BILL WHELAN BIOGRAPHY
Renowned composer, producer and arranger Bill Whelan
has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. His grammy winning
album of music for Riverdance The Show is certified Platinum in the US,
Ireland and Australia. His orchestral work, The Seville Suite was specially
commissioned for Expo 92. The Spirit Of Mayo, was first performed
in 1993 by and 85-piece orchestra in Dublins National Concert Hall.
As a producer he has worked with U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard
Harris, The Dubliners, Planxty, Andy Irvine, Patrick Street, Stocktons
Wing, Davy Spillane and Bulgarian/Irish band, East Wind. His recently
completed trilogy of pieces for chamber orchestra: Inishlacken, Carna
and Errisbeg are included on his latest CD, "The Connemara Suite".
In 1987, he wrote his first major orchestral suite commemorating the film music of Seán Ó Riada, which was conducted by Elmer Bernstein and performed by the Irish National Symphony Orchestra.
His specially commissioned orchestral work, The Seville Suite (TARACD3030), received its European premiere performance at the Maestranza in Seville as part of the celebrations for Ireland's National Day at Expo '92. The last movement of this work was danced by Maria Pagés who was later to appear in Riverdance The Show (Click here to view Video Clip). His next large scale orchestral work, The Spirit Of Mayo, was performed in 1993 by an 85-piece orchestra in Dublin's National Concert Hall. Together with the choral group Anúna, this piece also featured a powerful Celtic drum corps and a 200 strong choir.
BILL WHELAN A CELEBRATION Waterfront Hall,
Belfast 17 March 2009
Riverdance was composed especially for the interval act of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The original 7 minute orchestral piece conceived for hard-shoe Irish dance was televised to a European audience of 300 million viewers. As a single release, Riverdance spent 18 weeks at No. 1 in the Irish charts and was a Top Ten hit in the UK.
Later that year Bill Whelan began to write Riverdance The Show and in February 1995 it had it's first performance at The Point Theatre in Dublin. Since then it has gone on to play to millions of people world-wide with both the album and video topping the charts around the world.
Riverdance Music From The Show is an album of 15 inspired composition's which marry a rich blend of ethnic influences, such as Russian, Spanish and Irish. The album features stunning performances from some of the finest Irish and International musicians including Eileen Ivers, Rafael Riquini, Nikola Parov and Davy Spillane.
Bill was honoured with a 1997 Grammy Award when the Riverdance record
was named the 'Best Musical Show Album'. Most recently Inishlacken (from
Bill's Album The Connemara Suite) was performed by Zoe Conway and Fionnuala
Hunt in Dublin on December 5th as part of the Royal Irish Academy of Ireland's
ceremony conferring fellowships on Gerard Gillen, Bill Whelan and Harry