Rising classical stars for Clifden concert


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Rising classical stars for Clifden concert Rising classical stars for Clifden concert

Trumpeter Matilda Lloyd and guitarist Alexandra Whittingham, young English musicians who are currently taking the classical world by storm, are taking part in Music Network’s April tour which will visit Clifden on Monday, April 22.

For their first tour of Ireland, the two will join forces to present a selection of early music before moving on to composers including Benjamin Britten, Gabriel Fauré and Erik Sate, continuing with Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. The programme will also feature a new work by Belfast-based composer, Dr Greg Caffrey.

Matilda Lloyd’s classical repertoire ranges from Joseph Haydn to Henri Tomasi and from J.S. Bach to György Ligeti, while she has also premiered modern pieces, including Hark!, the 2019 work by British composer John Woolrich.

Her most recent CD, Casta Diva, released in 2023, is a collection of Italian operatic arias in new arrangements for trumpet and orchestra, recorded with Britten Sinfonia and Rumon Gamba. Released in April. BBC Music Magazine named it Recording of the Month last June,

Matilda will be performing on some of Europe’s top classical stages for the remainder of this year and in 2025, having been chosen as an European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO)  Rising Star 2024/25.  She was nominated by London’s Barbican Centre and Konserthuset Stockholm.

Manchester-born Alexandra Whittingham was seven when she started playing guitar and discovered she had a natural aptitude for the instrument. She enjoyed performing rock and pop – and still does – but discovered a new passion when she first heard her teacher playing classical Spanish guitar music. Aged 16, she began filming her classical performances and, since then, her videos have clocked up more than 50 million views and have resulted in her being invited to take part in concerts and festivals all over the world.

Her debut studio album, My European Journey, was released in 2021 and, on it, she played works by recognised and lesser-known composers as she explored the guitar’s coming of age in 19th century Europe. It received widespread critical acclaim.

Music Network regularly commissions new works under its National Touring Programme and for this month’s tour, the organisation commissioned Greg Caffrey to write a piece, Caprice, especially for Alexandra and Matilda.

Their Clifden show, on Monday, April 22, will be at the Station House Theatre and is being presented by  Clifden Arts Society. The concert starts at 8pm and tickets are available on the door.

They will also play dates in Belfast, Donegal, Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Kerry, as well as in Galway.

■ More information at

Pictured: Guitarist Alexandra Whittingham and trumpeter Matilda Lloyd will be in Clifden on April 22.

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