Wigmore Hall Festival in Dublin to Open New RIAM Recital Hall

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Wigmore Hall Festival in Dublin to Open New RIAM Recital Hall

Featured artists include Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the Schumann Quartet, Stephen Hough, Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss and Regula Mühlemann.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) has announced a festival in association with renowned London concert hall Wigmore Hall. The Wigmore Hall Festival will take place this September as the opening event for RIAM’s new chamber music venue, Whyte Recital Hall.

The festival will see a selection of Wigmore Hall’s programmed artists for the 2023–2024 season – including Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the Schumann Quartet and Stephen Hough – performing at the new 300-seater venue. In addition to the performances, the artists will give exclusive masterclasses and Q&A sessions for RIAM students.

Festival programme
The festival will open on 5 September with a concert featuring pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss performing Schubert works for piano duo. Pianist and composer Stephen Hough will perform a programme of works by Liszt, Mompou, Debussy and Scriabin, along with his own compositions, on 12 September. 

On 19 September, German-Estonian ensemble the Schumann Quartet will perform works by Dvořák and Schubert along with Austrian composer Viktor Ullmann’s String Quartet No. 3. Ullmann was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 but composed a number of works in the Czech concentration camp Theresienstadt the year before.

Also performing as part of the festival is British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who will perform with Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes a programme of works by Brazilian composers (26 September), and Swiss soprano Regula Mühlemann with pianist Tatiana Korsunskaya performing lieder by Schubert and Strauss and works by Frank Bridge and Dominick Argento (28 September).

Homecoming concerts
Complementing the Wigmore Hall Festival is a series of Homecoming Concerts featuring some of RIAM’s well-known alumni. The Homecoming Concerts include performances by soprano Ailish Tynan and tenor Robin Tritschler with visiting pianist Iain Burnside (26 April), the piano duo of Finghin Collins and Dearbhla Collins (25 May), and soprano Celine Byrne with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on 15 October. 

Commenting on the festival and concert announcements, Deborah Kelleher, Director of RIAM, said:

RIAM’s newly completed Whyte Recital Hall promises to be a performance venue of international repute. Audiences will encounter Ireland and the world’s great artists in acoustically stunning surroundings in the heart of Dublin. With that ambition in mind, I approached John Gilhooly for advice as to how we might make a strong opening artistic statement. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of his response, which was to connect us to some of the Wigmore Hall’s most exciting artists from this year’s season. In the Wigmore Hall Festival, we offer audiences an unforgettable debut season in the Whyte Recital Hall that is beyond my imagining.

Gilhooly, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall and RIAM Fellow, said:

We’re delighted to collaborate with RIAM in its 175th anniversary year, a remarkable milestone, and to bring these great artists to Dublin to open the beautiful new Whyte Recital Hall. It will be an outstanding artistic asset for RIAM and, as its first purpose-built chamber sized concert hall, right in the heart of Dublin, a hugely important cultural asset for Ireland.

The Whyte Recital Hall, named after one of the institution’s major donors, Stephen Whyte, is part of RIAM’s recent €25 million campus redevelopment, which opened in February and also includes 76 teaching rooms, a music therapy suite, an opera rehearsal studio and a sonic arts hub.

For further information on the festival, concerts and booking, visit https://www.riam.ie/whats-on.

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Published on 4 April 2023

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