Ireland’s National Concert Hall will present its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains at a gala event in Philadelphia, hosted by The American Ireland Fund.

The award marks the group’s 50th anniversary and recognizes their tremendous contribution to the music industry worldwide and the promotion of the best of Irish culture.

The Union League of Philadelphia CEO of the National Concert Hall Mr. Simon Taylor and President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Mr. Kieran McLoughlin will present the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement award to Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains.

Taylor said, “For any group of musicians to stay together for 50 years is an amazing achievement - to perform at the level of The Chieftains for that time is unparalleled in Irish musical history. The

National Concert Hall is privileged to be able to recognize and celebrate this success and also to mark the Hall's long association with The Chieftains.

“The National Concert Hall is the flagship of music in Ireland, bringing the world's greatest musicians to our stage and providing a platform for Ireland's finest artists. Peerless among these are Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains. I am enormously grateful to the American Ireland Fund for providing us with such a unique occasion to present our first Lifetime Achievement Award.”


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McLoughlin, of the Worldwide Ireland Funds, said, "The Fund is delighted to recognize half a century of musical brilliance by the Chieftains.

“Throughout, they have enhanced Ireland's reputation for excellence and creativity, a contribution which has never been more important. As part of our long standing support of the arts in Ireland, it is our pleasure to host this event and make the marvelous work of the National Concert Hall more widely known to Irish America."

Six time Grammy winners, The Chieftains are now recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world's attention. Formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, The Chieftains have amassed a dizzyingly varied resume.

They were the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall and the first group to give a concert in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC (at the invitation of former Speaker, Thomas "Tip" O' Neill. They have performed with many symphony and folk orchestras worldwide, and have broken many musical boundaries by collaborating and performing with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, and traditional music in Ireland and around the world.

On top of their six Grammy awards, they have been honored in their own country by being officially named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors.

In 2010, Paddy’s whistle and Matt’s flute travelled to outer space with a NASA astronaut, and this past year in 2011, they performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth II during her historical visit to Ireland.

2012 will mark the group’s 50th anniversary, and they plan to celebrate the momentous occasion with a new album, Voice of Ages, which finds the band collaborating with some of modern music’s fastest rising artists (Bon Iver, The Decemberists and Paolo Nutini) to reinterpret traditional songs for old and new generations alike, proving what the music means today while hinting where it might lead tomorrow.

The National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award is the first annual award which will be presented by the National Concert Hall to musicians who have contributed significantly to the musical life of Ireland.

The National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award, presented this year in association with The American Ireland Fund, is a recognition and endorsement of what The Chieftains have meant to Irish music and culture, both at home and to the far-reaching Irish Diaspora. The Chieftains were the first traditional Irish band to perform at the National Concert Hall, two days after it opened at its current Earlsfort Terrace home on September 11th 1981.

The National Concert Hall has specially commissioned Irish sculptor John Behan to develop this unique award which will reflect Ireland and its strong cultural heritage. Taking inspiration from the Irish emblem of the harp, the award will be cast in bronze and sit on a polished Irish marble base.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at the The Union League of Philadelphia. For more information contact

The Chieftains playing “Molly Malone”:

The Chieftains performing with the Corrs and others:

Paddy Moloney and The ChieftainsGoogle Images