Gradam Ceoil: Accordionists roll back the years

Two generations of accordion players were among the six recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2015 (Traditional Music Awards), announced at a media reception in Cork City Hall last night.

The main award, Gradam Ceoil TG4 went to Galway virtuoso Máirtín O’Connor whose accordion-playing and range of compositions have been dazzling audiences for over 30 years and who was presented with his award by Pól Ó Gallchóir.

Mr O’Connor, who has five solo albums to his name as well as collaborations with the likes of De Danann and Midnight Well, was also part of the first Riverdance orchestra in 1995.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to legendary accordion player Bobby Gardiner, a Clare native living in Tipperary who has been renowned nationally for his playing and teaching for more than half a century.

He has been tutoring the button accordion at UCC for more than 30 years.

He received his award from Seán Ó Sé.

The Ceoltóir Óg (Young Musician) award was presented to Maitiú Ó Casaide, a young uilleann piper from Dublin who received his accolade from Liam O’Flynn.

Actor Jeremy Irons presented the Gradam Comharcheoil (Musical Collaboration) accolade to Ensemble Ériu — Jack Talty and Neil McLouglen.

The Amhránaí (Singer) award went to Roisín White, while the Gradam Comaoine (Outstanding Contribution) accolade was presented to the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil. Each is presented with a commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a stipend.

Daithí Ó Sé and Aoife Ní Thuairisg from TG4 were MCs for the evening and the event was broadcast live on TG4.

TG4 deputy chief executive Pádhraic Ó Ciardha said that the Gradam Ceoil is unique in honouring a wide array of major figures in Irish traditional music.



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