Living Dublin, 1915 Event Programme

Venue: Rotunda Hospital Pillar Room, Parnell Square, Dublin 1,

22nd November, 2015, 8pm


Sarah Sew, Principal First Violin, RTE Concert Orchestra performs John Larchet’s Traditional Irish Airs accompanied by Irish Concert Pianist, Stuart O’Sullivan.

As Principal First Violinist with the RTE Concert Orchestra, Sarah Sew has performed regularly at the National Concert Hall, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and with Aurora Orchestra she has also performed at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.

John Larchet was the Abbey’s Musical Director in 1915, he was also a Director at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. During his tenure at the Abbey, he composed many Traditional Irish Airs for use throughout the theatre’s annual music programme. Scores have been kindly made available by Abbey Theatre archivist, Mairead Delaney and RIAM Librarian, Philip Shields.

Extracts from The Abbey Theatre’s Music Programme of 1915

10 Feb 1915 Progamme 01L

17 March 1915 Programme 01L

Link to The Abbey Archives, 1915

During the 18th and 19th Centuries the Rotunda Round Room complex was a significant venue for leading classical music figures, Liszt and Paganini have played here. Paganini Caprices for violin and Piano Solo will also feature in the evenings programme.

Event Organiser, Oisin Costello is a past member of the Palestrina Choir singing in the Bass/ Baritone line from 1993 until 2000, under the direction of Ite O’Donovan, Cmdt Joe Ryan and Orla Barry. His grandfather along with two of his brothers were boy choristers also at the Palestrina Choir during the period 1910-1920, the young James Costello winning the Feis Ceoil solo Bronze in 1919 and silver in 1920.

The evening opens with plainchant performed by past members of the Palestrina Choir, followed by Renaissance polyphony performed by Cantando, under the direction of former Palestrina Choir Director, Orla Barry.

Re-enactment of 1915 Feis Ceoil Song Competition Pieces

Baritone, Seamus Ludden accompanied sings Victoria, Victoria

Tenor, Sam Earlwood accompanied sings Then Shall the Righteous

Max O’Neill, Feis Ceoil Boy Solo Winner, 2015, acc’d sings Meeting of the Waters, 1920 solo competition piece and Was Ist Silvia, 1915 solo competition piece.

1915 Boys Solo Test Pieces, extract from 1915 Feis Programme

Irish Music from the Pubs and Music Halls provided by Traditional Music Quartet, Obtuse.

Percy French Songs by Dave Duffy from RTE’s Fair City

Dave Duffy Fair City

Paganini Caprices for Solo Violin and Rachmaninov Piano Solo also feature in the evening’s programme.

Count John McCormack’s global reputation is undisputed by the early Twentieth Century, his career was supported by longtime accompanist and Palestrina Choir Director of the time, Dr Vincent O’Brien. Two pillars of his Irish repertoire have significant associations with 1915, Danny Boy, while written in 1910, its first known recording was in 1915. The Minstrel Boy, he recorded in New York in 1917, it is generally believed the song was part of his 1915 concert in New York’s famed Hippodrome.

Tickets are €30 and available from and Sheila, Friends of the Rotunda, 01 8722377

Plainchant performed by,

Dermot O’Callaghan, Baritone, former chorister at Palestrina Choir, Seamus Ludden, Baritone, former chorister of the Palestrina Choir, Sam Earlwood, currently performs as Tenor with the Palestrina Choir.