Irish Music and the Piano: From Shebeen to Stage

Ruins take on a sun-splashed glow in Trim, Ireland.Jonathan Bowers/Unsplash

Irish Music and the Piano: From Shebeen to Stage


March 13, 2023

In Ireland, the instrument almost always missing from a traditional Irish music ‘session’ is the piano, but Irish music is increasingly championed and performed by classical pianists.

Join Andrea Blain for Irish Music and the Piano: From Shebeen to Stage, an entertaining and ear-warming special filled with Irish folk and traditional tunes transcribed, arranged and composed for piano.

The special explores the history of the piano in Irish music and features recordings by Barry Douglas, Ruth McGinley and David Quigley, among others. We’ll also hear from Irish pianists and composers discussing why Irish music is essential to them and important to classical music in a broader context.


Traditional (arr. Barry Douglas): Molly Malone

De Dannan: McLaughlin’s Flings

Traditional (arr. John Field): Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself

Ann Heymann: Temple Hill Reel/Temple Hill Jigs

Michael McHale: Molly on the Shore

Traditional (arr. Philip Hammond): Miniatures and Modulations: II. The Beardless Boy

Traditional (arr. Neil Martin): The Girl with the Brown Hair

Traditional (arr. Michele Esposito): Two Irish Melodies, Op. 39: I. Avenging and Bright

Benjamin Britten (arr. Iain Burnside): Avenging and Bright

Traditional (arr. Sydney Smith): The Last Rose of Summer

Traditional (arr. Barry Douglas): The Star of County Down

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin: The Wexford Carol

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin: Oiche Nollag

Jean Trimble: The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby

Jean Trimble: Buttermilk Point

Traditional (arr. Neil Martin): Danny Boy

Traditional (arr. Barry Douglas): Barry’s Reels