Grammy Award-winning Riverdance composer Bill Whelan is currently rehearsing a new suite, for two violins and chamber strings, titled "Inishlacken." The piece will premiere on May 19 as part of the "Arts From Ireland Festival" running at the Kennedy Center May 13-28. Written at the request of Jean Kennedy Smith (the former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland who got to know Whelan when they both lived on the coast there) "Inishlacken" is named after an island off the Irish mainland.
In a recent statement made in Dublin, Whelan said he had worked on the piece with the "kind cooperation and talent of Fionnuala Hunt and the Irish Chamber Orchestra." Whelan added that he has "written this work for two violins -- one featuring Fionnuala herself, and the other played by Zoë Conway, who has just completed her formal education and is a rich exponent of Irish traditional musical styles, as well as a budding young classical performer.”
-- By Murdoch McBride