Irish Inspirations: Celebrating Women in Irish Music

Explore music inspired by Irish women.Edu Grande/Unsplash

Irish Inspirations


March 11, 2023

Listen to this classical music special that does double duty and looks at music from Ireland, with an emphasis on women composers and performers, as well as music with female themes.

You'll hear an accessible and affectionate tribute to women in Ireland and elsewhere who, as performers and composers, have reflected Irish themes in their work.

You'll also hear music written about mythical and real Irish women. This is a unique special that chimes with this moment in women's history, celebrating the lives and achievements of Irish female musicians and music inspired by Irish women.

Host Andrea Blain showcases music by Joan Trimble, Amy Beach, Ina Boyle and shares works that celebrate the Irish Colleen and several lassies called Molly. She is joined by a special guest: pianist, author and broadcaster Una Hunt.


Percy Grainger: Molly on the Shore - BBC Philharmonic

Turlough O'Carolan: Anna MacDermott - Roe Aibhlin McCrann, harp

Sean O'Riada: from Mise Eire Roisin Dubh (Dark Rosaleen) - RTE Concert Orchestra

Esposito: The Coolin (Fair-haired girl) - Fionnuala Hunt, violin; Una Hunt, piano

Joan Trimble: Buttermilk Point - Bruce Posner, piano

Ina Boyle: The Magic Harp - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Augusta Holmes: Irlande (Ireland) - Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic

Trad.: Black-Haired Rose - Eimear McGeown, Irish flute/whistle

Trad.: Molly Malone - Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone; London Symphony Orchestra

Trad.: Dandlin' Song - Bernadette Greevy, mezzo-soprano; Hugh Tinney, piano

Trad.: Gartan Mother's Lullaby - Hazel Conway, soprano; the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin

Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony: Movement 2, Alla Siciliana - Nashville Symphony Orchestra

O'Riada, arr by Barry Douglas: Mna na hEireann - Barry Douglas, piano

Joan Trimble: Suite for Strings - III. Finale Irish Chamber Orchestra