James Galway gained fame as one of Ireland's most popular flautists in the late '70s. Over the next two decades, Galway's smooth, lightly Celtic instrumental stylings were internationally popular, selling numerous records and earning him several awards.
began playing music with penny whistles and mouth-organs as a child, soon moving
to flute. At the age of ten, he was the winner of all three classes of the Irish
Flute Championships, which earned him a BBC radio session, as well as a spot in
the Belfast Youth Orchestra. Galway earned scholarships first at London's
Guildhall School of Music, then the Paris Conservatoire; he would occasionally
busk on the subways to earn extra money.
After spending some time at
Sadlers Wells, Galway became the Berlin Philharmonic's principal flautist in
1969. His time with the orchestra was popular, which led his manager, Michael
Emerson, to persuade the flautist to go solo in 1975. Galway was instantly
successful as a solo artist, both as a live performer and a recording artist. He
was soon playing 120 concerts a year, as well as recording both classical
and popular albums. In 1978, his version of John
Denver's "Annie's Song" became an international hit. While his pop
recordings were commercially successful, his classical albums were warmly
recepted by critics and peers alike, as his records of Mozart
compositions won awards.
Though he wasn't able to
replicate the success of "Annie's Song" in the '80s, he continued to
sell out concerts around the world well into the '90s and his infrequent records
have proven nearly as successful. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All-Music Guide
Frankie Gavin comes from Connemara, one of the Irish-speaking areas of Ireland. He is best known as De Dannan's fiddle player, but he also plays the flute and records solo records. Steve Winick, All-Music Guide
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