Philippe Cassard was the first winner of the Dublin Piano Competition in 1988 and the most recent winner of the triennial competition in 2015 was Nathalie Milstein, the first female winner, and both are appearing at this year’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Booking for one the highlights of the Summer, which presents world-class chamber music on the shores of Bantry Bay from June 29 until July 8, is already brisk.
Also on stellar international line up is the Polish String Quartet, Apollon Musagète, Quatuor Danel from Belgium and The Dudok Kwartet from Holland. Other soloists include violinists Alina Ibragimova, Mairéad Hickey, Nurit Stark, Elina Vähälä and Andreas Reiner; viola players Nils Mönkemeyer and Dana Zemtsov; cellists Andreas Brantelid, Christopher Marwood and Ella Van Poucke and pianists, Julius Drake, Barry Douglas, Cédric Pescia and Cédric Tiberghien; sopranos Caroline Melzer and Ruby Hughes; double bass player Niek de Groot and clarinettist Mate Bekavac.
The 2018 programme will feature the world premiere of Deirdre Gribbin’s Kindersang, which marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and the development of the Kindertransport movement that rescued 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis. It also includes a focus on works by women composers, a celebration of Europe’s two most important living composers Sofia Gubaidulina and György Kurtág, and a performance of Messiaen’s Harawi.
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival presents a fantastic opportunity to hear all three of Beethoven’s Razumovsky Quartets, five hidden gems by Mozart, all three violin sonatas by Brahms and three major works by Schubert. The Festival’s well deserved reputation for discovering exotic quintets continues this year and it also offers four major piano solo recitals, two rare song cycles, a pair of string sextets and much more.
The programme includes works by Kodály, Tallis, Vivaldi, Bloch, Brahms, Ravel, Auerbach, Debussy, Bartók, Shostakovich, Weinberg, Purcell, Messiaen, Handel, Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Kurtág and Prokofiev.
Online bookings at www.westcorkmusic.ie or phone 027 52788
West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council, Crespo Foundation, Failte Ireland, Cork County Council and RTÉ lyric fm.