All roads lead to Clifden for annual celebration of arts

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

The 46th Clifden Arts Festival runs from Wednesday, September 13, to Sunday, September 24, with concerts, exhibitions, talks, dramas and other events taking place in and around the town. Highlights include a concert from the legendary Christy Moore at the West Connemara Leisure Centre on September 14. There’s also a chance to see three of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters – Lisa Hannigan, Paul Noonan, and Gemma Hayes – perform together in what promises to be a special evening of collaboration as they share their songs with one another, showcasing their collective musical prowess. They’ll be at the Leisure Centre on Friday, September 15.

Crooner and showman, Jack L, will be in the same venue on Wednesday, September 20. He has a reputation as a superb entertainer, something  people can experience for themselves when he plays the festival.

Fans of classical music, meanwhile, can look forward to visits from the Irish Chamber Orchestra and West Ocean String Quartet. Traditional concerts includes one from Buttons and Bows, the group made up of Jackie Daly on accordion, Séamus and Manus McGuire on fiddles and Garry Ó Briain on mandocello and guitar.

A highlight will be the Connemara premiere of Stolen Hearts, a new composition by Bill Whelan, performed by traditional musicians Séamus Ó Flatharta (voice and whistle) Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta (voice and fiddle)  and Pádraic Keane (uilleann pipes), along with Galway’s ensemble in residence, the ConTempo Quartet. That’s in Christ Church on September 21 at 1pm.

As part of the schools’ programme, Clifden Arts Festival is exploring new territory in the company of Out of the Ordinary, an award-winning virtual-reality community experience from Irish National Opera. And then there’s Graffiti Classics, whose unique blend of strings and surprises is highly recommended for anyone looking to let off some steam.

Clifden’s tradition of nurturing expansive conversations continues with a programme that includes historian Diarmaid Ferriter, broadcaster and political historian David McCullagh, and hotelier and TV personality Francis Brennan.

Pictured at the launch of the Clifden Arts Festival programme were Patrick Wallace, Philip Davis and Chloe Connelly of Moon Magic Theatre. PHOTO: ANDREW DOWNES, XPOSURE.IE.


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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