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A Musician for Belfast

Monday 22nd December 2014 at 10am 0 Comments Northern Ireland Music

Pictured making the announcement is Ciaran Scullion, Arts Council, Councillor Nichola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast, and Brian Irvine, Belfast Music Laureate Image: Pictured making the announcement is Ciaran Scullion, Arts Council, Councillor Nichola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast, and Brian Irvine, Belfast Music Laureate

Brian Irvine announced as Belfast’s first ever Music Laureate and calls upon Belfast citizens to get involved in an exciting community choir project.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council today announced award-winning composer, conductor and producer, Brian Irvine, as the first ever Music Laureate for Belfast.  The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Council has established the role of Belfast Music Laureate to undertake a series of artistic duties and activities over the coming year. 

In his role as Music Laureate, Brian will engage the people of Belfast in music, through several large-scale community orientated performance projects working alongside DUMBWORLD, a unique creative production company led by Brian and writer/director John McIlduff.  In collaboration with other artists and performers, DUMBWORLD creates original, contemporary artistic work including opera, film, installations, large-scale events and publications. 

Councillor Nichola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast, commented: “Belfast has a rich and varied musical heritage, from the harpers of the 17th century through to more recent ambassadors such as Ruby Murray, Van Morrison, James Galway and the increasing number, and quality, of musicians and bands making headlines and enjoying success in the international marketplace.  The appointment of a music laureate at this time justifiably highlights this breadth and depth of talent and hopefully will not only serve to highlight the richness we enjoy at the moment but also, through the associated outreach programme, inspire a new generation of artists and musicians to develop and evolve.”

Brian Irvine, Music Laureate for Belfast, added: "I am truely delighted to be appointed as Belfast's first Music Laureate. Music is important stuff! It is central to how we communicate as human beings -  it has the power to change how we think, how we feel, how we connect and it can illuminate possibility far beyond its sonic boundaries. Belfast has a uniquely visceral musical energy and I am proud to be a product of that. I very much look forward to working with a diverse range of people from the city in a series of new dynamic and challenging music projects."

One of the first in a series of Music Laureate projects entitled, Things We Throw Away, calls upon those with a love of singing to get involved in a specially created community choir which will produce five short operas to be performed in various unusual spaces across the city of Belfast.  The community choir will bring people from all walks of life together to rehearse in the glorious surroundings of City Hall and you don’t need any experience of singing at all – just gallons of enthusiasm and a focus firmly on having fun.   All the hard work will be showcased in a major performance in spring 2015.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented, “We are delighted that Brian Irvine has been chosen as Belfast’s first ever Music Laureate.   In this role Brian will bring music to all the people of Belfast, reflecting the creativity and character of this vibrant city.  Brian is an innovative, masterful composer and musician and I wish him every success and look forward to following him and his epic projects in his time as Belfast’s Music Laureate.”

If you’re interested in getting involved in the projects of Belfast’s Music Laureate visit


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