Sir James Galway, Living Legend of the Flute

A profile of legendary flute player Sir James Galway. Globally renowned as the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire, Sir James Galway is a consummate performer whose appeal transcends all musical boundaries. With over 30 million of his 97 recordings sold worldwide, extensive international touring, frequent television appearances, tireless promotion of the arts and his passionate work in music education, Galway has been a household name for decades.

Sir James Galway awarded the Gold Medal in the Arts from the Kennedy Center.

2016 Recipients of Gold Medal in the Arts Sir James Galway, Sir Van Morrison, Fiona Shaw, Jim Sheridan, and Enda Walsh Medals were received at the Dublin Summit for the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts Ceremony held at Farmleigh, Dublin, Ireland June 20, 2016

(WASHINGTON)—The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the recipients of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts (KCICA) Gold Medal in the Arts. The awards, given annually to performers and arts leaders in the international community, have been presented to classical flutist Sir James Galway; singer, songwriter, and musician Sir Van Morrison; actress and director Fiona Shaw; film director, screenwriter, and producer Jim Sheridan; and playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh. The medals were presented at the KCICA Dublin Summit’s Gold Medal in the Arts Gala, held at Farmleigh, Dublin, Ireland, on June 20, 2016. The gala included an opening performance by renown mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught accompanied by acclaimed pianist Dearbhla Collins. The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts was established in 2001 to promote international arts exchange and strengthen the Kennedy Center’s international initiatives. GOLD MEDAL IN THE ARTS RECIPIENTS Sir James Galway Globally renowned as the supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire, Sir James Galway is a consummate performer whose appeal transcends all musical boundaries. With more than 30 million recordings sold worldwide, extensive international touring, frequent television appearances, tireless 2 promotion of the arts, and his passionate work in music education, Galway has been a household name for decades. His uniquely expressive interpretations of flute literature span an extensive range of genres, from classical masterworks to high profile commissions, and provide the benchmark standard for all modern flutist. He has also collaborated on film soundtracks such as The Lord of the Rings, and partnered with such popular artists as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, and Sir Elton John. The diversity of Galway’s repertoire reflects his impressive musical range, and has served to establish him as an artist of the very highest stature. Belfast-born, Galway studied in London and Paris before embarking on his orchestral career in London’s major opera and symphonic orchestras. He took up the coveted position of solo flautist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan in 1969, before becoming one of the first flautists to establish an international solo career in 1975. Since that time, Galway has performed worldwide with all of the leading orchestras and most prestigious conductors. He has a vast discography with 97 CDs to his name, and has enjoyed recording contracts with Sony Classics and Deutsche Grammophon. Awarded the OBE in 1979, and subsequently a Knighthood for Services to Music in 2001, Galway has been the recipient of many honors and awards for his musical accomplishments. These include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Gramophone (2014), Classic Brits (2005), and National Concert Hall Dublin (2013), Grammy® President’s Merit Award (2004), and in addition the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame (2008)—as well as numerous gold and platinum recordings. Galway has also published a number of articles, flute studies, and books. He has collaborated with top flute-makers, Nagahara Flutes of Boston, who have created a special “James Galway Nagahara Flute Series,” and—to mark their 125th Anniversary—William S. Haynes also produced a James Galway Q Series flute. Alongside his busy performing schedule, Galway devotes much of his free time to educational outreach programs. These include the Galway Flute Festivals held around the world, and his own online flute community: First Flute (, among many others. He is also Ambassador to the European Brain Council. Sir Van Morrison One of music’s most prolific recording artists and true originals, Sir Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast. Inspired by musical greats including Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, and Leadbelly at a young age, Morrison was a travelling musician by 13 and singing, playing guitar, and saxophone in several bands before forming Them in 1964. Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club, Them soon established Morrison as a major force in the British R&B scene. His matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much-covered “Gloria” and “Here Comes The Night.” After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on the Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm. Recorded over three days with legendary jazz musicians, Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation, and Afro-Celtic Blues wailing. Reflecting on new life in the U.S. on the joyous Sinatra Soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971), he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track “Listen To The Lion”. Double-live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Steering his own course throughout the 80’s on albums such as Common One, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decade’s end. Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game-changing artist through the 90’s and into the 21st century. 3 Morrison has gained a knighthood, a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys® , honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres—attesting to the international reach of Van’s musical art. The breadth and reach of his collaboration work continues in 2015 with the release of his new album Duets: Re-working The Catalogue, which re-works songs handpicked from Morrison’s catalogue of over 360 tracks across his career. Fiona Shaw One of the U.K.’s most celebrated stage actresses, Fiona Shaw was born in County Cork, Ireland and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London where she was awarded the Bancroft Gold medal. Her prolific and decorated stage career includes: Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Mephisto, Hyde Park, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, New Inn (Royal Shakespeare Company); Electra (Barbican, winner of London Critics Award and Laurence Oliver Award); Machinal (Best Actress, Evening Standard and Olivier Award), The Good Person of Sichuan (Evening Standard and Olivier Award winner), The Way of the World, The Rivals, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, London Assurance, Mother Courage, Scenes from an Execution (U.K.’s National Theatre); As You Like It (Old Vic Theatre; Best Actress, Olivier Award); The Days Before: Death, Destruction and Detroit III, My Life as a Fairy Tale (Lincoln Center); John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey Theatre & Brooklyn Academy of Music [BAM]); The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Old Vic Tunnels and BAM); Happy Days (National Theatre, BAM, Kennedy Center); Medea (Abbey Theatre, West End, BAM, and Broadway; Obie Award winner, Evening Standard Award winner, Tony Award® – nominated); The Testament of Mary (Broadway and Barbican, Tony Award® –nominated, 2013 United Solo Special Award winner). Shaw is also well-known for her performances on-screen films: The Tree of Life; My Left Foot; The Avenger; The Butcher Boy; Jane Eyre; Three Men & A Little Lady; Dorian Gray; the Harry Potter film series; The Black Dahlia; The Last September; Mountains of the Moon; Hedda Gabler; and television—Gormenghast (BBC); True Blood (HBO). Beyond her extensive acting career, Shaw is also an accomplished opera director, working in venues like the English National Opera and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Shaw is an Officier des Arts et des Lettres and an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Shaw recently served as the Artist-in-Residence for the Kennedy Center’s IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture festival from May 17-June 5, 2016. Jim Sheridan Achieving popular and critical acclaim throughout the world, Jim Sheridan’s films have garnered two Academy Awards® , 16 Academy Award® nominations, and numerous prestigious international awards. Sheridan grew up in Ireland and began his career on stage co-founding Dublin’s Project Art Centre. He has had numerous plays produced in Ireland, including the highly regarded Spike in the First World War. He was awarded the Macauley Fellowship for writers, and was at that time only the second playwright ever to receive the honor. Embraced by international audiences, Sheridan has nevertheless remained quintessentially Irish. Following a distinguished career in the theater between the 1960’s and 1980’s, he drew worldwide attention in 1989 with his debut feature film, My Left Foot. The film’s critical and box-office success kick-started a renaissance of Irish filmmaking and earned five Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture. My Left Foot went on to earn both Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker Academy Awards® and received multiple Oscar® nominations for Sheridan, including those for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Field, featuring an Oscar® –nominated performance from Richard Harris, 4 and the critically-acclaimed modern fairytale Into the West, which Sheridan wrote the screenplay followed. In 1993, Sheridan wrote, produced, and directed In The Name of the Father. Drawing both controversy and praise for its searing realism, the film went on to receive numerous Academy Award® nominations, including those for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. His next film, The Boxer, which Sheridan wrote, produced, and directed earned Sheridan a Golden Globe nomination as Best Director. Sheridan also wrote and produced Some Mother’s Son, directed by Terry George, and produced Agnes Brown, which was directed by and starred Anjelica Huston. Under his Hell’s Kitchen banner, Sheridan has executive produced three distinctive Irish films: Borstal Boy, about Irish writer Brendan Behan and directed by Sheridan’s brother Peter Sheridan; John Carney’s teen drama On the Edge; and the award-winning docu-drama Bloody Sunday, directed by Paul Greengrass. In recent years, he has directed Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Brothers, Dream House, and The Secret Scripture. Enda Walsh Enda Walsh is a playwright and screenwriter who shot to fame when he won both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award in 1997 with his play Disco Pigs. In 2007 and 2008, Enda won Fringe First Awards at two consecutive Edinburgh Festivals for his plays The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. In 2010, he won again with Penelope. All three plays were produced by Druid, Galway and toured internationally. In 2011, Once, Enda’s adaptation of the film by John Carney, opened Off-broadway. Critically acclaimed, it moved to Broadway in 2012, where it picked up eight Tony Awards, including Best Book for Enda. The West End run of Once opened in April 2013. Since his initial success as a playwright, Enda has gone on to write for the screen. His 2008 biopic, Hunger, told the story of the final days of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and won a host of awards, including the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Heartbeat Award at the Dinard International Film Festival. It was nominated for seven BIFAs (including Best Screenplay), six British Film and Television Awards (including Best Screenplay and Best Independent Film), and BAFTA’s Outstanding British Film Award 2009. Enda’s opera The Last Hotel had its world premiere last year at the Lyceum Theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Festival and transferred to Dublin, London, and New York. He recently worked on the new musical, Lazarus, with David Bowie, which opened at New York Theatre Workshop in December 2015 and will open in London October 2016. Enda has had a strong relationship with Galway City and the Galway International Arts Festival from the very beginning of his writing career. Recently the festival, along with Anne Clarke’s Landmark Productions, have produced his plays, Misterman and Ballyturk. His latest play, Arlington, will have its world premiere at the Galway International Arts Festival in July 2016. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Galway University. Link to Images ABOUT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein, and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract audiences totaling 2 million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. To further serve as the Nation’s performing 5 arts center, the Center announced in 2013 a significant expansion project to be constructed south of the existing facility. The Kennedy Center Expansion is intended to be a place where visitors can more actively engage with artists, while also creating new and much-needed rehearsal, education, and flexible indoor and outdoor event and performance spaces. Opening its doors on September 8, 1971, the Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works. The Center’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Kennedy Center Honors is broadcast annually on the CBS network; The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize is seen on PBS. The education programs of the Kennedy Center, including those of its affiliate VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, have become models for communities across the country and have unlocked the door to learning for millions of young people. As part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone outreach program, the Center and its affiliates stage more than 400 free performances of music, dance, and theater by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every evening at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center website