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  • Irish Heritage Confirms Two Music Bursaries for 2019/20
  • News from and about Irish Heritage People
  • Successful Fund-raising Golf Day at Luton Hoo

Welcome to the final issue of the Irish Heritage newsletter for the 2018/19 season

Our lead story features the good news that the organisation is able to continue to award its two music bursaries for the 2019/20 season.  You can read about the success of our golf day which makes a vital contribution to the funds available for the bursaries.

There is news about a new outreach programme organised in association with the ICC in Hammersmith for which we require performers.   You can also read about the recipient of the 2019 RDS Music Bursary.

The latest news and further details can always be found at



Irish Heritage Confirms Two Music Bursaries for 2019/20

Bursaries for Performance and Composition to be Awarded Again

Irish Heritage, confirmed on 21st June that it will award two music bursaries, one for Performance, the other for Composition, during its 2019/20 season.

The Music Bursary for Performance was first awarded in 2015 and already has a distinguished list of recipients.  The bursary, worth £5,000, is awarded to an Irish student (first or second generation) continuing her or his music education in Britain.  Students are nominated by this country’s leading music conservatoires to attend auditions held in the Wigmore Hall in London. 

The 2019 auditions will take place on Thursday 7th November before a panel of adjudicators chaired by John Gilhooly OBE, Director of the Wigmore Hall.

The performance bursary also includes valuable performance opportunities among them one with Irish Heritage in London and the other at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival in Lismore in Ireland.

The Music Bursary for Composition was introduced last year and was warmly welcomed by young composers and tutors.  The Bursary is open to young Irish (first and second generation) composers studying at recognised music conservatoires and other colleges in Ireland and Britain.  The recipient of the successful composition will receive an award of £3,000 to be used in furthering their artistic and professional development. 

The panel of adjudicators, will again consist of leading, current professional performers and academics drawn from Ireland and Britain.  The winning composition will be premiered at an Irish Heritage event in London during the season.

The continuation of this bursary has been made possible through the generous support of the Ireland Fund of Great Britain.

Confirming that the two bursaries will be presented, Audrey McKenna, Irish Heritage’s Artistic Adviser - Ireland said, “The need to encourage and support young Irish performers and composers is as great as ever.  The growing interest in our bursaries provides ample evidence of the demand from students for financial support and performance opportunities.  Happily, thanks to the success of our fund-raising efforts and the support of the Ireland Funds, we are able to confirm that our bursaries will be awarded again this coming season.”
Full details about both bursaries will be available during the summer.


Young Performers Required for New Outreach Programme

Irish Heritage would like to hear from performers, especially young, Irish music students studying at the London conservatoires, interested in taking part in a new outreach programme being undertaken during the autumn in collaboration with the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith.
The initial programme will consist of a series of three, one hour long afternoon recitals to be delivered in the Centre’s auditorium.

The recitals are aimed at people, especially the elderly, who enjoy music but are unable to attend evening performances.

Performers will be paid a fee.  All proceeds from the series will be donated to the ICC’s piano fund.
Anyone interested should contact Irish Heritage at in the first instance, ideally before 31st July.

Kevin Jansson awarded the 2019 RDS Music Bursary

Amy Gillen receives the RDS Jago Award

Kevin Jansson is the recipient of the 2019 RDS Music Bursary. Valued at €15,000, the RDS Music Bursary is the single largest annual classical music award in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe.
The RDS Jago Award of €5,000, the second of the RDS Music Bursary prizes, was awarded to flautist Amy Gillen.
Eighteen-year-old Kevin is currently studying piano in CIT Cork School of Music with Mary Beattie. He will use the prize money to help fund his studies at the prestigious Juilliard Conservatoire in New York where he has been accepted with a scholarship to study piano with Dr Veda Kaplinsky.
Kevin was the winner of three prizes in the 2019 Feis Ceoil, including the Morris Grant Bursary which is one of the qualifying competitions for the RDS Music Bursary.
He made his London debut in April performing in Irish Heritage’s “Showcase Ireland” concert in the Princess Alexandra Hall in the West End.  He receives another London performance opportunity with Irish Heritage as part of his RDS prize.

“We are delighted to award Kevin Jansson this year’s Bursary, he really impressed the judges and undoubtedly is a performer with a very exciting career ahead of him” said RDS Chief Executive Michael Duffy. “Classical music has a strong tradition within the RDS. By backing talents such as Kevin and Amy we are supporting classical music performance in Ireland and encouraging others to reach their musical potential.”
Winner of the 2019 RDS Jago Award of €5,000 is flautist Amy Gillen, who is a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and is currently studying for a master’s in music performance in Flute at the Royal College of Music in London. She has won numerous awards including in 2018 Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance.

In the 2019 Feis Ceoil she won the McCullough Cup and the RTÉ Lyric FM bursary of €1,500. Amy plans to use the prize money from the RDS Jago Award, which also comes with a performance opportunity with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, towards the purchase of a new professional quality instrument.


Picture caption: Kevin Jansson at the RDS in Dublin.
Successful Fund-raising Golf Day at Luton Hoo

Happily the weather gods proved to be benevolent and provided the golfers taking part in the Irish Heritage charity golf day on 14th June with dry, albeit windy, conditions for the tournament at Luton Hoo Hotel and Golf resort in Bedfordshire.

Since it began in 2015 the annual golf day has generated vital funding that ensures the continuation of Irish Heritage’s Music Bursary for Performance which benefits young Irish musicians and singers studying in this country in particular.

Superbly organised once again by Tom Scanlon and his colleagues, the day finished with a prize-giving dinner in the elegant surroundings of the venue’s Warren Reid suite during which  guests were entertained by the 2018 Performance Bursary recipient Amy Gillen, harpist Tara Viscardi and accompanist Brian Hughes.

The main prize winners of the day’s stableford tournament were:
Team competition: winners – Cappagh Group; runners-up: Cleshar Contract Services;
Individual competition: men’s winner – Damian Tiernan; ladies winner – Nuala Galaska.

Speaking at the dinner, Patrick Lennon, Chairman of Irish Heritage said, “All of us at Irish Heritage appreciate the many calls from the Irish community for your generous support.  This evening we hope that by showcasing some of the talented, young musicians we help, we will continue to earn your endorsement and generous backing. I would like to thank all today’s sponsors and individual team players for your great support.” 
Members of the Cappagh Group winning team with Tom Scanlon, organiser of the golf day.
Programme for 2019/20

Work is in hand on Irish Heritage’s programme for its 45th season in 2019/20.
The programme will feature popular events such as “Christmas by Candlelight” and “Showcase Ireland” as well as new events and collaborations.  As you will have read above the auditions for the Music Bursary for Performance will take place on 7th November in the Wigmore Hall and this will be open to Irish Heritage friends and supporters.  There will also be the return of an early summer event in June 2020 ideally at Leighton House but that is subject to the completion of major renovation work underway at the museum.

Details of the programme will be announced in September.

Irish Heritage – An Introduction

Irish Heritage is a not-for-profit, voluntary, performing arts organisation, established in London in 1974, to promote the appreciation and understanding of classical music and music composed by Irish composers performed by Irish musicians and singers in Great Britain to a wide audience.
It is the only Irish arts organisation in Britain dedicated to helping young Irish musicians and composers in the early part of their careers when their needs are greatest. It awards two valuable Bursaries annually, one for performance, the other for composition.

Irish Heritage presents a programme of public events in established music venues and supports other organisations, including the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival that share its aims in music and the arts.  It has links with the Royal Dublin Society and conservatoires in Ireland and Britain to identify emerging, talented young performers and composers.

The organisation’s values: Creativity, Encouragement, Collaboration, Enjoyment and Inclusivity, reflect the legacy inherited from our founder Ethna Kennedy that we are committed to maintaining and enhancing.
Visit for more information.

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