Richard B. Evans’ relationship with and dedication to traditional CELTIC MUSIC and culture began during his first visit to Ireland in the 1960’s. His background and training in European classical music and jazz had done little to prepare him for a musical culture that was passed along from musician to musician strictly by ear and imitation. Thus, ever since, he has continued to find new richness and subtlety of expression in Irish traditional dance tunes, airs, ballads, and instrumental colors of Irish whistles, fiddles, Uilleann pipes, and bodhran.
Evans' compositions include many original interpretations of traditional Irish and Scots songs, as well as numerous entirely original tunes; his settings of well-loved poems by W.B. Yeats known collectively as his YEATS SONGS; and poems by Francis Ledwidge, Padraic Pearse, Robert Burns, and other Celtic poets.
Sîla de Valera, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, of the Government of the Republic of Ireland, commissioned Richard Evans to compose Celtic Air: KILMAINHAM GAOL, to commemorate the Millennium in Ireland. Of the 14 composers commissioned to participate, Evans was the only American composer so honored. A recording of Celtic Air: KILMAINHAM GAOL has been issued on a CD of contemporary Irish music by R.T.E. (Irish National Radio & Television), performed by Evans on piano along with the famed Celtic band Boys of the Lough.
Evans’ Celtic Air: KILMAINHAM GAOL has been performed widely throughout the world and has become Evans’ most requested piano solo wherever he performs -- a rich, poignant Irish ballad, touching the many layers of the Irish heart and culture.
Selected Original Compositions:
Celtic Air: KILMAINHAM GAOL piano and violin
Celtic Air: KILMAINHAM GAOL - RTE Version
Requiem for the Croppies
An Irish Christmas
The Lobster Pot (Reel & Jig)
In After Years (Art Song on Poem by Thomas McDonagh)
The McDermott Roes (Suite for Strings on Melodies by Turlough O'Carolan)
- Elizabeth McDermott Roe
- Mr. & Mrs. McDermott Roe
- Lament for Terence McDonough
- Fr. Brian McDermott Roe
- Henry McDermott Roe
See also ART SONGS
Selected Adaptations & Arrangements:
A Fenian Ballad
Banks of the Lee
Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
Valley of Knockanure
Fhir a Bhata