John Francis Larchet was one of the greatest Irish musical minds. It is fair to say that he doesn’t get the widespread recognition and acclaim that many of his equivalent musical talents receive. Within academic circles, he is particularly well appreciated. This appreciation is especially obvious in Dublin. You have probably heard one of his arrangements one hundred times or more and never realised it, his 1954 arrangement of the Irish National Anthem is the official version still in use today.
Larchet was born on the 13th of July 1884. He studied at Trinity College Dublin, as well as at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). BVOF has a long standing history with RIAM. Our connection to RIAM has been strengthened by the addition of Deborah Kelleher (Director of RIAM) to our board. After his time at Trinity & RIAM Larchet became the director at the Abbey Theatre and remained there until 1935.
Perhaps the greatest reason why Larchet isn’t widely appreciated by the public but is greatly revered among academics is due to the fact that throughout his career as a composer he was also a teacher. Larchet taught at RIAM between 1920-1955 and he was also Professor of Music at University College Dublin between 1921-1958. During his career as an academic, he taught many Irish musical talents including Michael Bowles, Frederick May, Walter Beckett, Joan Trimble, Brian Boydell, T.C. Kelly, Havelock Nelson, Gerard Victory & Seórse Bodly.
John F. Larchet passed away on the 10th of August 1967. Larchet left an eternal legacy of not only incredible musical arrangement and composition but also arguably the greatest list of Irish musical taught by one person ever.
We are exceptionally proud to be promoting the life and work of Larchet. This project wouldn’t be possible without the “John F. Larchet Remembered” Musical Director Niall Kinsella. Niall has provided incredible insight into Larchet. He has helped bring to life the feeling and emotion of the life and works of Larchet.