Artists 2017


With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs all the way to hard hitting reels and jigs, and with their heartwarming, dynamic live performances, Altan have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle. Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers, to contemporary audiences in a way that brings out all its qualities and destroys none. In fact, Altan have always believed that Irish traditional music is a modern music in every sense and its growing influence and popularity have proved them right.

The Friel Sisters

The Friel Sisters, Anna, Sheila and Clare, are young traditional musicians hailing from Glasgow/Donegal. Born and brought up in Glasgow with their family roots firmly entrenched in the Donegal they play a mixture of music interspersed with songs, many from their family repertoire. Being siblings, they achieve a close blend on fiddle,flute and uilleann pipes approaching their music in a style inspired by many encounters with great musicians and singers throughout Europe & USA. Anna, Sheila and Clare have performed in various venues and festivals including the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections, the Danish Tonder Festival, Willie Clancy Summer School, Catskill’s Irish Arts Week in New York, Frankie Kennedy Winter School, Sligo Live and at many other festivals. They have appeared as guests on stage with acts such as The Chieftains, Solas, Cherish the Ladies, and Altan on several occasions.

Aidan O'Donnell,

Ciarán Ó Maonaigh

and Kevin O'Donnell

TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2010 Aidan O'Donnell has been described as one of the finest young Irish musicians at present. He began his music making at the age of 12, and since then has performed with some of traditional music's finest artists, including Donal Lunny, Micheal Ó'Suilleabháin and the Chieftains. In 2007, he won the prestigious ‘Oireachtas na Geailge' fiddle title, and has been a regular tutor at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, at the University of Limerick for the past number of years. Aidan is a founding member of Fidil.


Another former recipient of TG4 Young Musician of the Year and another founding member of Fidil, fiddle player Ciarán Ó Maonaigh hails from the Gaoth Dobhair gaeltacht in Co. Donegal. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by his extended family; his grandfather and teacher Francie Mooney, Altan members Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy, Derry fiddle player Dermot McLaughlin as well as the Donegal fiddle legend John Doherty amongst others.


Kevin O'Donnell is a talented singer, guitarist and fiddle player from Dunkineely in Donegal. Kevin is also a well known music teacher and session organiser in the area. He will join brother Aidan and Ciarán for what promises to be a great night.