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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

St. Patrick’s Fay festivities carry on when Paddy Moloney and legendary band “The Chieftains” join Pacific Symphony Pops for three evenings of exhilarating Irish music

Orange County, Calif. — March 02, 2015

Highly regarded for popularizing traditional Irish folk music across the world, “The Chieftains” bring their bagpipes, banjos and exciting musicality to Pacific Symphony Pops for an extension of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations! Co-founder Paddy Moloney and his band have won six Grammy Awards, released 58 albums and performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Great Wall of China. By collaborating with contemporary musicians across multiple genres—Pavarotti, Van Morrison, Ziggy Marley and Elvis Costello, to name a few—The Chieftains have enjoyed more than 50 years at the top of the modern music charts. Their international fame stems from their ability to transcend musical boundaries to blend tradition with modern music. The music on their new album, “Voice of Ages,” remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.

Led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, The Chieftain’s Symphony performance features the Long Beach Camerata Singers, local Irish dancers and a local pipe band. The concert takes place Thursday through Saturday, March 19-21, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-160; Box Circle, $185. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5779 or visit

The Chieftains are made up of four core members, Moloney (uilleann pipes/tin whistle), Matt Molloy (flute), Kevin Conneff (bodhran/vocals) and Seán Keane (fiddle), who perform with Jon Pilatzke (fiddle/dance), Triona Marshall (harp/keys), Alyth McCormack (vocals/percussion), Tara Breen (fiddle/saxophone), Tim Edey (guitar), Martin Murray (mandolin/banjo), Cara Butler (dance) and Nathan Pilatzke (dance).

Maestro Kaufman says the perfect description of The Chieftains is, “Memorable and legendary. Without a doubt, they are the world’s greatest performers of the music of Ireland. I remember the first time I worked with The Chieftains. I had never been to Ireland, but that night, through the music, I felt as though I’d experienced the excitement and joy of actually being there. The sounds, the words, the spirit…this is what makes The Chieftains the best in the world.”

Preceding The Chieftains performance, Kaufman leads the orchestra in “An Irish Celebration” of songs, dances and waltzes inspired by the band’s native country. These include John Williams’ “Far and Away” Suite, Percy Grainger’s “Irish Tune” from “County Derry” and Leroy Anderson’s “Irish Suite.” Other songs include “McNamara’s Band,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “Sweet Rosie O’Grady,” “Harrigan” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”

“The wonderful music surrounding St. Patrick’s Day brings out the ‘blarney’ in everyone, especially when it’s played by Pacific Symphony,” says Kaufman. With an all-Irish program, he remarks that “there’s a special spirit in this music that makes us all feel connected to the beauty and soul of the Emerald Isle. And there’s no better time of year to let our Irish souls dance and sing than St. Patty’s Day!”   

With 53 years on the road and 58 albums circulating the globe, The Chieftains have become the world’s most influential and successful Irish folk band. The four main players all grew up in Ireland and were introduced to their culture’s music by their grandparents and parents. Along the way, listening became playing, and now sharing, as they reinterpret Irish music for old and new generations alike. Their performance at Royal Albert Hall in 1975 was the jumping off point for their career as a folk band, and they’ve been performing in world-class concert halls ever since; last year was their 20th performance at Carnegie Hall.

The New York Times called Moloney “a musician of restless curiosity,” thanks to the band’s cross-genre collaborations with musicians across the globe. Their new album, “Voice of Ages,” features fresh Gaelic faces such as rockabilly singer Imelda May; indie chanteuse Lisa Hannigan, best known for her work with Damien Rice; and soulful Scotsman Paolo Nutini. Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars traveled to Ireland and were inspired to write “Lily Love,” and The Decemberists appear on a new version of Bob Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In.” The Chieftains have even worked with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, and used the recording of her playing flute to “Fanny Power” on St. Patrick’s day while onboard the International Space Station.

“The Chieftains and Pacific Symphony…the perfect recipe for an exciting and memorable night of the music of Ireland,” says Kaufman, “And then, add to that the fact that it’s St. Patrick’s Day week, and there’s no doubt that our audience is in for a magical time.” 

The Symphony’s Pops series receives support from Mercedes-Benz, Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel, PBS SoCal and K-Earth 101. The Thursday, March 19, concert is sponsored by U.S. Bank and the Saturday, March 21, concert is sponsored by the Symphony’s Board of Counselors.