Guests from all sectors of music and the arts attended a reception at the Contemporary Music Centre on Friday, 25 June, to mark the close of Eve O’Kelly’s tenure as director.
Composers, performers, colleagues from other arts organisations, members of the CMC board, the Director and members of the executive of the Arts Council, and many friends and supporters of the Centre were among those present for a very pleasant occasion on a warm summer night.
Arts Council Arts Director John O’Kane noted the growth and development of the Centre under Eve’s leadership over the past two decades and the high esteem in which the organisation is held both nationally and internationally. He paid tribute to Eve’s professionalism and commitment, and in particular highlighted the achievement of finding and renovating, with Arts Council funding, the Centre’s beautiful historic building in Fishamble Street as a permanent home for CMC and a cultural resource for the nation. Her work has made a major impact on new music in Ireland, he said, and has created a firm foundation for future development.
Mary McAuliffe, Chairperson of CMC, speaking on behalf of the board of directors, thanked Eve for her long service and highlighted her enthusiasm, passion, ambition for the Centre, and capacity to deliver. Her belief in the importance of music, particularly new music is, she said, a quality demonstrated many times, not least on entry to the post in 1990 when CMC was on the brink of extinction. She also highlighted the sucess of the recent conference on The Future of Music in the Digital World which brought visiting delegates from 26 countries attending the annual meeting of the International Association of Music Information Centres together to network with the Irish music community across all genres.
In responding, Eve O’Kelly acknowledged the very significant role that the staff of CMC play in the success of the Centre. She thanked the present staff, most of them long-serving, as well as former staff members who also attended, for their exceptional work and commitment both to CMC and to the music community which they serve. Their loyalty and friendship has made her work so much easier and the tributes are due to them as much as to herself. She also thanked the Chairperson and board of directors, and all past Chairs and board members, for their support and expertise which has contributed so much to the development of the Centre. The support of the Arts Council and other funders such as Culture Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been crucial in establishing both the physical collection and the range of services which CMC now offers.
Eve joined CMC in September 1990 and has since then overseen the growth and development of the Centre into its current position as the focus for new music in Ireland, north and south. On joining the organisation she managed the foundation and computer cataloguing of the library, the only comprehensive collection of 20th and 21st century Irish music scores, recordings and research materials. In 1996 CMC was one of the first Irish arts organisations to use the Internet and is now considered a leader in the sector in the use of new technologies. In 2000, Eve managed CMC’s move into its historic house in Dublin’s cultural quarter, Temple Bar. Other significant projects include the new music::new Ireland international performance programme and the promotional CD series, Contemporary Music from Ireland. She has served as a board member of the International Association of Music Information Centres and has now been elected an Honorary Member of the Association. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (London) and leaves CMC to pursue a freelance career in cultural management and research.
More photos from the reception – blog.cmc.ie