Ireland’s National Concert Hall presented its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains at a gala event in Philadelphia hosted by The American Ireland Fund and presented by sponsors Linksource, Wellbridge Capital Management, Pepper Hamilton LLC and Tourism Ireland.
On Thursday March 8th at the Union League of Philadelphia, CEO of the National Concert Hall Simon Taylor and President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Kieran McLoughlin along with AIF Chairman Loretta Brennan Glucksman, presented the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement award to Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains on the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary and in recognition of their tremendous contribution to the music industry worldwide and the promotion of the best of Irish culture.
The evening reached a crescendo when Paddy Moloney & The Chieftains took to the stage and gave a mighty performance that brought the capacity crowd to their feet including VIP guests Noel Kilkenny Consul General of Ireland to New York and Jane Butler of Riverdance fame.
Mr. Taylor said: “For any group of musicians to stay together for 50 years is an amazing achievement – to perform at the level of The Chieftains for that time is unparalleled in Irish musical history. The National Concert Hall is privileged to be able to recognize and celebrate this success and also to mark the Hall's long association with The Chieftains. The National Concert Hall is the flagship of music in Ireland, bringing the world's greatest musicians to our stage and providing a platform for Ireland's finest artists. Peerless among these are Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains. I am enormously grateful to The American Ireland Fund for providing us with such a unique occasion to present our first Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Mr. McLoughlin said: "The Fund is delighted to recognize half a century of musical brilliance by the Chieftains. Throughout, they have enhanced Ireland's reputation for excellence and creativity , a contribution which has never been more important. As part of our long standing support of the arts in Ireland, it is our pleasure to host this event and make the marvelous work of the National Concert Hall more widely known to Irish America."
The National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award was the first of what will be an annual award presented by the National Concert Hall to musicians who have contributed significantly to the musical life of Ireland.
Six time Grammy Award winners, The Chieftains are recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world's attention and to many they are the world’s best known Irish band. The National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award, presented this year in association with The American Ireland Fund, is a recognition and endorsement of what they have meant to Irish music and culture, both at home and to the far-reaching Irish diaspora. The Chieftains were the first traditional Irish band to perform at the National Concert Hall, two days after it opened at its current Earlsfort Terrace home on September 11th 1981.
The National Concert Hall specially commissioned Irish sculptor John Behan to develop this unique award which reflects Ireland and its strong cultural heritage. Taking inspiration from the Irish emblem of the harp the award is cast in bronze and sit on a polished Irish marble base.