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Irish Heritage Newsletter November 2020
  • Christmas by Candlelight Concert goes virtual
  • Mollie Wrafter & Christopher Quaid feature on ICC Culture Hotline this month
  • High Quality Applications for 2020/21 Bursaries
  • Congratulations for Mollie Wrafter
  • Ina Boyle – new CD

“Christmas by Candlelight” Concert goes Virtual

Irish Heritage is pleased to confirm that this year the charity’s annual “Christmas by Candlelight” Concert will be virtual.

The popular concert, which usually takes place in St George’s Church in Hanover Square in London’s West End, will be recorded early in December without an audience in line with Covid-19 restrictions.   Thanks to the enthusiastic support of HE Ambassador O’Neill and his colleagues at the Embassy of Ireland, the recording will take place in the Embassy in Grosvenor Place.

The concert will feature Irish Heritage bursary recipients including Amy Gillen, Justine Gormley, Carolyn Holt, Aran O’Grady and Mollie Wrafter together with Ava Dodd, recipient of the 2020 RDS Music Bursary and Conall O’Neill, who revives a long-standing connection with the community in London.
This year’s readers will be HE Ambassador O’Neill and Katie Jemmett, Director of the Ireland Funds Great Britain.

The 40 minute concert will broadcast on Irish Heritage’s YouTube channel in the week commencing 14th December.  It will also be available on the Embassy’s channels at the same time.  Full details about accessing the concert will be announced next month on the Irish Heritage website and in the December issue of this newsletter and on social media.

ICC Culture Hotline features Irish Heritage Bursary Recipients

Season Two of the Irish Cultural Centre’s “Culture Hotline” continued through October with performances by soprano Ellen Mawhinney and Tara Viscardi.

The Culture Hotline is the latest collaboration between the Hammersmith Centre and Irish Heritage. Until mid-December people who phone into the “hotline” can enjoy a series of recitals by a selection of Irish Heritage bursary recipients and friends as follows.


11th November                Mollie Wrafter (Violin) – recipient 2019 IH Music           
                                        Bursary for Performance
25th November                Christopher Quaid (Violin)-recipient 2016 IH Music
                                        Bursary for Performance  
9th December                  Amy Gillen (Flute)    
15th December                Conall O’Neill (Bass)    

The recitals are available every second Wednesday afternoon and start at 2.00pm (UK time).

Each virtual recital lasts 45 minutes and is easy to access from anywhere in the world by calling 020 3443 9152 from the UK or 0800 031 5925 (toll-free) from the rest of the world and using Conference ID:  135 144 590#. 

Bursary nominations “best ever”

Irish Heritage’s Artistic Advisor, Audrey McKenna, who is co-ordinating the adjudication of this year’s bursaries, has described the nominations received as being “the best ever” in her three year association with the charity.

Nominations for this year’s Music Bursary for Performance, the Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies and the special Accompanist’s Award, were received from Irish students attending leading colleges and conservatoires across Britain.

A panel of distinguished adjudicators – Professor Colma Brioscú, Head of Keyboard at the Royal Irish Academy; Ms Mia Cooper, Leader of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Dieter Kaegi, Artistic Director of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, co-ordinated by Audrey McKenna, will now review the nominations.

Irish Heritage will announce the recipients on its website and social media channels in early December.

Well done Mollie Wrafter

Mollie Wrafter, the recipient of Irish Heritage’s 2019 Music Bursary for Performance, has been awarded a first class honours in her Batchelor of Music degree by the Royal Northern College of Music. 

We are sure all our readers will join in congratulating Mollie on her achievement
Mollie Wrafter
New recording of Songs by Ina Boyle at Wigmore Hall

Message from Katie Rowan, former joint Artistic Director of Irish Heritage and Chair of the Ina Boyle

“Irish Heritage played an important role in the Ina Boyle renaissance by hosting the first London performances of her music to the organisation’s audiences. 

“Since stepping down as Joint Artistic Director in 2018 to focus on Ina Boyle, there have been performances and broadcasts of her music worldwide. Thanks to wonderful support of John Gilhooly this culminates in the launch of a landmark CD of ‘Songs by Ina Boyle’ recorded at the Wigmore Hall on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of her music which was performed by Dame Janet Baker on her debut in the Hall. Many of the songs were not publicly performed or heard by Ina during her lifetime. 

“The CD is performed by three of Ireland's most important singers: Robin Tritscher, Paula Murrihy and Ben McAteer. The accompanist is Iain Burnside who chose the songs from the huge body of scores preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.”

The CD will be released on the prize-winning Delphian Label in 2021.

The Friends of Irish Heritage

The Friends of Irish Heritage are a special community of people who are committed:

* to making the dreams of young Irish classical music performers and composers a reality and

* to helping maintain the high quality and breadth of Irish Heritage’s activities.

The annual subscription provides vital funding for the essential support and performance opportunities Irish Heritage is able to offer talented musicians, singers and composers that are awarded Bursaries or are identified by Irish Heritage’s artistic advisers.

In response to feedback from Friends, the subscriptions for the forthcoming season is
 now scheduled to start in January 2021.

Individual         £75
Couple             £100

The subscription includes admission to at least five concerts and recitals (normal individual ticket price £20 each) and a start of season event exclusively for Friends. 

Subscriptions qualify as Gift Aid for UK based tax payers.  For further information and an application form, please visit:  and click on the “Join Us” tab.

Without the generosity of our Friends, much that we do at Irish Heritage would be impossible.

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