Acclaimed Irish folk music ensemble Altan-known for its dynamic live performances that range from traditional Irish songs to hard hitting reels and jigs-makes its Zankel Hall debut on Friday, March 8 at 8:30 p.m. The group-which features Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Ciarán Tourish, Dermot Byrne, Dáithi Sproule, and Ciarán Curran-was built on a foundation of commitment to bringing the beauty of traditional music (particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers) to contemporary audiences in a way that excludes none of its distinctive characteristics. Throughout the group's more than 25-year performance history, which includes countless international performances and celebrated recordings, Altan has become an important ambassador of the music and culture of Ireland. Altan's performance is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with World Music Institute.
Dublin's Sunday Tribune notes that "The appeal of Altan centers on the fact that they see no differences or divisions in music. As such, they have managed to cross the all-important cultural barriers between folk and world and rock music." The ensemble has been invited to perform for presidents and heads of state the world over, and in prestigious venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House and The Hollywood Bowl to Royal Albert Hall and Alte Oper Frankfurt, among others. In recent years, Altan has introduced orchestral arrangements of its most popular pieces in performances and recordings. The arrangements, scored by renowned arranger Fiachra Trench, have been performed with the Ulster Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish Opera Orchestra. In 2010, Altan released a new record in celebration of its 25th anniversary which includes a mix of songs recorded over the previous 25 years, accompanied by Ireland's RTÉ Concert Orchestra.