The West Cork Chamber Music Festival runs from 30 June to 8 July in Bantry, Co. Cork. Located on the shores of Bantry Bay, the festival features thirty eight concerts in historic Bantry House and St Brendan’s Church.
The nine day programme is complemented by young musician masterclasses, morning talks, Ireland’s only instrument making exhibition and a fringe festival of performances in special venues throughout the area
The 2017 line-up includes: the Doric Quartet from the UK, Pacifica Quartet from the USA, Pavel Haas Quartet from Czechoslovakia and Zaïde Quartet from France. A host of soloists include British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud, German violinist Viviane Hagner, Finnish pianist Joonas Ahonen, American violinist Miranda Cuckson, Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey, German-Canadian cellist Johanes Moser and many more.
A year on from Ireland’s 1916 commemorations, Finland will be celebrating the centenary of its independence. The West Cork Chamber Music Festival marks this centenary with Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s Quintet for Piano and Winds performed by Finland’s Christoffer Sundqvist and Joonas Ahonen amongst others.
Further centenaries are marked during the Festival. Violin Sonatas by Respighi, Debussy and Elgar, all composed in 1917, will be performed by violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and pianist Huw Watkins on Saturday 1 July.
The Festival has a reputation for programming contemporary work alongside more familiar music and in 2017 presents the world premiere of a new commission by the young Irish composer Sam Perkin. Irish premieres include the Pacifica Quartet’s performance of Julia Wolfe’s Splendid Hopes and Donnacha Dennehy’s The Weather of It, performed by the Doric Quartet. The Pacifica Quartet also play contemporary composer Shulamit Ran’s Glitter, Shards, Doom, Memory – String Quartet No. 3, which was inspired by the short life and art of the painter Felix Nussbaum, who died at Auschwitz.
Cork percussionist Alex Petcu, who will be presenting workshops in Cork schools early in the year, returns to Bantry to join a host of musicians performing David Bruce’s 2016 composition The Consolation of Rain in the Coffee Concert on Wednesday 5 July.
General Booking opens 21 March. For bookings and more information, go to www.westcorkmusic.ie or ring the Festival office on +353 (0) 27 52788.
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland, Crespo Foundation, Cork County Council and RTÉ lyric fm.