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Wide variety on offer in 32nd Music for Galway programme

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 20-Sep-2012

Soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Europe, South America and the USA will take part in Music for Galway’s 32nd season, which was launched this week and features over 20 events.

The opening concert, on Tuesday, October 2 will focus on flute quartets and piano sonatas of Haydn with flautist Madeleine Staunton, pianist Peter Tuite, and members of ConTempo Quartet. These works are rarely heard in concert and the programme has been specially devised for Music for Galway.

The season will close at the end of April with a special Schubert evening in the Meyrick Hotel Ballroom, featuring bass baritone Conor Biggs performing some of Schubert’s most beautiful songs and ConTempo Quartet performing the composer’s quartet, Death and the Maiden.

In between, there will be a range of events, including orchestral concerts in Seapoint Ballroom.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra will bring a programme ranging from the third symphony of Philip Glass to Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings on October 17. The Irish Baroque Orchestra and Monica Huggett return to Galway on November 22 with a vibrant new work by American composer Hollis Taylor called Groove Theory.

Prize-winning Russian pianist Nicolay Khozainov visits Galway on November 7 for a concert at the Aula Maxima, while Venetian, Allesandro Taverna will be at the same venue on February 14.

Touring events this season feature the outstanding Irish choir, Resurgam in Handel’s Messiah just before Christmas and the renowned BBC Singers in a pre-Easter concert featuring Seven Last Words from the Cross in a contemporary setting by Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Concerts will be enhanced by two award-winning films, shown at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media: In search of Haydn and Portrait of Philip Glass: Glass in 12 Parts. Music by Philip Glass will feature in concerts by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the young German saxophone quartet, sonic.art.

This year Music for Galway present two special three-day festivals. One is presented in association with the Galway Music Residency, celebrating their 10th anniversary with the world-renowned Galway ensemble in residence, ConTempo Quartet. Special guests for this event include pianist Isabelle O’Connell from New York, accordion player Dermot Dunne with Ariel Hernandez from Argentina, and the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet.

The annual Midwinter Festival in the third weekend of January focuses on the music of Beethoven: Genius, Passion and the Irish Connection.

This Festival is again sponsored by DERI and it brings together the outstanding Dutch piano trio Osiris, the Dutch soprano Charlotte Riedijk, UK based Irish tenor Robin Tritschler, clarinetist Paul Roe and Cork born pianist Rebecca Capova. Actor Rod Goodall will read from the letters of Beethoven as translated by Galway scholar, Emily Anderson whose translation of Beethoven’s correspondence brought the composer closer to the English speaking world.

The festival will feature Piano Trios, Bagatelles for solo piano, the song cycle To the Distant Beloved, the Clarinet Trio, and Beethoven’s settings of Irish folk songs for voice, violin, cello and piano.

Full details on that festival and on all Music for Galway’s events for this season at www.musicforgalway.ie.

 

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

images/files/images/x3_Courthouse.jpg

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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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