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For Ireland, I’ll Not Speak Her Name

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Tuesday, October 2
Kleinhans Music Hall, 7:00 pm

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This world premiere performance of Irish folks songs with string quartet features Irish brothers Owen and Mícheál “Moley” Ó Súilleabháin with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. It may come as a surprise to many that a concert of this kind, a full program of Irish traditional song accompanied by string quartet, has rarely if ever been presented before.

Commissioned for their BPO debut, Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin will perform traditional Irish songs set to their new and original arrangements for string quartet. You, the audience, will have the rare opportunity to sit on the Kleinhans stage for this limited-seating event.

Irish traditional song and classical music come from two very distinct sources.

Historically, classical music was performed within the walls of the aristocratic court. Traditional music was played by the people outside the castle walls, in their homes and in the village square.

Today, these two musical cultures are still divided. This makes for a vibrant and exciting collaboration, bringing together two beloved traditions—classical music and Irish folk song.

This concert is named after a love song from the Irish tradition, titled, Is ar Éireann ní nóesfainn cé hí, or ‘For Ireland I’ll not speak her name.’ It is a love across a social divide so deep that the singer will never reveal the name of their beloved.

The brothers Ó Súilleabháin invite you to join in this ineffable love song, as you witness two musical traditions coming together, allowing you to be the one who names that unspoken love.

Owen and Mícheál “Moley” Ó Súilleabháin come from a culturally significant musical family in Ireland. They inherit a rich seam of Irish traditional song from both their mother, sacred singer Rev. Nóirín Ní Riain PhD, and their father, esteemed composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. They have toured widely singing a range of Irish traditional, Celtic sacred, and folk traditions. The brothers also perform their own highly virtuosic pop songs. Owen plays guitar and Mícheál “Moley” performs rap and human beatbox (vocal percussion). The lads have worked with Steven Spielberg, Russell Crowe, violinist Nigel Kennedy, The Chieftains and regularly share the stage with the poet David Whyte.

This exciting partnership between the BPO and the brothers Ó Súilleabháin will feature settings and arrangements composed by the brothers themselves, and their father Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin.

“Owen & Moley are among the best singers in Ireland, and exquisite performers,” Violinist Nigel Kennedy

“Here are blendings so uplifting & mesmerizing they may bring your mind to a complete stop, which is a good thing if your thoughts are anything like some of mine,” Poet Laureate Billy Collins

“Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin are more than stellar musicians; they are soulful physicians of the human heart, whose voices go straight to what is most in need of healing. They have put me back together again more than once, and I cannot thank them enough,” Author Barbara Brown Taylor

“I’m a huge fan of Owen & Moley, from the streetwise intellect of their humor, to the inspired mastery of their harmonies. Unique, unaffected, awesome,” Russell Crowe