The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council announced award-winning composer, conductor and producer, Brian Irvine, as the first ever Music Laureate for Belfast. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Council has established the role of Belfast Music Laureate to undertake a series of artistic duties and activities over the coming year.
In his role as Music Laureate, Brian will engage the people of Belfast in music, through several large-scale community orientated performance projects working alongside Dumbworld.
Councillor Nichola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast, commented: “Belfast has a rich and varied musical heritage, from the harpers of the 17th century through to more recent ambassadors such as Ruby Murray, Van Morrison, James Galway and the increasing number, and quality, of musicians and bands making headlines and enjoying success in the international marketplace. The appointment of a music laureate at this time justifiably highlights this breadth and depth of talent and hopefully will not only serve to highlight the richness we enjoy at the moment but also, through the associated outreach programme, inspire a new generation of artists and musicians to develop and evolve.”
Brian Irvine, Dumbworlds Co-creative Director & Music Laureate for Belfast, added: “I am truely delighted to be appointed as Belfast’s first Music Laureate. Music is important stuff! It is central to how we communicate as human beings – it has the power to change how we think, how we feel, how we connect and it can illuminate possibility far beyond its sonic boundaries. Belfast has a uniquely visceral musical energy and I am proud to be a product of that. I very much look forward to working with a diverse range of people from the city in a series of new dynamic and challenging music projects.”
Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented, “We are delighted that Brian Irvine has been chosen as Belfast’s first ever Music Laureate. In this role Brian will bring music to all the people of Belfast, reflecting the creativity and character of this vibrant city. Brian is an innovative, masterful composer and musician and I wish him every success and look forward to following him and his epic projects in his time as Belfast’s Music Laureate.”