BILL WHELAN, (born 22 May 1950 in
Limerick , Ireland) is an Irish
composer and musician. He is best known for composing a piece for the
interval of the 1994
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest . The result, Riverdance
, was a seven-minute display of traditional
Irish dancing that became
a full-length stage production and spawned a worldwide craze for Irish
Celtic music and also won him a
Grammy . It was released
as a single in the UK in 1994, credited to "
Bill Whelan and Anúna
RTÉ Concert Orchestra ". It reached number 9 and stayed
in the charts for 16 weeks. The album of the same title reached number
31 in the album charts in 1995.
Whelan has also composed a symphonic suite version of Riverdance,
with its premiere performed by the
Ulster Orchestra on
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 in
* 1 Biography
* 2 Career timeline
* 3 Discography
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Whelan is a native of Limerick, and was educated at Crescent College
University College Dublin
University College Dublin and the King\'s Inns . While he is best
known for his
Riverdance composition, Whelan has been involved in many
ground-breaking projects in Ireland since the 1970s. As a producer he
has worked with U2 (on their War album),
Van Morrison ,
Kate Bush ,
The Dubliners ,
Planxty , Andy Irvine &
Davy Spillane , Patrick Street
, Stockton\'s Wing and fellow Limerickman
Richard Harris .
As an arranger and composer, his credits include:
* The Seville Suite, which was inspired by the exploits of Aodh Rua
Ó Dónaill from The
Battle of Kinsale in 1601 until his arrival in
Galicia to the welcome of The Spanish Earl of Caraçena. In addition
to the orchestra, The Seville Suite includes
Celtic Music on Uilleann
Pipes , accordion , bodhrán , fiddle as well as Galician harp,
whistles and pipes.
* The Spirit of Mayo, performed by an 85-piece orchestra in Dublin's
National Concert Hall and featuring a powerful Celtic drum corps and a
200 strong choir and choral group Anúna.
* Whelan's Celtic /
Orchestral release, The Connemara Suite, features
the Irish Chamber Orchestra along with soloists Zoë Conway, Morgan
Colin Dunne (Dance Percussion) and Fionnuala Hunt.
In theatre, Whelan received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for
his adaption of Gilbert and Sullivan's
H.M.S. Pinafore . He wrote
original music for 15 of
W. B. Yeats 's plays for
Dublin 's Abbey
Theatre and his film credits include, Dancing at Lughnasa (starring
Meryl Streep ), Some Mother\'s Son , Lamb (starring
Liam Neeson ) and
the award-winning At The Cinema Palace.
Whelan's lifetime of musical endeavours include:
* 1970 – Composes score for the film Bloomfield.
* 1978 – Member of the jazz-rock band Stacc, who release a single
* 1979 – Joins
Planxty on keyboards.
* 1981 – Timedance, composed by Whelan and
Dónal Lunny , and
Planxty , features in the interval of Eurovision.
Timedance released as a
* 1983 – Whelan produces "The Refugee" on the U2 album War .
* 1984 – Film score for Lamb, with
* 1985 – Produces and performs on Stockton\'s