Music for Galway to Provide Main Classical Programme for Galway 2020

Anna Lardi Fogarty, Executive Director, and Finghin Collins, Artistic Director, launch Music for Galway’s 2018/19 concert season (Photo: Andrew Downes)

Music for Galway to Provide Main Classical Programme for Galway 2020

2018/19 concert season focusses on the theme of travel with visiting artists from Australia and Italy, and Sharon Carty's 'Suitcase Arias'.

At the launch of its 2018/19 season last night (4 September 2018), it was announced that Music for Galway will provide the main classical programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

The programme will include a new cello festival, Cellissimo, a co-commission of a cello concerto from American composer Julia Wolfe, a new cello commissioned from luthier Kuros Torkzadeh (made from wood from east Galway), projects developed by choral conductor Mark Duley for St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, and more. Duley, Finghin Collins, Artistic Director of MfG, and Anna Lardi Fogarty, Executive Director, will work together to present a substantial programme over the course of the calendar year of 2020. ‘It will be a lot of super-sized events that year’, says Lardi Fogarty. More details will follow in the coming months. 

Navá performing at the MfG launch. 

Travel theme for 2018/19 Season
The new 2018/19 Music for Galway season takes the theme of travel and musicians this year, and the ensuing cross-fertilisation of ideas, inspired by the history of musicians and composers undertaking extensive travel throughout Europe. It is also inspired by the contemporary issue of migration, which is one of Galway 2020’s key themes.

As part of the theme, the Goldner Quartet from Australia will be performing in Ireland for the first time. ‘For me,’ says Finghin Collins, ‘one of the most exciting parts of the season is the Irish debut of the Goldner Quartet. I met and played with them in Australia two summers ago and thought I really want to bring them to Ireland. They’ve never played in Ireland. They are Australia’s finest quartet.’ The Goldner will perform works by Shostakovich, Schubert and Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe on 29 November.

MfG has also invited the Quartetto di Venezia – quartet in residence at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice – who will perform on 20 February works by Mozart, Malipiero, Stravinsky and Verdi. Keeping with the travel theme, on 24 May mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty – who recently had the lead in Irish National Opera’s Orfeo ed Euridice (read our review here) – will present a special performance of ‘suitcase’ arias from the baroque period.

‘Suitcase arias’, says Collins, ‘is the whole concept of singers in Baroque times going around with literally a suitcase full of arias that they would pick out and drop into an opera as a surprise number.’ Carty will perform works by Riccardo Broschi, Bertoni, Giacomelli and more.

Midwinter festival
Music for Galway’s annual midwinter festival (18–20 January 2019) will focus on the theme ‘Swansong’, with three days of concerts exploring works written by composers towards the end of their life. Featured artists include Ailish Tynan, ConTempo Quartet, Hank Neven, Leon McCawley, Michael Collins, and Finghin Collins. Both the RTÉ NSO and RTÉ CO will also form part of MfG’s season this year, visiting on 4 April and 11 May respectively.

Finghin Collins speaking at the MfG launch.

Other highlights of the season include the opening concert on 26 September with Barry Douglas; a partnership with Galway Jazz Festival to present Radio String Quartet on 4 October; a performance by teenager Joe O’Grady (a pupil of John O’Conor) of Beethoven’s ‘Pathétique’ Sonata in the Emily Anderson Memorial Concert on 21 March; choirs Resugram and Collegium with the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble on 19 April; and a partnership with Cúirt International Festival of Literature on 11 April to present violinist Min Kym, author of Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung, in conversation with Toner Quinn, Editor of The Journal of Music.

For further details and booking, visit

Published on 5 September 2018

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