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Gradam Ceoil TG4

Séamus Connolly – Lifetime Achievement Award


Séamus Connolly was born in Killaloe, Co. Clare. Encouraged by his musician parents, he began playing the fiddle at the age of 12. Séamus’s musical talent quickly became evident as well as his deep understanding of the music of his native county Clare, in which he was immersed. In the following years his musical ability earned him many awards and a place in the renowned Kilfenora Céilí Band. In 1972 he visited the USA on a Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann tour and emigrated there in 1976 where he lives to this day.

He has forged an illustrious career as a teacher, scholar and advocate for Irish Traditional Music in the United States culminating in 2013 with a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honour the US government can grant to an artist. Séamus has numerous recordings and publications to his name and in 2016 launched an online collection entitled The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music hosted by Boston College Libraries. As well as an invaluable tune resource, the site also provides an insight into one of the true giants of our national music heritage and this year’s most deserving Gradam Saoil recipient, SÉAMUS CONNOLLY.