Classical and trad music blend together

Flautist Eimear McGeown and pianist Rory Dowse explore and perform British and Irish musical identities beyond borders in a brand new concert, which will be held at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn on April 23.

Carnegie Hall and BBC Proms NI flautist Eimear McGeown will be performing British and Irish music with acclaimed pianist Rory Dowse, showcasing Northern Ireland’s home-grown talent and unique heritage and culture.

Some of the music was written before Northern Ireland existed, including a sonata by Thomas Roseingrave, and other featured composers are making music to this today, including Belfast’s Phillip Hammond and Londonderry’s Phil Coulter.

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Eimear and Rory will also perform select pieces from Eimear’s new album Inis.

The programme is centred around the evocative ‘In Ireland’ by Hamilton Harty, who was born in Hillsborough and became renowned as one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century.

“The initial idea came about when I was studying at the Royal Northern College of Music,” explained Rory, who put together the concert after a successful application to Lisburn and Castelereagh City Council’s Individual Artists Sponsorship Scheme last year.

“A lot of music being played is repeated and I realised we weren’t playing a lot of music by British and Irish composers. It got me thinking about the idea of British and Irish identity and how that manifests in music. Being part of the generation of the Peace Process, it is something I became very interested in.”

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Rory enlisted Eimear, a flautist he had long admired, to join him for the Lisburn concert. “Eimear is a fantastic musician and someone I have respected for many years,” continued Rory. “She is someone who is well known on the international stage as a classical flautist but she also plays a lot of traditional music as well.”

Rory is hoping that the concert will be performed outside Lisburn in the longer term, but for now audiences will be treated to an evening of both classical and traditional music, which pays tribute to the talent on both sides of the border. “It is a nice opportunity to have a bit of craic but hopefully the audience will take something away from it as well,” added Rory.

Tickets, priced from £10, are on sale from the box office on 028 9250 9292 or online at

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