Our inaugural Rockport Celtic Music Festival will happen Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 23-25. As Host and Co-Artistic Director with Maeve Gilchrist, I am beyond excited.

This is a new and ambitious festival for us, featuring Celtic music’s broad and vibrant range with a strong emphasis on crossover and collaborative work with different genres, including Classical, Jazz, and American Traditional. It will certainly be a dynamic and interactive weekend with main stage concerts, workshops, intimate salon-style sessions in our third floor space, and much more. A gathering rarely, if ever, seen before.

The opening night concert, The Celtic Appalachian Journey, is already sold out, and tickets are getting scarce for the other events, including only a handful available for Songs and Tunes of the Sea, the final concert on Sunday. But there are many other events to be excited about including open, informal sessions after the Friday and Saturday shows, upstairs at the beautiful Shalin Liu Theatre in Rockport. Reservations are indeed required, and tickets are available here.

One of our most adventurous and ambitious undertakings, and the main subject of this audio article, is Stings on Strings on Saturday, August 24. This concert will bring together the best of the best—in both the Traditional and Classical string worlds—and will highlight new collaborations between the acclaimed 13-piece chamber orchestra Palaver Strings and some of the most exciting voices in the Irish and American folk scene today. They will be working with Maeve Gilchrist, as well as John Doyle, Mick McAuley and Oisin McCauley, The Seamus Egan Project with Moira Smiley, Dana Lyn with Kyle Sanna, Rakish (Maura Shawn Scanlin & Conor Hearne) and Stuart Jackson on uileann pipes.

Listen to the audio for more information, samples from various illustrative works, a chat with Artistic/Music Director Maeve Gilchrist, composer, arranger and fiddler extraordinaire Dana Lyn, Elizabeth Moore of Palaver Strings, and Tony Beadle, President and CEO of Rockport Music, who are our partners in this wonderful venture.

I hope you can join us for our inaugural Celtic Festival, and ask me anything at celtic@wgbh.org.

Thanks for supporting WGBH and live music,
Brian O'Donovan