Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (August 2023)

Siobhán Peoples – recipient of the 2023 MÓRglór Award.

Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (August 2023)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards with news from Glór, the Glenarm Festival of Voice, Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and the PRS Foundation.

Fiddle player Siobhán Peoples has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 MÓRglór Award. The award, presented by Glór in Ennis, celebrates those who have made an outstanding contribution to the musical life of County Clare.

Peoples is a renowned fiddle player and teacher and has been an integral part of the vibrant Clare session scene for many years. She has performed and taught at numerous Irish and international festivals as well as being a tutor at the Irish World Academy of Dance at the University of Limerick. In 2002, she released an album with box player Murty Ryan, Time on our Hands, and in recent years she has been a driving force behind the resurgence of the Ennis Trad Festival. Peoples is steeped in the musical history of County Donegal through her late father, Tommy Peoples, and of County Clare through her grandmother, Kitty Linnane, pianist with the original Kilfenora Céilí Band. Siobhán is also a composer and in 2021 her work was featured by the Irish Traditional Music Archive in its Saothar series.

A concert celebrating Peoples and featuring a range of traditional musicians is scheduled for 16 December 2023 at Glór. Tickets go on sale on 6 September at 10am.

Commenting on the award, Glór Director Marie O’Byrne said: 

We are absolutely delighted to recognise and celebrate Siobhán Peoples’ substantial contribution to the development and promotion of traditional music of County Clare, locally, nationally and internationally. We very much look forward to a concert which will celebrate Siobhán’s tireless dedication to her art, in the company of many of her closest friends and musical acquaintances.

Previous recipients of the MÓRglór Award include the Corofin Traditional Music Festival (2014), Eoin O’Neill (2015), Frank Custy (2016), Geraldine Cotter (2017), Chris Droney (2018), Mary MacNamara (2019), the Shannon Family (2021), and Malbay Studios under the direction of Martin, Anne and Seán O’Malley (2022). 

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Northern Ireland soprano Anna Gregg has won the 13th annual Glenarm Festival of Voice, organised by Northern Ireland Opera, receiving the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and title of NI Opera Young Opera Voice of 2023. The festival took place on 25–27 August in Glenarm, Co. Antrim.

Five opera singers were selected from applicants across the island of Ireland to compete in the festival and they participated in three days of training with opera coaches Dr Ingrid Surgenor, Professor Mark Wildman, Ben McAteer and Simon Lepper. The singers performed arias, Irish songs and ensemble pieces during the competition finale, which was hosted by NI Opera’s patron, the broadcaster Dr Sean Rafferty. 

Tenor Cathal McCabe won the Song Prize, sponsored by The Priests Charitable Trust; and mezzo-soprano Anna-Helena Maclachlan won the Kathryn Harries Audience Prize, sponsored by The Londonderry Arms, Carnlough. The other finalists were soprano Petra Wells and baritone Ryan Garnham.

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Anna Gregg (Photo: NI Opera)


The Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) has appointed Irish mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty as its inaugural Artist in Association for the 2023/24 concert season. 

During the residency, Carty will join the orchestra for two performances in the season. She will also lead singing workshops for the orchestra’s educational programme Sing Out With Strings.

On 20–23 September, Carty will sing with the ICO and soprano Anna Devin in a performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Waterford, Limerick, Clifden and Birr. In February 2024, she will perform Deirdre Gribbin’s The Stones of Life song cycle, which premiered at Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2023. 

‘We are thrilled to launch our Artist in Association programme,’ said Irish Chamber Orchestra CEO Gerard Keenan. ‘This new initiative allows us to raise the curtain on an enriching collaborative relationship while at the same time offer opportunity to our incoming associate artist. Its explicit aim is to create new artistic inspiration and develop long-term partnerships through more in-depth, shared music-making. This residency will provide valuable time and resources for Sharon to further develop her practice which we look forward to sharing with our audiences over the 23/24 concert season.’

For more, visit

Sharon Carty


The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) has announced the appointments of Sophie Ryan and Rónán Galvin as Rights and Public Access Officers as part of its ongoing Rights and Public Access Project. The two will work on the project funded by the Heritage Council for a period of four months.

The first part of the project, managed by Rights Consultant Barry Lynn, focused on creating a system for clearing legal rights to ITMA’s audio collections in order to make them more easily accessible online to the public. The second phase of the project will see Ryan and Galvin maintain a rights database to document and manage due diligence processes and access restrictions in the archive’s collections. 

Ryan, originally from Laois, graduated from University College Cork in 2023 with a Bachelor of Music. Rónán Galvin, a fiddle player from Dublin, holds an MLitt in Irish Folklore from UCD and has lectured in traditional music for four years.

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Sophie Ryan and Rónán Galvin (Photo: Irish Traditional Music Archive)

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has announced funding of €187,015 for cultural projects that focus on cross-border collaboration with Northern Ireland. 

The funding, part of the department’s Co-operation with Northern Ireland Scheme, is aimed at fostering cooperation between organisations, promoting cultural tourism, and providing cultural outreach programmes across the island of Ireland. Sixteen projects have been awarded funding of up to €15,000, ranging from festivals and traditional arts projects to dance performances and film projects. 

Among the recipients are Cruit Éireann/Harp Ireland, which was awarded €15,000 for a programme of concerts, workshops and performances to mark the 180th anniversary of the death of Edward Bunting, and Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, which was awarded €14,670 for the second edition of its Tradition and Beyond festival. 

For details on all recipients, visit


The PRS Foundation, in collaboration with PPL, Creative Wales, and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, has announced the recipients of the latest PPL Momentum Music Fund. 

Eleven UK-based artists, including two acts from Northern Ireland – singer Lilla Vargen and jazz musician Dana Masters – will be supported in various aspects such as EP releases, album debuts, and touring. Grants ranging from £5,000 to £15,000 will be awarded to the artists, aimed at those who have reached an important stage in their careers. Also receiving funding as part of the initiative are August Charles, Beaux, Beren Olivia, Calva Louise, Chiedu Oraka, Hana Lili, Hinako Omori, mui zyu, and Overpass. 

Jo Wright, Music Development Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:  

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to partner with PRS Foundation on the PPL Momentum Music Fund, a vital initiative which enables our artists to take that all important next step in the development of their professional music careers … This funding programme not only offers artists the opportunity to record and tour their work but it also enables them to connect with the UK-wide industry and showcase work on an international stage. Congratulations to all the artists taking part in this current round and to Northern Ireland acts, Lilla Vargen and Dana Masters, who will benefit greatly from this opportunity.

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For July 2023 appointments and awards in music, see here

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Published on 30 August 2023

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