Irish composers honoured by new music academy

There are several wonderful Irish composers and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve, either at home in Ireland or abroad.

The Irish Music Rights Organisation, known as IMRO, recently set up an academy to help put matters straight and help people get the recognition they deserve.

Now it has chosen its first two candidates to be inducted into the IMRO Academy. They are Bill Whelan and Brendan Graham.

Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley

Whelan wrote Riverdance music

Whelan is the composer of the music for the spectacularly successful Riverdance, the show made famous across the world by Michael Flatley.

Whelan has also worked as a producer with a host of major Irish artists including U2, The Dubliners and Van Morrison.

Graham is known for writing ‘You Raise Me Up’

Brendan Graham is a novelist and songwriter with several major works to his name. His best known song is probably You Raise Me Up, which he co-wrote with Rolf Lovland.

Lovland wrote the music which is very loosely based on that great Irish tune, Danny Boy, or the Londonderry Air. Lovland asked Graham to write the lyrics after reading his novel, The Whitest Flower.

The song went on to be covered by numerous artists across the world, and was a major hit for the Irish boy band Westlife.

Graham also works with Celtic Woman, and wrote two of Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest winners: Rock ‘n Roll Kids in 1994 and The Voice in 1996.

Our congratulations to both Whelan and Graham. They have added so much to Irish music and fully deserve their awards.

Categorized as Blog

By Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty.