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Toner Quinn -What Ireland Can Teach the World About Music



Book Tickets


3:00 pm


Farmleigh House and Gardens

Toner Quinn / What Ireland Can Teach the World About Music

11th May 2024 at 3pm. 

How do we create a deeper public discussion around music? How do we support music in our villages, towns and cities? What can folk music tell us about our society? And what can Ireland teach the world about music?

For over two decades, Toner Quinn has been writing about these questions and more in the multi-faceted world of Irish music. In this book, he gathers a selection of his essays and articles.

From Martin Hayes to Jennifer Walshe, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin to Sinéad O’Connor, and from the impact of the economic crash to the fallout from the pandemic, this collection provides a unique insight into Irish music in the twenty-first century.

Rich in ideas, 'What Ireland Can Teach the World About Music' explores what makes this culture unique, and the challenges it faces into the future. The book was published on the 1st February 2024.


Toner Quinn is a musician, writer, editor, publisher and lecturer. Born in Galway and raised in An Cheathrú Rua in the Conamara Gaeltacht and Bray, Co. Wicklow, he began learning traditional Irish fiddle at the age of 11 with the late Donegal fiddle player Tom Glackin and subsequently studied music in Waterford and publishing in Scotland. In 2000, he founded the Journal of Music, the Irish music publication that won the 2010 Utne Independent Press Award for arts coverage.


As well as editing the Journal of Music, Toner is highly regarded as a writer on music and has made a significant contribution to public discussion on Irish music over the past two decades. He was also Project Officer for the Special Committee on the Traditional Arts, which produced the report Towards a Policy for the Traditional Arts in 2004, and, in 2014, he was commissioned by the Arts Council to research the Irish harp, which led to the publication Report on the Harping Tradition in Ireland.


In 2013, Toner released a fiddle duet album with Malachy Bourke, Live at the Steeple Sessions, which was selected by the Irish Times as one of the traditional music albums of the year. Since 2008, Toner has been a part-time lecturer in publishing at the University of Galway.


This talk is presented by the OPW as part of the 2024 cultural programme at Farmleigh House.



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