Press Releases


8 October 2012: RTÉ today launched the third annual RTÉ Big Music Week, which takes place between Monday 15 and Sunday 21 October.

This morning, RTÉ unveiled a special LipDub video to mark the week. Shot in one continuous take, the ambitious piece, which features a cast of over 500 including a host of Ireland’s top broadcasters, sets the tone for a week-long celebration of music across all of RTÉ’s platforms.

RTÉ Big Music Week 2012 is set to feature a mass of music programming encompassing everything from string quartets in churches to live rock sessions and concerts by some of Ireland’s biggest musical stars. With traditional and country music from all over the country, and from the RTÉ Archives, the week will also feature the rich sounds of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, all brought directly to you on Radio, Television, Online and Mobile, as well as live in concert.


RTÉ Big Music Week 2012 sees RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast a feast of live concerts featuring some of the most talented Irish and international musicians in the business. Ronan Collins will host a spectacular concert to celebrate the iconic music of The Beatles featuring Thomas Walsh (Pugwash), Jerry Fish (Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club), Henry McCullough (Wings, Joe Cocker, The Grease Band) and The Henry Girls accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. There will be live music throughout the week on Today with Pat Kenny; Jack L will join the RTÉ Concert Orchestra to bring a preview of his upcoming tour The 27 Club to an intimate RTÉ Radio 1 studio audience; and Mercury Music Prize 2012 nominee Lianne La Havas will be live in studio to showcase some of the soulful tunes that have made her an overnight success.

The John Murray Show will showcase music from around the globe while RTÉ Radio 1’s arts and culture show, Arena, will conduct a musical experiment with Irish alien-pop duo Nanu Nanu as the band attempt to record their new EP over the course of one day at the RTÉ Radio Studios. The process will be streamed live on the RTÉ Big Music Week website. Philip King of Other Voices fame brings his cult Radio 1 show South Wind Blows from the Dingle Peninsula to Dublin exclusively for one-night-only as he presents a live programme featuring Damien Dempsey and special guests. A host of other live music specials will be broadcast across the weekend on Countrytime, The Rolling Wave, Céili House and more whilst Saturday’s Documentary on One focuses on the importance of music in treating serious illness.

On RTÉ 2fm, Breakfast with Hector will be bringing listeners The Breakfast Club live from RTÉ’s Galway studios featuring the best of Irish live music. On night-time 2fm, The Pocket Picnic revisits the best live sets from this year’s Electric Picnic.

On RTÉ lyric fm, Paul Herriott presents the final of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition. The station also broadcasts Celebrity Special: Jacqueline du Pré, which combines interviews with recordings of this extraordinary musician’s work. Marty in the Morning launches acclaimed pianist Michael McHale’s debut solo album, and all week on Niall Carroll’s Classic Daytime, the 11am Coffee Concert features performances from Irish musicians with the RTÉ NSO and the RTÉ CO.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will have special programming across the schedule, across the week. On Monday An Saol ó Dheas welcomes into the studio some of the Munster Gaeltacht’s finest musicians including Mac Dara Mac Donnchadha and Peadar Ó Riada; Ceol Binn ó na Beanna sees presenter Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha bring us on a journey through 2012’s trad music festivals; and An Ghealach Ghorm brings us the best in music from contemporary Irish musicians and songwriters.

RTÉ Gold will become a Beatles-only zone for the weekend. There’ll be a marathon airing of all the Beatles’ studio albums, plus the three volumes of Anthology, and for good measure a selection from the Fab Four’s solo careers as well as some of the best cover versions of Beatles classics. Over on digital station RTÉ 2XM, Electric Picnic is relived with the best live sets.


RTÉ Television will be joining in RTÉ Big Music Week 2012 with a variety of concerts and music-related series and movies. On RTÉ One Instrumental continues to chart the progress of the budding musicians as RTÉ CO Principal Conductor David Brophy raises the bar with a challenge featuring a difficult crowd and busking in public. Throughout the week Nationwide will have a number of music-related features, including profiles of singers Mary Coughlan and Maria Doyle Kennedy and a new website which streams live concerts from around Ireland, promoting and supporting Irish bands and venues. Frankie Gavin presents The Willie Clancy Sessions, a programme recorded at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in 1997. Music lovers will be spoiled for choice as a new series of Come West along the Road features archive recordings by traditional musicians and The Late Late Show and The Saturday Night Show both showcase a variety of musical acts as part of RTÉ Big Music Week. Also on Saturday The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink plays Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D major, 'London' and Strauss's Alpine Symphony. Saved by Music: The Wallfisch Family takes a look at the incredible life of cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who survived Auschwitz by playing in the camp's orchestra. The Late Concert features Sharon Shannon and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra recorded in the National Concert Hall.

On RTÉ Two viewers will be treated to the big musical movies Cabaret, starring the Oscar-winning Liza Minnelli, and Showboat, starring Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson.


On the eve of RTÉ Big Music Week 2012, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will carry out a Random Act of Music which listeners can hear about on Monday afternoon’s Mooney on RTÉ Radio 1. On Monday evening, the RTÉ CO celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Helix with a concert of movie favourites in the venue, hosted by Ardal O’Hanlon. Wednesday 17 October sees Jack L join the RTÉ CO for ‘The 27 Club’, featuring the music of the remarkable group of artists who passed away at the age of 27, among them Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse. The show will be performed to a live audience in RTÉ Radio Studios and inserts will be broadcast during Today with Pat Kenny on RTÉ Radio 1. On Thursday 18 October Thomas Walsh from Pugwash, Jerry Fish, former Wings guitarist Henry McCullough and The Henry Girls perform some of their favourite Beatles songs with the RTÉ CO to an audience in RTÉ Radio Studios to be broadcast live on Ronan Collins, RTÉ Radio 1.

Fate Knocking at the Door, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Friday 19 October at the National Concert Hall, will be broadcast live on RTÉ lyric fm as part of RTÉ Big Music Week. It features mighty and majestic works by Beethoven and Verdi, each demonstrating the imaginative and emotional power of music to excite and to comfort. Kenneth Montgomery makes a welcome return to conduct Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, a masterpiece of propulsive energy that makes full use of a symphony orchestra at its most expressive. With this, Verdi's sublime Four Sacred Pieces, featuring the critically praised RTÉ Philharmonic Choir. The free Soundings talk at 7pm allows concertgoers to hear RTÉ Philharmonic Choir Chorus Master Mark Hindley in conversation with RTÉ Choral Officer, Lesley Bishop.

On Thursday 18 October, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet celebrate the 300th anniversary of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland, Slane, Co. Meath with music spanning the three centuries, by Mozart, Beethoven, Frederick May and Raymond Deane.


RTÉ’s You Tube channel kicked off Big Music Week 2012 in spectacular style with a lipdub music video featuring a cast of over 500 including some of the broadcaster’s top stars.

LipDub: RTÉ Big Music Week 2012 features Ryan Tubridy, Marian Finucane, Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Jean Byrne, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Larry Gogan, Nuala Carey, Eddie Hobbs, Gary Cooke, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, John Murray, Brent Pope, Republic of Telly’s ‘Damo’, Dáithí Ó Sé, Joe Duffy, Bryan Dobson, Sean O’Rourke, Colm Hayes and many more as you’ve never seen them before in a special one-take video sound-tracked by Irish band The Stunning’s iconic track, ‘Brewing Up A Storm’.

The video, which was directed by Pat Cowap and choreographed by Stuart O’Connor, features a cast of over 500 with over 50 of RTÉ’s top stars, The Stunning themselves and dozens of groups from around the country including gymnasts, athletes, fire-breathers, musical societies, dancers, firefighters, musicians from the RTÉ NSO and RTÉ CO and much, much more. To see the video in full go to

Don’t forget you can catch up on all RTÉ Big Music Week 2012 content on the RTÉ Player and the RTÉ Radio Player.

RTÉ Big Music Week 2012. Music to your Ears.