Thursday, February 24, 2011

Celtic Group ALTAN Celebrates 25th Anniversary Tour at the Byham


Media Contact:

Veronica Corpuz
(412) 471-6082

Diana Roth
(412) 471-8717

Artwork is available at

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents


25th Anniversary Celebration Tour

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at, 7:30 p.m.

Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to present ALTAN, “the hottest group in the Celtic realm (The Boston Globe)!” Celebrating 25 years, ALTAN has firmly established themselves as one of the most important and enduring live acts to play traditional Irish music in Ireland and throughout the world. ALTAN’s vision remains as fresh as ever in bringing the beauty and joy of traditional music to audiences young and old. “Altan continues to be one of the Celtic world’s great treasures, gifted with a front line that is a sheer powerhouse (LA Times).” This performance of ALTAN, part of the Trust Presents series sponsored by Cohen & Grigsby, will take place at the Byham Theater on Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

Over the span of 25 years, ALTAN has established themselves as one of the most important live acts to play traditional Irish music in Ireland and on the world stage. Founding members, the late Frankie Kennedy and his partner Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, lead singer and fiddler with the band, began their musical career while teaching in a school in Malahide in North County Dublin. Frankie and Mairead started out by playing with and meeting older musicians from the Donegal tradition, who shared their music and friendship. The pair learned their music, tried to emulate their style and listened to their general philosophy of life, which, in retrospect was just as important as the music. Later it would be Francie who translated the beautiful Gaelic songs into English on all of the ALTAN recordings to date.

Today, the band members of ALTAN, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh on vocals and fiddle, Dermot Byrne on accordion, Ciarán Tourish on fiddle and whistles, Ciarán Curran on bouzouki, and Dáithí Sproule on guitar, provide the same quality of music since their early beginnings and continue to enthuse and delight audiences worldwide.

ALTAN have proven to be important ambassadors of the music and culture of Ireland, so much so that they were invited to accompany the Irish President, Mary McAleese on several State visits. ALTAN were asked to play at the White House twice by United States former President Bill Clinton, and played again for him when he visited Ireland. The Irish government honored the band by putting them on an official Irish postage stamp (2007), one of the highest honors bestowed upon any living artist in Ireland. The group has performed at the Sydney Opera House, Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall, Alte Opera Frankfurt, Greek Theatre Los Angeles and many more. They have played music and recorded with The Chieftains, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs to name but a few.

Tickets ($20.75, $37.75) for ALTAN on March 10, 2011, at the Byham Theater may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, online at, or by calling (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, please call (412) 471-6930.

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