Bill Whelan has worked extensively in theatre and film. He was appointed composer to the W.B. Yeats International Theatre Festival at Ireland's National Abbey Theatre in 1989, writing original music for 15 Yeats plays. His adaptation of HMS Pinafore received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. His compositional work in film includes original scores for Dancing At Lughnasa starring Meryl Streep, Some Mother's Son starring Helen Mirren and Lamb starring Liam Neeson. Music for television includes The Seven Ages, Sean Ó Mordha's history of the Irish State.
The Seville Suite was his first large scale orchestral work, commissioned for Ireland's National Day at Expo '92 in Seville. The Spirit Of Mayo followed in 1993. The Connemara Suite, a trilogy of pieces written for chamber orchestra, premiered in Carnegie Hall in March 2005. The world premiere of the Riverdance Symphonic Suite, performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra, took place at the National Concert Hall in Dublin in May 2012 and the work travels to the BBC Proms in August 2014. Recent works include a new flute concerto for Sir James Galway, Linen and Lace, with first performances in Dublin and Limerick in June 2014 and at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago in July.
His many production and arranging credits include U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris and Planxty. He has written and recorded a new composition with the classical violinist Vanessa-Mae. He has just completed a project with Berklee College of Music in Boston which is being developed into an album.
Bill was honoured with the 1997 Grammy Award for 'Best Musical Show Album' for his Riverdance CD. The album is a certified Platinum record in the US, Ireland and Australia. Riverdance The Show has been seen live by more than 25 million people and by a television audience of nearly 2 billion and celebrates its 20th anniversary with an international tour in 2014.
Bill holds two honorary Doctorates and was awarded a fellowship by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is a member of the Boards of Berklee College of Music, The University of Limerick and Ireland's National Music Education Programme - Music Generation. Bill Whelan was recently appointed adjunct Professor to Trinity College Dublin's School of Drama, Film and Music.
Works by Bill Whelan are published by Boosey & Hawkes