"The Connemara Suite began some years ago when I was
first asked to write for the Irish Chamber Orchestra. INISHLACKEN
came first, that then led to CARNA and finally ERRISBEG. The virtuosity
of these fine musicians and their enthusiasm for music making
has been a very rewarding experience for me as a composer. It
has also allowed me to write for traditional musicians within
the framework of a chamber orchestra and the ICO who have always
had a sense of adventure in their approach to their repertoire"
The Island Terns
Whelan recordings online
Performed by The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Conducted by
Soloists include: Zoë Conway (Solo Fiddle) Morgan
Crowley (Vocal and Lilting ) Colin Dunne (Dance Percussion)
Fionnuala Hunt (Solo Violin) Michelle Mulcahy (Harp)
and Bill Whelan (Lilting)
Recorded at University Concert Hall, University of Limerick
WHELAN was honored with the 1997 Grammy Award for 'Best Musical
Show Album' for his Riverdance CD. The album is a certified Platinum
record in the US, Ireland and Australia.
Bill has worked extensively in theatre and film. His adaptation
of HMS Pinafore received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
His compositional work in film includes original scores for Dancing
At Lughnasa starring Meryl Streep, Some Mother's Son starring
Helen Mirren and Lamb starring Liam Neeson. Music for television
includes The Seven Ages, Sean Ó Mordha's history of the
Irish State. The Seville Suite was his first large scale orchestral
work, commissioned for Ireland's National Day at Expo '92 in Seville.
His many production and arranging credits include U2, Van Morrison,
Kate Bush, Richard Harris and Planxty. He has written and recorded
a composition with the classical violinist Vanessa-Mae, and is
currently writing a new theatre work which has been commissioned
by the New York Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center.
Bill recently completed a trilogy of pieces for chamber orchestra:
Inishlacken, which has been performed in Europe and the US; Carna,
which premiered in Carnegie Hall in March 2005 and Errisbeg, which
received its world premiere in December 2005. All three works
are included on Bill Whelan's latest CD, "The Connemara Suite"
released in December 2007. Most recently Inishlacken 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 White.