The Connemara Suite

Composed by Bill Whelan


"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" Bill Whelan


  • 1) Inishlacken
    The Currach
    The Island Terns
    Evening Céilí
  • 2) Errisbeg
  • 3) Carna
    An Cistin

Performed by The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Conducted by David Jones
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

Bill WhelanBILL 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.