Online West Cork Chamber Music Festival to Run from May to July
This year’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival – titled ‘Bantry and Beyond’ – will take place online with 30 concerts over two months, beginning on Friday 28 May.
The concerts have been recorded around Europe and in the USA and feature artists such as pianists Anna Fedorova and Cédric Tiberghien, soprano Sophie Junker, violinist Alina Ibragimova, violist Dana Zemtsov, cellists Leonard Elschenbroich, Johannes Moser and Anastasia Kobekina, the Artis, Pavel Haas, Danel and Pacifica quartets, and many more.
The festival starts with a ‘Classical Prelude’ this weekend with concerts from the Artis Quartet in Vienna and Alexei Grynyuk and Leonard Elschenbroich in Amsterdam. The Artis will open the festival with Mozart’s Quartet No. 4 in C major K. 157 and Beethoven’s Quartet No. 13 in B flat Op. 130/133. Grynyuk will give an all-Schubert programme on Saturday and then will partner with Elschenbroich in all-Brahms programme on Sunday. All concerts take place at 8pm and can be booked here.
The following weekend is themed ‘Russian Pictures’ and features Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova (4 June), the Danel Quartet (5 June) and cellist Johannes Moser (6 June). Fedorova’s programme will include Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The Danel Quartet and Moser will perform works by Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg, who lived in the USSR, as well as Rachmaninov and Shostakovich.
‘The Romantics’ series on 11–13 June includes British soprano Sophie Junker accompanied by Deirdre Brenner giving a concert recorded in Paris of works by Fauré, Messiaen and Reynaldo Hahn. A ‘Solos’ series from 18 June opens with Alina Ibragimova performing Telemann’s 12 Fantasies for solo violin.
‘Festival Echoes’ begins on 25 June with the Pacifica Quartet performing Dark Matter Hunting, a festival commission and world premiere by Deirdre Gribbin, and there will then be daily concerts until 4 July featuring Ensemble Vintage Köln, Russian cellist Anastasia Kobekina, Ensemble Diderot, Rachel Kelly and Fiachra Garvey, Alex Petcu, and the Ragazze Quartet. On 2 July, the Ragazze Quartet will perform another premiere, Four Into Twenty by Garth Knox.
The final concerts of the festival, the ‘Coda’ series on 16–18 July and ‘Encore’ on 24 July, come from Amsterdam, Bantry and Budapest and include Mairéad Hickey, Ella Van Poucke, José Gallardo, the Esposito Quartet, and Vashti Hunter and Zoltán Fejérvári.
The festival concludes with Hickey and Ella Van Poucke performing an Irish premiere by composer Finola Merivale titled The silent sweep as you stand still.
Commenting on this year’s festival, Artistic Director of West Cork Music Francis Humphrys said,
The festival’s plans for a live event were just completed with a full programme available on the website when the pandemic’s third wave struck. Once it became clear that the uncertainty around restrictions this summer would not be resolved in time, the team had to accept that a live festival with a live audience would not be possible. We then focused on curating a virtual festival. Building on our experiences of last year, we have created a larger online programme with a more engaging and high-quality online experience. The main objective was to ensure that all the musicians engaged for the original programme would have the opportunity to present at least one filmed concert from special venues in the various cities where they were based.
Audiences can buy a festival pass for all concerts for €250, single tickets for €10, or specially curated 6-concert packages for €50. Book tickets here: https://ourconcerts.live/westcork
See the full programme below. For more information on concerts, visit https://www.westcorkmusic.ie/chamber-music-festival/