Variations and Rhapsodies: Cork PianoFest Recital Series

Variations and Rhapsodies: Cork PianoFest Recital Series

Friday, 31 May 2024, 1.00pm

Music by Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Van Heusen, Rosolino, Churchill, Strayhorn

Tomás O’Hea, Jonathan Murray and Declan Murphy

The form of ‘theme and variations’ has held a particular fascination for composers for piano and keyboard from as far back as the early sixteenth century. From William Byrd to JS Bach’s epic Goldberg Variations, from Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert to Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninov, the form has been a vehicle as much for showcasing pianistic prowess and improvisational ability as well as compositional technique. Its deep associations with improvisation meant that it instantly lent itself to jazz, where the ‘theme and variations’ model formed the basis of bebop and still remains the most common model for jazz improvisation to this day. This programme will showcase both classical and jazz forms, with some beautiful jazz standards bookended by music from two of the nineteenth century’s greatest keyboard improvisers: Beethoven and Liszt.

Johannes Brahms:

Intermezzo in A major op.118 no.2 (1893)
Ludwig van Beethoven:

32 Variations in C minor WoO 80 (1806)
Tomás O’Hea

Jimmy Van Heusen (arr. Jonathan Murray):

It Could Happen to You (1943)
Frank Rosolino (arr. Jonathan Murray):

Blue Daniel (1959)
Frank Churchill (arr. Jonathan Murray):

Someday My Prince Will Come (1937)
Billy Strayhorn (arr. Jonathan Murray):

Lush Life (1936)
Jonathan Murray

Franz Liszt:

Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp minor S.244 (1851)
(cadenza: Declan Murphy)

Declan Murphy

Tomás O’Hea is a piano student of Timothy Cooper and is in his second year of his Bachelor’s degree at MTU Cork School of Music. He began learning to play the piano with Antoinette Baker in Clonakilty. Tomás has earned multiple prizes for his solo piano playing in Feis Maitiú and Feis Ceoil as well as CETBCSM senior student of the year. Tomás enjoys playing with ensembles and orchestras, and has performed alongside the CSM Symphony Orchestra and Wexford Sinfonia, as

well as multiple award-winning choirs. Tomás plans to spend the third year of his course on Erasmus in Verona, Italy studying under Edoardo Maria Strabbioli.

Jonathan Murray is a Cork-based pianist, working mainly as a jazz musician and accompanist. He is in his final year of the CSM BMus, with a focus on performance and arranging/ensemble writing. A big aim in his music is trying to understand the inner workings of each piece, both in their construction and especially their lyrics, if they have them, to inform the performance and arrangement.

Wexford-born Declan Murphy has been playing piano since the age of seven under the tutelage of Donagh Wylde. He has just completed his Bachelor’s degree in Music studying with Dr. Gabriela Mayer and Michael McHale in the Cork School of Music, earning first-class honours. Declan has played at numerous concerts including the New Ross Piano Festival in 2016 and was invited back to play in 2017. Most recent performances include the University Concert Hall’s Rising Stars 2024 in Limerick and the closing concert of the International Masters Course in the National Concert Hall. Achievements of note include first prize in the

O’Reilly Cup in the Kilkenny Music Festival in 2019, which was his first music competition. Declan Murphy has performed a wide range of pieces all throughout his musical life, particularly in the Cork School of Music where he has broadened his musical skills playing solo, chamber, and even orchestral works. During this time, he also took part in many masterclasses with Barry Douglas as part of the college tuition and Camerata Ireland. He has achieved top grades in his performance exams, the most recent of these being his public final recital and final organ exam. Declan has a great interest in the repertoire of romantic music, particularly the virtuosic piano works but also regularly takes part in the music community in Wexford.

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Added by Triskel Christchurch on 22 April 2024

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