Young Rath Chairn piper Éanna Ó Cróinín will be amongst those taking to the stage to compete for the Seán Ó Riada gold medal in a concert to be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Friday 18th January. The concert will also be webcast on www.cuireadhchunceoil.ie.
Éanna will be one of eight pipers in the final, together with seven harpists, who will be performing at the concert in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork on 18th January.
Éanna was surrounded by music growing up, and was greatly influenced by musicians and singers in his local area. He started playing pipes at the age of 10, and was tutored by his godfather Nollag Mac Cárthaigh. He won first prize on the pipes at the Fleadh Cheoil in 2003, 2005 and 2011. He also won the Oireachtas prize in 2005 and 2007. Éanna received an MA in Irish music performance from University of Limerick in 2010.
This will be the third year that musicians will compete for the prestigious Seán Ó Riada gold medal, which is run on RnaG trad programme 'Cuireadh chun Ceoil'.
Presenter Peadar Ó Riada took the idea for the competition from his father, Seán Ó Riada, who ran a similar competition on his own radio programme in the sixties.
The competition aims to bring together the worldwide family of listeners to the radio programme, using modern technology that allows people to easily record and transmit music at little cost. It sets itself apart from other competitions in that it rewards musicality and creativity in playing, not just technical proficiency, as can sometimes be the case.
The judges are Dublin piper Mick O'Brien, Scottish piper Alan McDonald, and Mayo harpist Laoise Kelly. They will have the unenviable task of picking one musician from each category - a piper and a harpist - each of whom will receive the Seán Ó Riada gold medal, and a cash prize of €1250.
Cashel goldsmith Pádraig Ó Mathúna has designed and created the Seán Ó Riada medal, which features a portrait of Seán Ó Riada on one side and an engraving inspired by the Song of Amergin on the other. When the winners have been chosen, Pádraig will then engrave their name on the medal, which will then be coated in gold. Tickets for the event, €40 for B&B and entrance to the concert, can be purchased from the Rochestown Park Hotel on (021) 489 0800. The concert will be broadcast live from 7pm - 9pm on Friday 18th January on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and will also be webcast live on www.cuireadhchunceoil.ie.