Eleanor O'Connor, Mo Mhathrin
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Eleanor O Connor, Mo Mháithrín
Original Harp Solo by Janet Harbison
Eleanor O Connor, Mo Mháithrín was composed for and dedicated to my mother who has been my most consistent patron throughout the years. The piece was composed as a Christmas gift about 1980 after she had had a bout of pneumonia and when her illness seemed serious, she commanded that I hurry up with her composition so she could give her approval before it was too late! Now, almost thirty years later, she is a healthy octogenarian and still going strong – and still loves to hear her piece. God bless you Mum for all the encouragement, support, cajoling and patronage. No harper was ever so blessed.
Eleanor O Connor (Harbison) was born in Wexford 1922 to the sounds of gunfire during the Civil War. She excelled at art from an early age and studied in London. In 1954 she married Jock Harbison and I, the first of four children, was born a year later. My father died prematurely in 1975 leaving his young family. Having seen us all through school and on our career paths, my mother moved to her beloved Kerry home, converted the cow byre to an art studio and has been prolific in her painting and teaching ever since. At the age of 78 years, she embarked on academic studies in the University of Cork and graduated in December 2006 with a BA in English. My dear mother died on May 31st, 2007. May she rest forever in peace and be remembered fondly in my music at least.