Unique festival a blend of glorious and serious

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Ireland’s new cello festival, Cellissimo, will open on Saturday, May 18, and will run until Sunday, May 26, in the city and county. It will feature 27 concerts across the nine days, as well as talks, masterclasses, theatre, gaming, film, a photography exhibition and a mystery cello trail on Inishbofin island.

More than 500 musicians, composers, singers, dancers, actors, storytellers, game designers and speakers from Ireland and across the world are taking part.

They include major names in classical music, including Galway conductor and composer Eimear Noone, cellists Alban Gerhardt, Camille Thomas, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jakob Koranyi, Killian White, Adrian Mantu and Natalie Clein, sopranos Rachel Croash and Claudia Boyle, pianists Daria van den Bercken, José Gallardo, Finghin Collins and Hugh Tinney, violinists Bogdan Sofei and Barnabás Kelemen, percussionist Alex Petcu, clarinettist Macdara Ó Seireadain and dance artist Stephanie Dufresne.

The National Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Cello Ireland are also taking part.

Cellissimo highlights include the Classic Hour series, a three-part programme of duos featuring cello and piano. Pairing up for these events are cellist Alban Gerhardt and pianist  Hugh Tinney; Killian White and Daria van den Bercken; and Natalie Clein and the festival’s Artistic Director, Finghin Collins.

Contemporary music hasn’t been forgotten, with Music for Galway having commissioned new works by six Irish composers. These will be premiered daily in the Bach Plus Series, alongside partner cello suites by Bach. These six concerts will take place in the city’s St Nicolas Collegiate Church during the day, before travelling to venues across County Galway for repeat performances each evening.

Elsewhere, French cellist Camille Thomas will present The Story of the Cello at Black Box Theatre, as she makes her debut performance with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Pictured: Eimear Noone will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, May 22, in Leisureland, featuring Adrian Mantu on cello.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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