Melodic end to Music for Galway’s annual season

Violinist Elizabeth Cooney.
Violinist Elizabeth Cooney.

International violinist Elizabeth Cooney returns to Galway next week with five superb string players for the closing concert of this year’s Music for Galway series.

They will perform two sextets, Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence which combines Italian lyricism with Russian virtuosity, along with Brahms’ first sextet. This piece that is both reflective and exuberant, forms a fitting end to the Music for Galway Brahms season, according to the organisation’s Artistic Director Finghin Collins.

Cork-born Elizabeth Cooney, who has strong family ties with Connemara, will be joined in concert at NUIG’s Emily Anderson Hall by prize-winning violinist Mairéad Hickey, who now studies at the Kronberg Academy. Violist Simon Aspell, who was here earlier in the season with ACE, and many times as part of the Vanbrugh Quartet, will also perform, as will violist Ruth Gibson of Ensemble 360. The sextet is completed by cellists Brian O’Kane of the Navarra Quartet and Guy Johnston of the Aronowitz Ensemble, a winner of BBC Young Musician and Brit Award and also no stranger to Galway audiences.

That concert, next Thursday starts at 8pm in the Emily Anderson Hall at NUIG and will conclude Music for Galway’s 36th International Concert Season, which had the theme Aimez-vous Brahms?

Earlier that day, composer and musicologist Gerry Murphy, who opened the season in September with a talk ‘Brahms: The Man’ will give audiences an insight into the elusive side of the composer in a talk Brahms: In Love. That’s in Hotel Meyrick at 1.05pm. Admission is free and there’s a soup-and-sandwich special available for €7. To book, call Music for Galway at 091 705962.

■ Tickets for Thursday evening’s concert are €20 / €16 / €6 from, phone: 091 705962 in person at Opus 2, High Street, Galway City.