Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Noel Kelehan

Noel Kelehan (December 26 1935 - February 6 2012) was an Irish musician, former conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and former musical director of Radio Telefís Éireann. He retired as conductor in 1998.

As well as being an accomplished jazz pianist, he was most famous for being the conductor of many Irish entries to the Eurovision Song Contest, beginning in 1966 and ending in 1998. Noel Kelehan 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 Górniak from Poland was conducted by him. In total, Noel Kelehan conducted 29 Eurovision entries, 24 of them Irish. Incidentally in 1999, after he retired, the use of an orchestra was discontinued at the Contest.

He passed away in Dublin on Monday, February 6, 2012, after a long illness.

Songs conducted

1966: Come back to stay
1967: If I could choose
1968: Chance of a lifetime
1969: The wages of love
1971: One day love
1976: When
1977: It's nice to be in love again
1978: Born to sing
1980: What's another year
1981: Horoscopes
1982: Here today, gone tomorrow
1984: Terminal 3
1985: Wait until the weekend comes
1986: You can count on me
1987: Hold me now
1988: Take him home
1989: The real me
1990: Somewhere in Europe
1991: Could it be that I'm in love
1992: Why me
1993: In your eyes
1993: Sva bol svijeta
1994: Dincolo de nori
1994: To trehantiri (diri diri)
1994: To nie ja!
1995: Sama
1995: Dreamin'
1996: The voice
1998: Is always over now?

Musical director

1981: Dublin
1988: Dublin
1993: Millstreet
1994: Dublin
1995: Dublin

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