Brendan McGlinchey Tribute Concert

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IMDL presents a Brendan McGlinchey Tribute Concert

Tribute to Brendan McGlinchey Concert Featuring:
The Smyth Family (Armagh Pipers Club)
Paul Brennan, Kevin Boyle, Ben Gunnery
The London Lasses and Pete Quinn
Karen Ryan and Camden Town Music Class

Tickets: £15/ £5 U18s

The wonderful Armagh fiddler, Brendan McGlinchey had a lot of friends and musical admirers in London town, and indeed internationally.

Born in 1940 in Armagh, Brendan began learning fiddle at the age of 12 from local teacher John Conway, followed by Archie Collins in Portadown. At 15, Brendan won a competition at the Dungannon Feis and was subsequently asked by ceili band leader Malachy Sweeney to join his band, which he toured with for two years. In 1956 broadcaster Ciarán MacMathúna recorded Brendan solo at the Ennis Fleadh for RTÉ .

Brendan McGlinchey moved to London for work when he was eighteen, returning to Ireland periodically, but eventually settling in England, working as a psychiatric nurse, and playing with musicians such as Roger Sherlock, Bobby Casey, Máirtín Byrne, Finbar Dwyer and Joe Burke. In 1964 in Ireland, he won the ‘Champion of Champions’ Fleadh competition in Clones and in 1974 he released the album Music of a Champion accompanied by Mary Mulholland on piano. He took a break from playing in the late 70s but returned to the scene in the early 1990s and taught annually at the Willie Clancy Summer School for almost twenty years. He also taught at Scoil Éigse as part of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and at the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshanbo.

Brendan composed many tunes, the most well known of which are ‘Splendid Isolation’, ‘Sweeney’s Buttermilk’ and ‘The Floating Crowbar’.

Brendan’s return to playing in the 1990s saw him travelling up from his home in Sussex to perform and teach occasionally in West and North London. It was a suggestion by him to friend and fellow music teacher, Karen Ryan, that ‘London needs a Festival’ which lead (for Karen’s part) to the founding of London’s annual Festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance ‘Return to Camden Town’ (now rebranded as ‘Return to London Town’ and in its 23rd year). Brendan performed annually at the Festival in its early years.

This concert is presented by IMDL (Irish Music and Dance in London)

Proceeds from this evening’s event will be donated to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (a charity favoured by Brendan)

For more information about Irish music events in London, please see

For more information about the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, please see

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Re: Brendan McGlinchey Tribute Concert

Great news! As travel is now easier, the fabulous Gay McKeon (Na Píobairí Uilleann) will be able to join us in person from Ireland.

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