TG4 Boxes Clever in roll of honour for 2015 Traditional Music Awards

Two generations of accordion players are represented in the list of 6 recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2015 (Traditional Music Awards), announced at a media reception in Cork City Hall this evening. The main award, Gradam Ceoil TG4 goes to Galway virtuoso Máirtín O’Connor whose accordion-playing wizardry and range of compositions have been dazzling audiences for over thirty years. The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to legendary box player Bobby Gardiner, a Clare native now exiled in Tipperary but well-known throughout the land for well over a half-century for his warm and gentle style of playing and teaching.

This year’s other Gradam recipients range over a wide spectrum of talents. They include a young Dublin piper from one of the country’s leading musical families; a singer from Co. Down whose repertoire spans the full richness of the Ulster tradition; an innovative young musical ensemble that combines Clare roots with modern and jazz influences; and the national Traditional Music Archive whose treasure trove of stored music has achieved world-wide recognition and that serves thousands of users every year.

The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2015 recipients is:

  • Gradam Ceoil – Máirtín O’Connor
  • Ceoltóir Óg (Young Musician) – Maitiú Ó Casaide
  • Gradam Saoil (Hall of Fame) – Bobby Gardiner
  • Gradam Comharcheoil TG4 (Musical Collaboration) – Ensemble Ériu
  • Amhránaí (Singer) – Roisín White
  • Gradam Comaoine TG4 (Special Contribution) – Irish Traditional Music Archive

An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil each year. Each is presented with a specially-commissioned piece by sculptor John Coll as well as a stipend. This year’s awards ceremony and Gradam Ceoil Concert will take place in the Cork Opera House on Sunday 22nd February and broadcast live on TG4 and promises a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters. The concert hosts will be Dáithí Ó Sé and Aoife Ní Thuairisg. This year’s event is also receiving support from Cork City Council.

TG4 Deputy CEO Pádhraic Ó Ciardha says that the Gradam Ceoil is unique in honouring a wide array of major figures in Irish traditional music during their lifetime and away from the tension of the competition platform. “We are delighted to organise, sponsor and broadcast this well-deserved recognition for extraordinary and talented artists who enrich our lives and our culture with their music. They are a source of pride, joy and wonder to us all,” he said.