Above: German cellist Alban Gerhardt
Booking is now open for this summer’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry. The Festival runs from June 27 to July 5 and welcomes a star-studded cast of international musicians. Tickets are already selling very quickly and early booking is advised.
One of the leading violinists of her generation Alina Ibragimova will be joined by renowned German cellist Alban Gerhardt; the much-admired singers Ruby Hughes, Maria Keohane and Allison Bell; French pianists Cédric Pescia, Cédric Tiberghien and Philippe Cassard; German violinist Carolin Widman and many more. Four world class quartets perform during the week: the Vanbrugh Quartet from Ireland, Doric Quartet from Britain, Zemlinsky Quartet from Czechoslovakia and the Danish Quartet making a much-awaited return to West Cork.
Festival Artistic Director and CEO of West Cork Music Francis Humphrys has once again presented an exciting and eclectic programme which moves from such favourites as Beethoven, Brahms and Vivaldi through to lesser-known contemporary works by such composers as Peder Gram, Silvestrov and Tanguy.
The Festival opens with the exuberant young Danish Quartet, currently BBC 3 New Generation Artists, playing the Danish composer Abrahamsen’s 10 Preludes in the intimate setting of Bantry House’s library. The musical action continues to include such highlights as A Poet’s Life – A Celebration of the lives of Seamus Heaney and John Taverner in the Monday main evening concert. This concert will feature Deirdre Gribbins’ Island People and Anahorish, Schumann’s Dichterliebe ( based on the poetry of Heinrich Heine) and Tavener’s To a Child Dancing in the Wind.
Late night in Bantry House and St Brendan’s Church, music-lovers have the chance to hear the last works of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms while on Thursday afternoon in St Brendan’s Church, Lawrence Power will play a Brahms marathon with his viola sonatas before switching instruments for his three violin sonatas
Morning talks hosted by seasoned broadcaster Evelyn Grant take place in the Brick Oven Restaurant and there will be a week-long Violin and Bow making Exhibition in the Old Cinema. As always, young talent is nurtured at the Festival through a week long programme of Young Musician masterclasses.
To find out the full Festival programme and to book online, go to www.westcorkmusic.ie ,ring West Cork Music on +353 (0) 27 52788 or call into the Festival office at 13 Glengarriff Road, Bantry, Co Cork.
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council and Failte Ireland.