Renowned fiddle player Brendan McGlinchey died on 25 April at his home in Sussex at the age of 79. He had been ill with cancer for some time. From Armagh, he began learning the fiddle at the age of 12 and by his 20s he was well established as one of the greats in the Irish traditional music scene - developing his own style from listening to a wide variety of players and going on to win many All-Ireland titles.
Brendan went to work in London when he was 18, but Ireland was never far from his mind and he returned often. He eventually settled in England, working as a psychiatric nurse and playing with some of the greats he encountered in the area including Roger Sherlock, Bobby Casey, Máirtín Byrne, Finbar Dwyer and Joe Burke. He gave up fiddling for several years between the 70s and the 90s, but after returning to playing, he was in great demand as a performer, teacher and adjudicator at various festivals, summer schools and fleadhs.
His compositions are legendary and include Splendid Isolation, Sweeney’s Buttermilk and The Floating Crowbar, while his 1974 recording, Music Of A Champion, where he was accompanied by Mary Mulholland on piano, is regarded as a must for all lovers of fiddle music.