'Youthful energy... utter mastery of form': Midwinter Festival in Galway this Weekend

Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova will perform at the festival on Sunday (Photo: Eva Vermandel)

'Youthful energy... utter mastery of form': Midwinter Festival in Galway this Weekend

This year’s festival celebrates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and will feature early piano and chamber works.

Music for Galway’s annual Midwinter Festival is on in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre this week from 17 to 19 January, celebrating the work of Beethoven through a series of concerts and talks by Irish and international musicians. 

Galway-based ensemble ConTempo Quartet will perform the opening concert of the festival on Friday 17 January, with a programme featuring the Mozart-inspired String Quartet Op. 18 No. 5 and the Septet Op. 20. The quartet will be joined by guest musicians John Finucane (clarinet), Amy Harman (bassoon), Hervé Joulain (French horn) and Dominic Dudley (double bass). 

French pianist Cédric Tiberghien will take the stage on Saturday night to perform works the 1796 Quintet with winds Op. 16 and the renowned ‘Eroica’ Variations. The renowned pianist, who has performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the London and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, has performed Beethoven’s music extensively, including completing a Beethoven Variation cycle in Wigmore Hall in London.

Tiberghien will be joined by Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova for the festival’s closing concert, where the two will perform a selection of works for piano and violin, including Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata (1804) and Variations on ‘Se vuol ballare’. Their long-standing musical partnership has seen the two perform at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, the Beethovenhaus Bonn and the Wigmore Hall, as well as extensive touring with the Doric String Quartet. 

Also taking place over the weekend are two talks by musicologist Richard Wigmore, who will discuss the life and music of Beethoven on Friday afternoon and also on Saturday. 

Speaking about the festival, Artistic Director Finghin Collins said: 

It’s a delight to programme our Midwinter Festival around Beethoven in his 250th year and to explore the beauty and diversity of his chamber music. His early piano and chamber works abound with his youthful energy, tuneful melodies and utter mastery of form.

Beethoven will feature again in our Cellissimo festival in April and in our spectacular December 2020 concert, when we present his moumental Ninth Symphony.  Beethoven’s music, whether intimate or powerful, whispering or triumphantly proclaiming, is always uplifting, inspiring and invigorating – these are qualities we all need in our daily lives.

For further details and ticketing, visit https://musicforgalway.ie/midwinter-festival-beethoven/

Published on 13 January 2020

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