West Cork Chamber Musicians

Booking has opened for one of the highlights of the Irish Summer, the 2019 West Cork Chamber Music Festival, which presents world-class chamber music on the shores of Bantry Bay from June 28th until July 7th.

This year’s stellar line-up includes violinists Viviane Hagner, Henning Kraggerud, Mairéad Hickey, Kerstin Dill and Marc Danel; Borusan Quartet; Quatuor Zaïde; Dahlkvist Quartet; Chiarascuro Quartet; cellists Johannes Moser, Emmanuelle Bertrand and BBC Young Musician winner Laura van der Heijden; clarinettist Mate Bekavac; sopranos Anna Devin and Caroline Melzer; pianists Barry Douglas, Pascal Amoyel, Gloria Campener, Finghin Collins, Alexei Grynyuk, Izabella Simon and Dénes Várjon; violist Ellen Nisbeth; Camerata Øresund, and many more all gather in Bantry for ten days of intense music-making.

Highlights of the programme include an exploration of the rare pairing of Beethoven’s early Opus 18 quartets with Mozart’s mature set. The pairings are shared amongst the four headline Festival Quartets, Chiaroscuro, Borusan, Zaïde and Dahlkvist. Ahead of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary celebrations in 2020, the Festival includes his three middle period Piano Trios played by Barry Douglas, Vivienne Hagner, and Johannes Moser completing the series they began in 2017 and the massive Hammerklavier Sonata played by pianist Dénes Várjon.

The French cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand plays the complete Bach Cello Suites over two Coffee Concerts. She also joins with her husband, Pascal Amoyal, in two rarely heard nineteenth century cello sonatas by Charles-Valentin Alkan and Rita Strohl. Performer family connections are also found in the Swedish Dahlkvist Quartet that boasts two sisters and their brother who will introduce us to the music of Andrea Tarrodi.

The Festival welcomes sopranos Anna Devin, singing Handel and a selection of Henri Duparc’s seventeen Mélodies, and Caroline Melzer, joining the Dutch Delta Trio for Shostakovich’s setting of Seven Romances by Alexander Blok which concludes with his overwhelming paean to the power of music.

The Slovenian clarinettist, Mate Bekavac, makes his Festival debut with four powerful and unusual works beginning with an obbligato part in Weinberg’s intense 4th Chamber Symphony featuring the Festival Strings under David Brophy. He partners with Mairéad Hickey in Pierre Thilloy’s Khojaly 613 that commemorates the massacre of 613 civilians trying to escape from the besieged town of Khojaly. The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind by Osvaldo Golijov has become a modern classic with its wild dances and dizzying arrays of clarinets.

The Festival concludes with Messiaen’s war-time Quartet for the End of Time, led by Henning Kraggerud with Mate Bekavac, Alexei Grynyuk and Laura van der Heijden.

In addition to the 45 concerts in the main Festival, a series of free-admission Fringe Concerts, and pop-ups will take place in different settings in the area – islands, churches, a library, local shops, an arts centre, a tourist office, and other unlikely locations. Young musician masterclasses, morning talks, and Ireland’s only instrument making exhibition, run throughout the Festival.

General Booking is now open. For more information, go to www.westcorkmusic.ie  or phone +353 (0) 27 52788

West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council, Crespo Foundation, Failte Ireland, Cork County Council, RTÉ lyric fm and IMRO.

Full programme available here.

Watch the promo video here

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