Galway International Arts Festival Announces Autumn Programme with Live Concerts

John Gerrard's 'Corn Work', a new commission to be presented in Galway this September and October.

Galway International Arts Festival Announces Autumn Programme with Live Concerts

Events start on 3 September. Tickets on sale on 10 August.

The Galway International Arts Festival has announced an autumn series of events to replace the cancelled July festival.

Taking place mainly in September, but with some exhibitions extending until the end of October, the programme includes live concerts from ConTempo Quartet at St Nicholas’ Church as well as three music talks at the Róisín Dubh.

Over four evenings from 22 to 25 September, ConTempo will present Beethoven’s ‘middle’ quartets (written between 1806 and 1810), marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth this year. The works include Opus 59 Nos 1–3, plus the ‘Harp’ quartet and the ‘Serioso’ quartet. Concerts take place at 6pm and tickets will be available for individual concerts or for all four.

In another music series, ‘Vinyl Hours’ presented by Tiarnan Henry will take place on 6 and 12 September at the Róisín Dubh with a live audience and feature conductor David Brophy, musician Julie Feeney and writer Liz Nugent discussing their favourite pieces of music. The conversations will be subsequently available on the GIAF First Thought podcast from 1 October.

The GIAF autumn programme also features a showing of a new work-in-progress by playwright Enda Walsh that features actors Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Domhnall Gleeson and jazz drummer Sean Carpio. Medicine (26 Sept., Black Box Theatre) is billed as a funny and moving meditation on how we treat the mentally ill. Walsh will also present a theatre installation titled Changing Room in NUI Galway between 9 and 20 September

The Irish artist John Gerrard will present two major site-specific works that were commissioned by GIAF for the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. Corn Work will be presented at the Claddagh Quay in Galway City and Leaf Work at the 4,000-year-old Derrigimlagh Bog in Conamara. Both works are a response to the climate crisis. 

Beckett in cloaks
On 17, 18 and 20 September, Pan Pan theatre company present a version of the Beckett radio play Cascando, which will be experienced by audiences through headphones as they walk through the streets of Galway with optional cloaks.

There will also be an exhibition titled Night Cargo by British painter Hughie O’Donoghue, a group of works titled Three Women by American video artist Bill Viola, and an online exhibition by photographer Sarah Hickson called Placing Home: Hidden Stories.

The First Thought series of talks, which is curated by Catriona Crowe of the National Archives of Ireland, will feature a mix of live and online events. Topics include ‘Pandemic Reflections’, ‘Climate: What has changed or can change?’, ‘Experiences of Racism in Ireland’ and ‘Does Culture Drive Human Evolution?’. Contributors include climate activists Tara O’Neill and Mai Sheehan; Gaia Vince, author of Transcendence and Adventures in the Anthropocene; spoken word artist Felispeaks; Minister Eamon Ryan and RTÉ Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers.

Galway International Arts Festival Autumn Season runs from 3 September to 31 October. Tickets for all events go on sale at 1pm on Monday 10 August. Visit

Published on 5 August 2020

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