Iestyn Davies, Liam Byrne and 'The Liffey Banks' at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Countertenor Iestyn Davies (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)

Iestyn Davies, Liam Byrne and 'The Liffey Banks' at Kilkenny Arts Festival

2017 Festival will also feature Crash Ensemble, Martin Hayes, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Eliza Carthy and Saint Sister.

The Kilkenny Arts Festival, taking place on 11–20 August, again has a substantial music programme this year. Among the many highlights are two performances from British countertenor Iestyn Davies.  

Opening with a gala concert of Handel’s Julius Caesar in Egypt with Davies in the title role, the festival will also feature a performance of Davies with lutenist Thomas Dunford. The duo will play a selection of Renaissance works, focussed around the music of John Dowland, and will give the Irish premiere of Old Bones, a song cycle by Nico Muhly.

Viola de gamba player Liam Byrne – a member of Icelandic collective and record label The Bedroom Community – will also feature in a number of performances, most notably the Inside Voices series of concerts in which he performs solo Baroque works to one person at a time in Kilkenny Castle’s Talbot Tower throughout the festival. He will also be joined by violist Nadia Sirota on 16 August for Tessellatum, a programme of new music including the premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s commissioned work of the same name. Byrne will also perform a late-night solo concert in Rothe House on 14 August.

Also on the programme will be dancer Colin Dunne’s Concert project, a multi-disciplinary response to fiddle-player Tommy Potts’ 1971 album The Liffey Banks. Concert features a score and looped live recordings created by Mel Mercier, and will be performed twice during the festival, on 18 and 19 August. The first performance will also be preceded by a concert by fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhríain, playing the The Liffey Banks album in its entirety.

Also on the music programme for the Kilkenny Arts Festival are Crash Ensemble, Eliza Carthy, Fidelio Trio, Ailish Tynan, Saint Sister, Roderick Williams, Martin Hayes, David Power, Sam Amidon, Alfred Brendel, Vasen, Benjamin Appl and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. For full programme details, see 

Published on 6 July 2017

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