Young Irish Fiddle Phenom Haley Richardson Thursday, October 12 - 7:30 p.m.- Irish Fiddler Haley Richardson and Shared Madness, w/Dan Penzien and Megan Bennett Irby. Irish traditional music. $12 advance/$15 door Irish fiddler Haley Richardson is making her first appearance at the White Horse Black Mountain on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m., but she’s no stranger to the Swannanoa Valley. Music campers at the Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week have been treated over the past decade to the sight and sound of a small blonde bundle of precocious fiddling ability holding her own in the company of seasoned professional players, prompting fiddle star Martin Hayes to call her “The most astonishing young talent I have ever seen”. Now, at the advanced age of fifteen, Haley Richardson is establishing herself as an artist to be reckoned with, touring with established acts and ensembles of her own. Guitarist Don Penzien and vocalist Megan Bennett Irby of Beirt leChéile (“Two Together”) will join Haley at the White Horse, performing as Shared Madness. Haley Richardson asked to play the violin at age two. She started Suzuki lessons at three and fell in love with the sound of Irish music after hearing renowned fiddler Kevin Burke. When she was six years old she came under the tutelage of Sligo style master fiddler Brian Conway, and from him she learned the lilting, energetic and highly ornamented playing approach popularized by the recordings of the the legendary Michael Coleman. She’s gone on to win numerous titles at contests, including a total on nine consecutive championships at the MidAtlantic Fleadh and has placed numerous times at the All Ireland competitions. Haley plays with a technical ability and deep understanding of the music that’s rare in even gifted younger players. Her musicianship has been recognized well known names in Irish music, including The Chieftains, Altasn, Dervish, Pride of New York, Liz Carroll, John Whelan, and Paddy Keenan, all of whom she’s shared the stage with. She’s a regular member of Mick Moloney’s Green Fields of America and accordionist John Whelan’s band. Whelan has been a mentor to Haley in recent years and produced her debut CD Heart on a String. Haley Richardson’s growing reputation as player allows her to enlist top flight musicians as performance partners. For the White Horse gig, that would be Don Penzien, an in-demand guitarist in the DADGAD tuning common to Irish music, and vocalist/arranger Megan Bennett Irby. The director of CelticFest Mississippi for twenty-five years, Penzien recently moved to Winston-Salem to serve as Professor of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Doctors Penzien and Irby partner in their professional careers as research scientists as well as music, and Irby’s recent concentration on Irish traditions, spurred by Penzien, has attracted the attention of many prominent musicians.