Acclaimed piper and flute player, Louise Mulcahy, is to be the recipient of this year’s Liam O’Flynn Award – selected jointly by the Arts Council in the Republic and the National Concert Hall in Dublin since 2019.
Louise was present for the announcement at the National Concert Hall with NCH Chief Executive, Robert Read, and Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council (pictured above by Julien Bernal/National Concert Hall).
The award which honours the memory of one of Ireland’s greatest ever pipers includes a bursary of €15,000 and a residency at the National Concert Hall where Louise will be encouraged to engae with other musicians and to develop new work with a view to performance later in her one-year tenure.
Louise’s accomplishments as a musician has already led to Na Piobiarí Uilleann entrusting her with a set of uilleann pipes which were previously owned by Liam O’Flynn. So it is particuarly appropriate that she would now receive this award named after this imspirational figure.
Hailing from a highly talented musical family in West Limerick, Louise has not only mastered two instruments, but has also conducted considerable research into the hidden history of women pipers that has culminated in the remarkable dicumentary, Mná na bPíob.
At the announcement of the award, Director of the Arts Council, Maureen Kennelly, described Louise Mulcahy as “an accomplished artist dedicated to exploring and celebrating the music of Liam O’Flynn. Louise is a custodian of Liam’s Uilleann pipes and I am delighted that this award will give her the opportunity to further develop her interest in his work.”
Concert Hall Chief Executive, Robert Read, praised Mulcahy as “an extraordinarily accomplished musician and advocate for female pipers and pipe music.”
Thanking the National Concert Hall and the Arts Council of Ireland for the honour, Louise described the award as “a unique and special artistic opportunity.”
“I look forward to researching, collaborating, innovating, performing and bringing new material to the performance platform at the National Concert Hall this year,” she said. “During my time at the National Concert Hall, I will honour Liam O’Flynn’s legacy, memory and music.”
The previous recipients of the Liam O’Flynn Award are concertina player and composer, Jack Talty, in 2021, piper, flute player, guitarist, singer, composer and painter, Barry Kerr, in 2020, and harper and composer Úna Monaghan in 2019.