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Seamus Heaney’s 80th Birthday

‘In New Light’: World renowned artists gather in Bellaghy to mark what would have been Seamus Heaney’s 80th Birthday

Seamus Heaney HomePlace, on Saturday 13th April, welcomed acclaimed US composer Mohammed Fairouz, Adrian Dunbar, Bríd Brennan, Codetta and more for ‘In New Light’: An occasion to mark what would have been Seamus Heaney’s 80th birthday.

The evening was opened by HomePlace Manager, Brian McCormick: “Although the date is undoubtedly a poignant one, HomePlace thought it extremely important to mark, and what a better way to do this, than having some of the world’s leading actors, musicians and composers entertain us this evening.”

The performers were introduced by Glenn Patterson, Director of Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University. Producer, arranger and musician Neil Martin provided the sold out audience with a musical performance, followed by intimate readings of Seamus Heaney’s most loved poems by Northern Ireland actors Bríd Brennan and Adrian Dunbar.

HomePlace was delighted to then welcome to The Helicon stage Mohammed Fairouz, one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers working today, to introduce the UK and Ireland Premiere of  ‘Anything Can Happen’, performed by the internationally acclaimed choir, Codetta, and featuring Milena Simovic on viola.

Comments from the night:

“To hear the piece for the first time in Ireland was very moving, very moving indeed.” Mohammed Fairouz

“I am deeply honoured that I have been a small part of such an incredible event. It is humbling the say the least, and I miss all of it already.” Milena Simovic

“I came home from the HomePlace last night feeling that we had witnessed the performance of a lifetime.” Jim Holland, Audience member

“Saturday’s concert was superb. It was a very fitting celebration of Seamus Heaney’s birthday. You could tell from the buzz afterwards that everyone felt the same.” Maura Johnston, Audience member