RIP Noel Kelehan
Tragic news about Noel Kelehen who lost his life today after a long illness.
As well as being an accomplished jazz pianist, he is most famous for being the conductor of many Irish entries to the Eurovision Song Contest, beginning in 1966 and ending in 1998.
He conducted five winning Irish entries, in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, and 1996. The winning Irish entry of 1970 was conducted by the Dutch host conductor Dolf van der Linden.
In 1994, the winning song was performed without orchestral accompaniment. Still, an entry rated 2nd that year, To nie ja! performed by Edyta Górniakfrom Poland was conducted by him.
In total, Kelehan conducted 29 Eurovision entries, 24 of them Irish. Incidentally in 1999, after Kelehan retired, the use of an orchestra was discontinued at the Contest.
A tribute from former winner Niamh Kavanagh
I have just heard about the passing of Noel Keelahan, I cannot say enough about a talented and beautiful man, who I had the honour to know. He will be sadly missed. We shared a love of the wonderful standards…….and as we once played together I say, everytime we say goodbye I die a little, everytime we say goodbye I wonder why a little……….I know you are playing the music still Noel. RIP x
In memory of a great man.
Tags: Noel Kelehen
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