Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. It is a non-profit cultural movement with hundreds of local branches around the world and, as you can read in their history, has been working for the cause of Irish music since the middle of the last century (1951 to be precise). Their efforts continue with increasing zeal as the movement launches itself into the 21st century.
Because Comhaltas is so many different things to different people, it can be hard to keep track of the true scope of their activities! You might have been involved with a Comhaltas event and not even known it. If you’re a student of Irish music, you might know about the music, dance and language classes that they teach through a network of branches. If you’re interested in learning the music, you might want to find which one of over 1,000 weekly classes is closest to you.
For musicians who like to play socially, you might be interested in finding a local Comhaltas music session. And if you’re not sure, how about just going along to listen? Audiences around the world have seen our touring groups bringing Irish music, dance and storytelling on annual tours.
Comhaltas runs the definitive system of competitions for Irish music, called the “Fleadh Cheoil” (literally “feast of music”). Musicians compete in a series of qualifying rounds, culminating in the annual All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Comhaltas has collected an archive of thousands of hours of Irish music recordings, a large print library and a growing collection of videos. You can get a sample of some of this material in the Music section of their website. In an effort to promote the music of Ireland, we publish recordings, books and tutorials of Irish traditional music. You might want to take a visit their shop next time you are in Dublin.