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After Celtic Thunder, Phil Coulter Goes Back To The Basics

Courtesy photo

Phil Coulter celebrates fifty years as a professional musician this year. His name is revered amongst his peers, and his music has fans around the globe. From a humble working class family in Derry in the North of Ireland, Phil achieved success beyond any thing he had ever anticipated as a young boy, struggling to master the piano.

“I hated the piano! I hated having to practice, I hated scales, I hated arpeggios but most of all I hated my piano teacher,” Coulter remembers.

Nevertheless, after abandoning the hated instrument for some years, he resumed his classes around eleven years of age. Phil could pick out tunes with his right hand, but what did the left one do?

“The best motivation for doing anything is when you want to do it,” he muses. After mastering the instrument, Coulter attended university in Belfast, eventually moving to London to become an arranger, producer and composer. His translation and arrangement of ‘My Boy’ with Bill Martin became an international hit after Elvis sung it.

“It’s one of my prouder boasts as a songwriter, to have written for Elvis Presley,” Coulter remarks with a smile.

One of Coulter’s more recent successes, was the formation in 2007 of the group Celtic Thunder, and including in the lineup, a highly unlikely candidate: George Donaldson, who had been up to then a bus builder and failed his initial audition. 

Phil Coulter’s latest release is “Echoes of Home,” which he describes as “back to the basics.” Including solo piano, and unadorned instrumental duets with five of his close friends, Phil Coulter describes the album by saying “My music celebrates the power of melody.”


(with Paul Brady)


Deirdre as born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and her first paid work was at the age of 10 with the BBC as an actress on "Children's Hour." She continued to perform regularly on radio and stage for the next eight years, at which point she was informed by her parents that theater was not an option and she needed "real" work.