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West Cork Chamber Music Fesitval
Bantry Co. Cork, Ireland
Late June
The chamber music festivals that are treasured by music-lovers share several features – the day is full of music from morning to midnight, the programming repeatedly discovers unexpected repertoire and great but lesser-known musicians, all works are properly rehearsed, there is a strong programme of masterclasses and facilities for young musicians and audiences keep coming back. These festivals are very often in remote but beautiful places. This is what we try to achieve in Bantry, here in the unrivalled destination of West Cork, Ireland. The Festival lasts for nine days, there are five concerts, three masterclasses and a talk each day, there are instrument making workshops, the hundred or so invited musicians are without exception superb, the programming combines the challenging and the unknown with the familiar and the whole town is taken over for rehearsals. Bantry House is the main concert venue along with the small single-aisle church dedicated to St Brendan, whose legendary Brendan Voyage began in this part of Ireland. All the venues have an intimacy that is vital for chamber music and Bantry House itself is renowned for the atmosphere created in the candle-lit Library and the House’s extraordinarily beautiful setting at the head of Bantry Bay. All events are within walking distance of the central hotels and one can find oneself crossing the Square in the company of world-famous musicians, the intimacy of place and venue creates a special community of musicians and music-lovers.
The heart of chamber music is the string quartet and the 2012 programme features four leading Quartets. Signum Quartet is an outstanding young German ensemble that has just been taken on by the BBC New Generation Scheme. Apollon Musagète is another young quartet with a growing reputation, this time from Poland. Chiaroscuro quartet is a multi-national period instrument quartet led by the matchless Alina Ibragimova. And the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet is the Festival’s permanent resident. They will play familiar quartets by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky alongside less familiar works by Arriaga, Gorecki, Penderecki, Schnittke and Schulhoff as well as well-known quintets by Brahms, Mozart and Weber. Each morning the Festival day begins with sparkling music from the Baroque, led by the Polish Arte dei Suonatori featuring vocal glories by Vivaldi, Handel, Purcell, and Monteverdi with Boccherini’s Stabat Mater as the highlight. Soloists will include violist Lawrence Power, composer-pianist Thomas Larcher, pianists Antti Siirala, Péter Nagy, Ewa Kupiec, Paavali Jumppanen, Julius Drake and Graham Johnson, violinists Tanja Becker-Bender (who will play the complete Paganini Caprices), Andreas Reiner and Catherine Leonard, cellists Natalie Clein and Andreas Brantelid, clarinettists Christoffer Sundqvist and Carol McGonnell, marimba-player Ji Hye Jung and singers Robin Tritschler, Cristina Zavalloni, Ruby Hughes and Maria Keohane. The Irish Chamber Orchestra will play a stunning concert of works by Britten, Larcher, and Bartók.
Bantry House & more
Admission & Parking
Admission ranges from €5-€38. Some events are free.
+35-3 (0)2752788/9


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