionnula Hunt and Michelle Mulcahy."
Friday, 24 September 2010
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