Catskill Irish Arts Week Logo
July 14-20 2024


Matt Cranitch: Biography and Class Description


Matt Cranitch is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher, both at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively at concerts and festivals, on radio and television, and has presented lectures, master-classes and workshops on various aspects of Irish music. He has won All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles, as well as The Fiddler of Dooney and Oireachtas Crotty Cup. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1988 and now in its fourth edition, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music.  In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Matt was a member of the legendary group Na Filí, and has since made various albums, including three with Sliabh Notes, in addition to Éistigh Seal which consists entirely of slow airs. His most recent recording is The Living Stream with Jackie Daly. He is an authority on the music of Sliabh Luachra, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Limerick for his study on the fiddle-playing tradition of this region. A long-time consultant for the Geantraí series on TG4, he has also been an adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland, and has served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (2007–2010). In 2003, he received the Hall of Fame Award from University College Cork where he currently teaches a number of courses in Irish traditional music.


Advanced Fiddle (AM)
In this class, detailed consideration will be given to idiomatic interpretation of the music, with particular reference to bowing in the context of the appropriate rhythmic articulation for the different tune-types. Other important aspects of the music will also be dealt with, such as ornamentation and variation, as well as repertoire development. In addition, the more general features of the various Irish fiddle-playing styles will be outlined.

Sliabh Luachra Fiddle (Intermediate and Advanced) (PM)
The emphasis in this class will be on the special repertoire and fiddle-playing style of the Sliabh  Luachra region. The types of tunes played in this area, particularly slides and polkas, will be considered in detail, as will the connection to the dance tradition of the area. Special attention will be given to the various stylistic features of playing that create the characteristic rhythms associated with this music.