Finding a Voice Festival Announces 2024 Programme

Oboist Juliana Koch

Finding a Voice Festival Announces 2024 Programme

Eight concerts to take place from 7 to 10 March, including new works by Judith Ring and Jane O’Leary.

Finding a Voice, the annual festival dedicated to the music of female composers, will take place this year from 7 to 10 March. Now in its seventh year, the event will present eight concerts in Clonmel and Cork. 

Among the composers featured in this year’s festival are Rebecca Clarke, Mélanie Bonis, Lili Boulanger, Judith Ring, Joan Trimble, Helen Grime, Jane O’Leary, Clara Schumann, Siobhán Cleary and Amy Beach, as well as artists and ensembles such as Musici Ireland, Madrigal ’75, Duo Anima, Amerghin and violinist Patrick Rafter. 

‘I’m really thrilled to be celebrating seven wonderful years of Finding a Voice and continue to be proud of the fact that we’ve programmed the music of so many incredible women composers in that time,’ said Artistic Director Róisín Maher. ‘I’m especially delighted to have performances in Cork this year, which I think will bring Finding a Voice to a whole new audience, although the heart of the festival will continue to be in my hometown of Clonmel.’ 

The festival will launch with an opening concert on 7 March featuring Rafter, pianist Gabriela Mayer, cellist Alina Mayer-Whitla and choir Madrigal ‘75. Taking place at the Cork School of Music, the concert will include works by Nadia Boulanger, Mélanie Bonis, Amy Beach, Joan Trimble and Keyna Wilkins. 

New works
On 9 March, Evlana – the contemporary music ensemble founded by composer Siobhán Cleary – will perform the world premiere of a work by Judith Ring,
The River Was Never Afraid. Written for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello, the piece was commissioned by the festival and focuses on the river Suir, which runs through Clonmel. This concert will also feature works by Elaine Agnew, Rebecca Clarke, Keiko Abe, Gemma Peacock and Cleary. 

Other new works receiving world premieres at the festival include a composition by Jane O’Leary that will be performed on 9 March by Duo Anima, and the winning piece from the festival’s Emerging Composer Competition, run in association with the Contemporary Music Centre, the details of which are yet to be announced. 

Chamber group Musici Ireland will perform a new multidisciplinary production titled A Mother’s Voice on 8 March at the STAC Chapel in Clonmel. The work, which was created in memory of the women affected by the mother and baby homes in Ireland during the 1900s was created by violist and producer Beth McNinch with co-creative assistance from Jane Hackett, and an original score and soundscape by Irene and Linda Buckley. 

On 8 March, oboist Juliana Koch and pianist Michael McHale perform a concert celebrating International Women’s Day at Triskel Arts Centre in Cork, with works by Clara Schumann, Helen Grime and Ruth Gipps; French-Algerian singer-songwriter Iness Mezel and traditional percussionist Nora Abdoun perform a programme of music from the Berber culture, indigenous to Morocco, on 9 March; and on 10 March, the traditional group Amerghin – comprising Anne Marie O’Farrell, Aingeala De Búrca, Tim Doyle and Brian Fleming – will present music by fiddle player Máire Breatnach, Irish American fiddle player Liz Carroll, Italian baroque composer Isabella Leonarda, French baroque composer Elizabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, West African kora player and composer Sona Jobarte, and composer and harpist O’Farrell.

There will also be a talk with musicologist and campaigner Dr Laura Watson exploring the memoirs of women in rock and popular music (9 March), and a Mother’s Day concert to close the festival with works by Joan Trimble, Pauline Viardot, Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach and extracts from Libby Larsen’s Birth Project, performed by soprano Kelley Petcu, Rafter, Mayer and cellist Aline Mayer Whitla. 

For further information and tickets, visit

Subscribe to our newsletter. 

Published on 15 February 2024

comments powered by Disqus