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One of the best fiddle players in the world is coming to Portland

Grammy-winning fiddler Eileen Ivers will perform with the Portland Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 23 and 24.

PORTLAND, Maine — On the first page of the biography on her website Eileen Ivers rolls out the heavy artillery. “Grammy awarded, Emmy nominated, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, guest starred with over 50 symphony orchestras, original musical star of Riverdance, nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, Sting, Hall and Oates….”

It’s a dazzling list of accomplishments, reflecting her status as one of the most acclaimed fiddle players in the world. What you likely didn’t know about Ivers, though, is that she’s also an avid fan of science and math (she did post-graduate work in the latter). She's especially enthusiastic about space travel. 

Her dream of getting to space may be a long shot, even as space tourism becomes a reality, but she takes comfort in the voyage made by an instrument with deep ties to her beloved Irish music.

“Paddy Moloney was a gentleman in the Irish music world that we just lost at the age of 83,” she said. “He was a leader of the Chieftains. His tin whistle was actually brought up on one of the space shuttles back in the 1980s. So a little bit of Irish music has gotten up there through Paddy’s beautiful instrument.”

Ivers will have both feet planted firmly on stage when she plays with the Portland Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 23 and 24. Not having performed much over the last year and a half, she’s eager to get back in front of live audiences. 

“People need to get out and hear live music,” she said. “It touches the soul.”

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