Seán Keane

'His powerful fiddle playing married technical virtuosity with an incredibly insightful and sensitive understanding of what made Irish traditional music distinctively beautiful. He was a beacon for our traditional art.' - Irish Traditional Music Archive

Irish fiddler and teacher Seán Keane was born in Dublin on 12 July 1946 into a musical family - his parents were both fiddle players who hosted musicians from across Ireland when they came to play in Dublin, and Seán and his accordionist brother James were strongly influenced by these players.

Seán began to play the fiddle when he was very young, winning competitions, becoming one of Ireland's most talented young fiddlers and developing a unique style of ornamentation, for which he became well known.

During the 1960s Seán was a member of the Irish traditional band Ceoltóirí Chualann and he also performed in duets and trios formed by Paddy Moloney, who, in 1968, invited Seán to join The Chieftains, playing alongside musicians such as Derek Bell, Kevin Conneff, Martin Fay, Matt Molloy, Seán Potts and Michael Tubridy.

Seán recorded three solo albums, and several more collaborating with other musicians.

Seán Keane died unexpectedly at his home in Dublin on 7 May 2023, aged seventy-six.


A selection of articles about Seán Keane

Classical music news - May 2023 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month