Pavel Haas Quartet, Miranda Cuckson, Donnacha Dennehy at West Cork Chamber Music Festival

Pavel Haas Quartet

Pavel Haas Quartet, Miranda Cuckson, Donnacha Dennehy at West Cork Chamber Music Festival

2017 festival will open with a new commission from Sam Perkin and feature the Irish premieres of six works.

The annual West Cork Chamber Music Festival will take place in Bantry from 30 June – 8 July. Though focussed around the beautiful seventeeth-century Bantry House, events – including talks, masterclasses, and coffee concerts as well as main evening concerts – will also take place at St Brendan’s Hall, the Maritime Hotel, St Brendan’s Church, The Courtroom and the Old Cinema.

The festival will feature five string quartets (Pavel Haas Quartet, Doric String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Quatuor Zaïde and Ensemble Dagda), plus five student quartets (Behn Quartet,Aduno Quartet, Osmosis Quartet, Beara Quartet and Skellig Quartet) that will take part in masterclasses throughout the week. The ensembles will perform over 40 works for quartet over the 9 days, including music by Bach, Haydn, Shostakovich, Britten, Ravel, Donnacha Dennehy and Terry Riley.

Other instrumentalists performing at the festival include Alex Petcu (percussion), Miranda Cuckson (violin), Christopher Marwood (cello), Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), Claire Booth (soprano), Susanne Schmid (horn), Huw Watkins (piano) and Andreja Malir (harp). Violinist and founder of the Artis-Quartet, Peter Schumayer, will present the masterclasses throughout the week, while RTÉ Lyric FM presenter and director of the Cork Pops Orchestra Evelyn Grant will present the morning talks. 

The opening concert of the festival features a festival commission by Cork-based composer Sam Perkin. The new work for solo violin is titled Language and will be performed by Miranda Cuckson. 

The programme also features six Irish premieres of works by Irish and international composers: Shulamit Ran’s Glitter, doom, shards, memory (Pacifica Quartet); Julia Wolfe’s string quintet Splendid Hopes (Pacifica Quartet with Jonannes Moser); Donnacha Dennehy’s The weather of it (Doric Quartet); Thomas Adès The Four Quarters Op. 28 (Doric Quartet); Kalevi Aho Quintet for piano and winds (Olivier Doise, Christoffer Sundqvist, Peter Whelan, Hervé Joulain, Joonas Ahonen); and Charlotte Bray’s song cycle Yellow Leaves (Claire Booth, Christopher Glynn).

Four new works from the annual composition competition will also be performed at Town Concerts during the festival, and will be workshopped at the Young Composers’ Forum with Composer-in-Residence Donnacha Dennehy. Winners of this year’s competition have not yet been announced. 

Outside the main programme, there will also be a Festival Fringe, where festival musicians will give pop-up performances at locations around the town, and the Old Cinema will host an exhibition of contemporary violin- and bow-making.

For further details and full programme, visit


Published on 10 April 2017

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