New York born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the tastefully ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. The winner of two All- Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974 and the All-Ireland senior championship of 1986, Brian’s early studies were with his father Jim of Plumbridge, County Tyrone and with Limerick born fiddler/teacher Martin Mulvihill. However, it was the legendary fiddler and composer Martin Wynne who taught him the real secrets of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian met and befriended the great Andy McGann of New York, a direct student of Michael Coleman, who further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument.
In 1979, Brian recorded a duet album, The Apple In Winter (Green Linnet) with fellow New York fiddler Tony Demarco. He released his debut solo CD, First Through the Gate, on the Smithsonian-Folkways label in July 2002. This CD was voted the Album of the Year by The Irish Echo. Brian is also featured on the CD, My Love is in America, recorded at the Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival, and on the documentary Shore to Shore”which highlights traditional Irish music in New York. He is considered one of the musical rocks of the New York area.
In 2007, Brian released a CD titled A Tribute to Andy McGann on the prestigious Irish Label Cló Iar-Chonnachta. This CD pairs up Irish music legends Joe Burke and Felix Dolan along with Brian in a CD which has received glowing accolades since its release in the summer of 2007. Brian followed this CD with a much-anticipated solo CD titled Consider the Source in deference to the rich environment from which Brian learned his music. This CD was released in 2008 on the Cló Iar-Chonnachta Label. This CD features guest appearances by music greats Niamh Parsons, Dan Milner, Billy McComiskey, Joannie Madden, Felix Dolan, and Brendan Dolan. Earle Hitchner of the Irish Echo described this CD as “Easily one of the best releases this year.” Brian followed up that recording with the highly acclaimed Pride of New York, and last year, in 2017, recorded with the group Gailfean, featuring John Whelan, Mairtin DeCogain and Don Penzien who first played together at the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat as an assigned ensemble during the instructor concerts in 2012. This will be Brian’s fourth appearance at the O’Flaherty Retreat.
Instructor – Fiddle | 2022 Recipient of the Irish Artist in America Achievement Award
2009, 2012, 2018, 2022