Leo Rowsome on the Bill:  Concert Posters, 1940s–1950s


Leo Rowsome (1903–1970) was a third generation uilleann piper.  His musical and pipe making skills were inherited from his grandfather Samuel Rowsome from Ballintore. Co. Wexford and his father William who established the family pipe making and repair business in Dublin.  One of six musical children, Leo was to play a pivotal role in the revival of uilleann piping in Ireland as a pipe maker, performer, teacher, organiser, advocate & publisher.  He performed extensively in Ireland and abroad, and broadcast on both radio and televsion. Leo recorded with a number of 78 rpm record companies and on vinyl with Claddagh and Topic Records.  

This image gallery contains 8 posters advertising Leo in concert in Ireland and Britain during the 1940s and 1950s, as well as some unique family photographs and an interesting piece of performance contract correspondence.  Posters in the archival world are classed as 'Ephemera' .  Like flyers and concert programmes these paper mementoes are often the only archival record of many concerts and events which tell the earlier story of traditional music and entertainment in both Ireland and abroad.  

The Rowsome piping tradition continues through fourth and fifth generations of the family in both playing, pipe making and publishing.  

We are indebted to Leo's daughter Helena who donated these posters and photographs to ITMA and gave permission to share them online.  Publishing this gallery inspired us to also feature a selection of Leo's piping in an audio playlist of his 78 rpm disc recordings from 1926–1944.

We would like to thank Helena Rowsome for the images and also the donors of the 78 rpm discs which make up this tribute to the King of the Pipers Leo Rowsome.

Leo Rowsome on the Bill:  Concert Posters, 1940s–1950s