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  •  Remainder of 2019/20 Season Cancelled – Comment
  • An appreciation from the Chairman
  • “From isolation…..inspiration” Twitter series
  • Irish Heritage Bursaries 2020/21 - Update
  • Blackwater Valley Opera Festival - Update
  • The Friends of Irish Heritage

Cancellation of Remainder of 2019/20 Season - Comment

The Board of Irish Heritage was very disappointed to have to cancel the remainder of this season’s programme of events.

Originally, it was decided to cancel the events scheduled until the end of May however, given the ongoing Covid-19 threat and the Government’s guidance, events in June have also been cancelled.  These include the debut recital by our bursary recipients and our fundraising golf day - both are a big loss to the organisation and the individuals concerned. 

The golf day has already been rescheduled for Friday 2nd October and we will include a recital for the bursary recipients early in our 2020/21 programme.  Work is well advanced on the latter which we are determined to make the best ever for your enjoyment.  We will announce details when we can.

Rest assured that Irish Heritage is determined to survive and emerge from the current situation stronger than ever.  We have a strategic business plan in place that is clear about our purpose and vision for the next five years.  With your ongoing support we will continue to contribute to the promotion of Ireland’s rich culture and its musicians, singers and composers in particular.

An Appreciation from the Chairman of Irish Heritage

“The premature end and to Irish Heritage’s 45th season has denied me the opportunity to acknowledge in person my thanks to all those that have helped the organisation progress over the past year.

Like the majority of performing arts organisations we could not fulfil our mission without the support we receive from so many individuals and organisations including the following:

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland and the Emigrant Support Programme in particular;
  • HE Ambassador O’Neill and the staff at the Embassy of Ireland in Grosvenor Place in particular the Culture and Community Department;
  • The construction and engineering companies in London and the Thames Valley that support Tom Scanlon with Irish Heritage’s vital fundraising golf day;
  • Falcon Green and its Director Joseph Sweeney, our corporate sponsor;
  • Killik & Co and its Partner Jer O’Mahony;
  • Lifestyle Residences and John O’Neill for their support of the inaugural City Dinner;
  • The Wigmore Hall and its Director John Gilhooly;
  • Our collaborators at the Royal Dublin Society and the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival;
  • The Ireland Funds of Great Britain, in particular Katie Jemmett and Catherina Casey;
  • The Colleges and Conservatoires that support our bursaries;
  • The donors that make the Bursary for Vocal Studies possible;
  • The Irish Cultural Centre and its late General Manage David O’Keefe RIP;
  • The Patrons of Irish Heritage for all their advice and support;
  • The Friends of Irish Heritage for their loyal support;
  • The extraordinary musicians, singers and composers without whom we could not do what we do;
  • The Directors of Irish Heritage who retired during the season – Cliona Howell, Mary Mullin, Kathy O’Regan and Cormac Cawley;
  • Our Artistic Adviser Audrey McKenna, our Administration Executive Katie Fallon and Saoirse Walsh who produces this newsletter;
  • My colleagues on the Board of Directors – Mary, Shirley, Keith, Peter and Tom, who generously give of their time, experience and expertise to help the organisation fulfil its purpose.

There are other special people who have provided me with invaluable support who I’m unable to name.  Thank you all. 

One day soon these strange times will be over – and how amazing that day will be when we can come together to enjoy good company and the magic moments of music that we are privileged to present from Ireland’s talented performers and composers .”

Patrick Lennon
Chairman, Irish Heritage

“From isolation…..inspiration”

Irish Heritage has been pleased to support HE Ambassador O’Neill’s entertaining initiative “From isolation…..inspiration” series on Twitter that features videos from Ireland’s performers reading and playing favourite poems, songs and music of all genres.

Irish Heritage selected its bursary participants to contribute to the series which has featured Amy Gillen, Adam Heron, Carolyn Holt, Ellen Mawhinney and Mollie Wrafter to-date with more to come.

You can enjoy the series by following the Embassy of Ireland (London) on Twitter.


Irish Heritage Bursaries 2020/21 – Update

Irish Heritage will again award three bursaries in its 2020/21 season.  There will be:

- a Music Bursary for Performance
- a Music Bursary for Vocal Studies and
- a Music Bursary for Composition

In addition, there is the special accompanist’s award associated with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.

Information and application forms for all three bursaries will be circulated in early September. Auditions for the first two will take place in the Wigmore Hall on Tuesday 24th November subject, of course, to the current restrictions being removed by then.

If readers know of any first or second generation Irish music students that may be interested in the bursaries please advise them to alert their conservatoires or colleges to look out for the information from Irish Heritage in September.

Breaking news

Earlier this week, Irish Heritage was pleased to learn that Niall Tormey, recipient of the IH 2019 Music Bursary for Composition, has won the 2020 West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s prize for young composers for his new composition “Kreatura”.  Congratulations Niall from all at Irish Heritage.
Blackwater Valley Opera Festival

This year’s Blackwater Valley Opera Festival which was scheduled to take place in Lismore, County Waterford at the end of this month has had to be cancelled much to the disappointed of organisers, audiences and performers. The latter included Irish Heritage’s bursary recipients who were due to give a recital on Friday 29th May.

The good news is that the Festival has already been confirmed for 2021 (June 1st to 7th) when the operas originally scheduled for this year will be performed. Please visit the Festival’s website for more information.

Irish Heritage will be supporting the Festival’s organisers to help ensure that next year’s event is bigger and better than ever.
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 2020/21 season will be:

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.

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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