Renowned throughout the country, the UK, Europe, and further afield, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival takes place this year from Friday, June 28th to Sunday, July 7th. Ireland’s chamber music haven lies at the head of Bantry Bay: this annual celebration of chamber music will bring 110 musicians, masters and students, established composers and apprentices, string players and wind players, solo sopranos and vocal consorts, pianists and harpsichordists, national and international Baroque ensembles, young prize-winners and living legends, to gather in Bantry for ten days of intense music-making. The dedicated music-lover could conceivably attend six concerts in a single day. There are also masterclasses for quartets, pianists and a Baroque ensemble, there are free fringe events, public artist interviews and talks and a major exhibition of Irish and international string instrument-makers and bow-makers. You will even be able to hear one of Liszt’s Hungarian extravaganzas played by a brilliant Russian on a Steinway piano in a room that looks onto an Italian Garden.
Maybe it is the sea air or the lived-in splendours of Bantry House or the scintillating view of mountain and sea or the famed West Cork hospitality, but musicians who can fill London’s Albert Hall or Vienna’s Musikverein or Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw are always delighted to return to perform in Bantry. Audiences from all over the world are bemused that such a rare feast can be found so far from the great centres of music in St Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York or London.
As part of its mission to support tourism, business, economic development and cultural heritage, Cork County Council is proud to support the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Alongside the West Cork Literary Festival and the Masters of Tradition, also organised by West Cork Music, the festival is set to generate €2.9 million in the local economy. Last year the Chamber Music Festival alone attracted more than 1,700 visitors to West Cork.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Christopher O’Sullivan said “The West Cork Chamber Music Festival has become one of the premier events of the festival season in Cork. With financial support from Cork County Council, I look forward to seeing it grow, bringing more visitors to West Cork while maintaining the outstanding quality of performance that has come to be expected.”
On Friday June 28th, West Cork Music will host a Fundraising Lunch in Seaview House, Ballylickey, at 2pm, hosted by Margaret Gilligan and Deirdre O’Donovan. Featuring a performance by Mairéad Hickey all proceeds will go towards the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Masterclass Series.
For full details see www.westcorkmusic.ie