With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to our dear friend Brian O’Donovan, the beloved host of GBH’s “A Celtic Sojourn” and “A Celtic Sojourn, Live.” Brian, who recently passed away at the age of 66, will always be remembered for his love of music and his boundless generosity that touched countless lives. As we commemorate his life and legacy, we take a moment to reflect on the profound impact Brian had, not only on the world of Celtic music but also on the lives he enriched.

A true guardian of Celtic music and culture, Brian radiated his passion and delight to all who knew him, whether through his radio show or live events. Many of us had the privilege of experiencing Brian’s warmth and enthusiasm firsthand, whether it was when he emceed a concert we planned for the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral at Old South Church, or though one of the Encore Experiences trips he crafted. While his health prevented him from joining the groups on overseas trips, his enduring passion, authentic warmth, and deep love for Celtic music were always tangible and heartfelt.

Brian wasn’t just a music advocate; he embodied kindness, generosity, and respect, leaving a lasting impression on everyone. He was a community builder, forging connections and friendships that transcended borders. Around Brian, you couldn’t help but be inspired by the devoted community he fostered, from talented musicians to dedicated fans. His impact extended far beyond music, touching countless hearts both at home and abroad.

We fondly remember Brian with gratitude for the warmth and kindness he brought into our lives. His legacy serves as a powerful reminder to embrace music and culture while cultivating qualities of kindness, generosity, and respect. Brian’s spirit will be an everlasting guide, influencing the world of Celtic music for generations to come.

In loving memory of Brian O’Donovan, a true Celtic soul who enriched our lives and touched our hearts.


During our 2022 pre-departure reception for an upcoming tour to Scotland, Brian led a heartfelt performance of “Eriskay Love Lilt,” a traditional Scottish folk song. This choice underscores his commitment to preserving Celtic culture and the unifying influence of music. The song’s moving melody and lyrics express a profound yearning for Scotland’s beauty and an enduring love for one’s homeland, highlighting how music bridges time and place to connect people through shared emotions and experiences.

As we remember Brian and his dedication to Celtic music and culture, we are inspired to honor his legacy by continuing to celebrate the beauty of these traditions. Through shared experiences, we aim to keep his spirit alive, knowing that the power of music will always bring people together.

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