Peter Browne

Peter BrownePeter Browne was born in Dublin in 1953 and commenced playing traditional music at the age of 6. He received tuition in the playing of the uilleann pipes from three of the great players of modern times; Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome and Willie Clancy and on reaching his teens was already acknowledged as a leading player of that instrument. In his youth he attended many of the major traditional music events of the time with his family and frequently visited Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, home of Willie Clancy and Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry staying in the home of Denis Murphy the famous Sliabh Luachra fiddle player who was a family friend.

In the early 1970's he played with the group 1691 which was a forerunner of The Bothy Band and later spent two periods playing on both pipes and flute with The Bothy Band who were much celebrated for their skilled and energetic approach to the playing of traditional Irish music.

He has played music in many countries in Europe and in North America at concerts, lectures and recitals and made two groundbreaking albums of music and song in the 1980's together with Philip King on the Gael-Linn label - Rince Gréagach and Seacht Nóiméad Déag chun a Seacht. These discs were combined and reissued in 2001 as Seacht Nóiméad Déag chun a Seacht on Gael-Linn CEFCD 097.

He has played as a session musician on recordings by such people as Paul Brady, Maura O' Connell, Mary Black, Mick Hanley, The Dubliners, Scullion and Cór Chúil Aodha and has also been part of various ventures in modern experimental music and has played the works of Bill Whelan, Michael Holahan, Roger Doyle and Paddy Meegan. He has featured as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra and with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on their 1998 tour of North America and in the series Music in the Classroom. He was the soloist with the Ulster Orchestra in a performance in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on St Patrick’s Day 2001 of The Brendan Voyage by Shaun Davey and has played the same work with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland. He performed on the Millennium stage in 2000 in the Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C and his performance can be viewed on the Kennedy Centre website. He frequently attends gatherings of uilleann pipers and summer schools as guest teacher, lecturer and performer. In May 2003, he was a guest musician with the Chieftains in two memorial concerts for harper Derek Bell, held in Dublin and Belfast.

He has twice been the winner of the Oireachtas uilleann-piping competition (The Breandán Breathnach Trophy in 1994 and 1998) and has also won the prize for slow-air playing in both those years. He currently works as Commissioning Editor, Music Programmes in RTÉ Radio One with a special interest in traditional music. His most recent projects have included researching, presenting and producing series of documentary programmes on the lives and music of famous traditional players such as Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Pádraig O' Keeffe, Denis Murphy, Elizabeth Crotty and the 19th century traditional music collector Canon James Goodman.

He has also produced a series of commercial CDs for RTÉ which feature rare recordings of traditional music from the RTÉ Sound Archives, the latest of which are The Return from Fingal which features old recordings of the piper Séamus Ennis made over a 40 year period along with extensive biographical and musical notes, Elizabeth Crotty - Concertina Music from West Clare, a compilation of rare recordings by a famous musician from the West of Ireland and Labhrás Ó Cadhla, Amhráin ó Shliabh gCua, a collection of songs by a famous Waterford sean-nós singer.

He currently teaches music part-time at the Dublin Institute of Technology and is much in demand as musician, teacher and lecturer at musical gatherings and festivals at home and abroad.

email: peter.browne@dit.ie