Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition 2020 Seeking Uilleann Pipers and Harpers

Winner of the last Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition earlier this year – Jillian O'Malley

Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition 2020 Seeking Uilleann Pipers and Harpers

Deadline for entry is Friday 16 October.

Organised every year by musician, composer and broadcaster Peadar Ó Riada through his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal competition is currently seeking entries from uilleann pipers and harpers.

Commenting on the competition, Ó Riada said: 

The year 2020 was difficult for us all due to the Covid pandemic, but there was a good side to it also – a lot of us took time out from the busy life schedule we had developed and found ourselves really listening to music once more, and playing more. The Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal competition is open to all musicians across the world – we are one great big family in these Covid times if you like. Now, as we look towards 2021, a year which marks 50 years since Seán Ó Riada’s death, I am personally looking forward to renewing the connection to this extended family around the globe through the airwaves as we make music together through the radio and the internet.

To enter, musicians should record five pieces of music, without accompaniment, and upload them to by Friday 16 October.  

The shortlist will be announced in early December and the shortlisted musicians will be invited to compete in the final on Friday 5 February, broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork. 

The winners will receive the bespoke gold medal and a cash prize of €2,500. There will be two winners, one in each instrument category of pipes and harp. 

The Ó Riada competition, now in its eleventh year, focuses on a different instrument each year. Last year’s winner was flute-player Jillian O’Malley. Previous winners include fiddle-players Rebecca McCarthy Kent, Aoife Ní Bhriain and Darragh Curtin; harpers Oisín Morrison and Úna Ní Fhlannagáin; uilleann pipers Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and Éanna Ó Cróinín; flute players Seán Gavin and Tim McHugh; concertina player Cormac Begley and accordion player Keelan McGrath.

For more, visit

Published on 9 October 2020

comments powered by Disqus