Tuesday 22 August 2017

My cultural life... Evelyn Grant

Evelyn Grant
Evelyn Grant
Young Offenders
West Wing

Evelyn Grant is a board member of West Cork Music which runs three festivals in Bantry: including West Cork Literary Festival, running from July 14-21, and Masters of Tradition, running from August 23-27 (www.westcorkmusic.ie). She's a popular voice on RTE lyric fm and presents Weekend Drive.

During her teaching career at CIT Cork School of Music, she was the first person to receive a master's degree in Community Music (University of York). She was awarded a PhD from University College Cork for her research into social inclusion in music education in Ireland. With her husband, cellist Gerard Kelly, she is co-founder and musical director of The Cork Pops Orchestra (www.corkpops.ie), which has presented concerts for young people for more than 20 years. Her four children are all professional musicians: Jean (harp), Eoghan (trombone) and Fiona (Flute) are all based in London, while percussionist Stephen, plays with the RTE Concert Orchestra.

Film: The Young Offenders

Young Offenders

I get slagged by my Dublin family and friends when I bang on about how great things are that come out of Cork. But even they have to admit that The Young Offenders (above) is a gem. Pure Cork! Made on a very, very low budget, the director Peter Foott was able to assemble such a talented cast, of mostly local talent, to show off the English Market and the beautiful scenery of West Cork. And it is so funny. I'm thrilled by its success.

Music: Irish Chamber Orchestra

It has to be the Irish Chamber Orchestra with its conductor Jorg Widmann playing Mendelssohn - or, indeed, anything else. Through my work on RTE lyric fm, I listen to a huge amount of recorded music, but you can't beat live performances, and the kind of energy that Jorg Widmann and the Irish Chamber Orchestra bring to their concerts. It's electric. It's the same buzz that people get from great jazz or pop gigs, but even better, because there's such a wide range of emotions at really good classical music gigs.

Book: Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung


I'm really looking forward to interviewing Min Kym at the West Cork Literary Festival. She is the author of Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung. It is a totally fascinating memoir of a child-prodigy violinist, whose life - and career - fell apart after the theft of her Stradivarius violin in London. I read it in a different way because I was conscious that I would get a chance to ask her questions about it.

Design: Paul Maloney Pottery

I've always been mad into pottery. When we bought a lovely little place down in Ahakista (West Cork is my favourite place in the world!), I treated myself to a set of ware by Paul Moloney in Wexford. My husband's father, T.C. Kelly, was a musician from Wexford, where the family had a well-known bakery. As well as loving the pottery, I like the connection. When I was at the pottery buying all the stuff, the lady asked 'Is it for a wedding present?' I was delighted to say 'No, it's to me, from me.'

TV: The West Wing

West Wing

I am often tempted to re-watch the whole series of The West Wing (above), but I'm afraid I might be disappointed. I watched the first few series of House of Cards, but the characters became too dark for me!


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