West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival Returns This Month

Gerald Barry’s new work ‘Blessington’ will receive its world premiere at the festival. (Photo: Alan Betson).

West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival Returns This Month

The festival takes place from 18 to 22 May and will present three world premieres.

West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival has announced the programme for this year’s event. Taking place from 18 to 22 May in Russborough House and St. Mary’s Church in Blessington, the festival includes a series of concerts, talks, and family events.

World premieres
Three world premieres will be presented as part of this year’s festival. The opening concert on 18 May will feature flautist Adam Walker and pianist – and Artistic Director of the festival – Fiachra Garvey perform a programme including Gerald Barry’s new work Blessington. The piece was commissioned by the festival to acknowledge the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Blessington Lakes, and to commemorate the people whose land, homes, and livelihoods were sacrificed in the creation of the manmade reservoir. The concert will also feature works by Mozart, Tailleferre, Poulenc, and Prokofiev. 

On 19 May, Berlin-based ensemble, Trio Gaspard, will perform the world premiere of Sebastian Adams’ Ceiliúradh. The work was commissioned by the festival as part of the Decade of Centenaries initiative and celebrates a diverse, inclusive and progressive Ireland in 2022. The concert will also includes works by Haydn, Charlotte Bray, Paul Juon, and Mendelssohn. The festival’s Rising Stars concert with clarinettist Cathal Killeen and pianist Órán Halligan on 21 May will see the world premiere of A New Species by Michael Cummins, this year’s West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition winner.

Elsewhere in the festival there will be concerts with the string quartet Quatuor Arod and Garvey (20 May); Eblana String Trio (21 May); and mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp and pianist Emma Abbate performing a programme of folk songs from different countries (22 May).

Talks and masterclasses
The festival programme also includes talks with Wicklow historian Séamas Ó Maitiú on the history of the Blessington Lakes (18 May); and instrument-maker Paul Bradley on violin-making (21 May). Flautist Adam Walker will host a flute masterclass on 19 May. 

There will also be a family fun day including percussion workshops and a musical maze (22 May), and a family concert featuring narrator Nicholas Grennell, soprano Catherine Redding, and Trio Táin presenting Mozart’s The Magic Flute (22 May). 

Commenting on this year’s festival, Fiachra Garvey said:

The programme for May 2022 has been a long time coming. Most of the incredible artists joining us were due to perform at our 2020 festival and I’m beyond excited to think that this year they will finally get to enthral our wonderful West Wicklow audiences. Their programmes feature a wide selection of exciting works from Mozart to Charlotte Bray and everything in between, and I look forward to seeing everyone in May for summer sunshine and glorious music!

For further information and tickets, visit: www.westwicklowfestival.com/

Published on 13 May 2022

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