April 25, 2024
News What's On

‘Thrilling and diverse’ – Kilkenny Arts Festival unveil highlights of 2019 classical music programme

SOME of the biggest names in international classical music will perform at the 2019 Kilkenny Arts Festival.

The renowned festival, now in its 46th year, has unveiled the main highlights of its classical music programme.

Festival Director Olga Barry said: “We’re proud to announce our main classical music programme for our 46th Festival. Kilkenny Arts Festival has a long and venerable tradition of inviting great Irish and international artists to perform masterworks each summer and this year we’re delighted to present a number of Kilkenny debuts alongside festival favourites.

“It is a joy to present such wonderful artists in the stunning historic spaces of Kilkenny and I’m honoured to continue this fine tradition. We’re looking forward to the coming weeks where we will announce our full festival programme which includes a thrilling and diverse array of theatre, music, literature, exhibitions, talks, dance, spectacle and surprise!”

This year’s classical music programme includes an exciting mix of debuts and returning talent.

Rising star pianist Alexander Gavryluk will perform at the festival for the first time in a mouth-watering programme that includes works from Brahms, Listz and Mussorgsky. The festival also welcomes the renowned international baroque ensemble Orfeo 55 to Ireland for the first time in the company of its founder – artistic director and conductor Nathalie Stutzmann – to perform a special Bach programme.

The festival will continue its partnership with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and leader Katherine Hunka, who will bring star violinist and conductor Thomas Zehetmair alongside violist Ruth Killius “in a mammoth Beethoven programme also featuring Britten’s Double Concerto”.

Also making his first appearance at the festival is Games of Thrones actor Ciarán Hinds, who will perform with the Fews Ensemble, led by Joanne Quigley, in a special presentation of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

Continuing the festival’s commitment to presenting the finest chamber music, this year’s programme sees a stellar collection of international and Irish ensembles and artists perform a diverse range of music from the ‘canon’ of the European Art Music tradition and beyond. The 2019 series – Chamber Music in the Afternoon – offers a variety of forms and styles and features a wide range of composers including Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Clara Schumann, Britten, Elgar, Debussy, Brahms and Pärt.

The series will be kicked off by the Kilkenny Arts Festival orchestra in residence, the ICO, directed by Katherine Hunka, in a delightful programme of masterpieces from Elgar and Britten. For the first time the Festival welcomes the young chamber music collective, Musici Ireland, for a pair of concerts, starting with chamber and choral works by the great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose unmistakable sound has thrilled audiences all over the world for more than 40 years.

Two young Irish artists will perform at St John’s Priory: Cork-born pianist Fionnuala Moynihan presents an intriguing programme of Clara Schumann, and Kilkenny native and rising star Patrick Rafter, performing with Michael McHale in a programme of Debussy and Franck.

Kilkenny Arts Festival welcomes back Festival favourites Quatuor Mosaïques for a fresh trio of concerts in the Black Abbey.

After its sold-out, late-night concerts exploring choral works through the ages, Chamber Choir Ireland returns to the Festival with a radical new approach. Led by celebrated Norwegian conductor Grete Pederson, the choir performs a suite of contemporary pieces by a wealth of European composers.

And no Kilkenny Arts Festival would be complete without Malcolm Proud, one of Europe’s finest organists, offering a programme of Bach at St Canice’s Cathedral.

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2019 – Classical Music Programme


August 10, 7:30pm, St Canice’s Cathedral


MOZART: Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545

BRAHMS: Rhapsody No. 2 in g minor, Op. 79

BRAHMS: Intermezzi Nos. 2 & 3, Op. 117

LISZT: Étude No. 6

SAINT-SAЁNS: Danse Macabre (Liszt/Horowitz)

MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition

NATHALIE STUTZMANN (conductor, contralto), LEON KOSAVIC (bass)

August, 7:30pm, St Canice’s Cathedral


Bach – Devotion

BWV 42 – Sinfonia

BWV – Vergnüte Ruh

BWV 4 – Sinfonia

BWV 74 – Ich gehe hin

BWV 133 – Getrost!

BWV 33 – Wie Furchtsam wankten meinne Schritte

BWV 56 – Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen

BWV 42 – Jesus ist ein Schild

BWV 35 – Gott hat alles wohl gemacht

BWV 35 – Sinfonia (no. 5)

BWV 106 – In deine Hände, befehl’ ich meinen Geist

BWV 12 – Sinfona (no. 1)

BWV 82 – Ich habe genug


THOMAS ZEHETMAIR (conductor, violin)


August 16, 7:30pm, St Canice’s Cathedral


Beethoven: Corialanus Overture

Britten: Double Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, ‘Eroica’


Chamber Series #1


August 9, 4pm, The Black Abbey


Britten: Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge

Elgar: Serenade for Strings

Fennessy: Hirta Rounds

Elgar: Allegro and Introduction

Chamber Series #2


Roisín O’Grady (soprano), Sharon Carty (mezzo soprano), Eamonn Mulhall


Helena Wood, Siun Milne (violin) Beth McNinch (viola), Bill Butt (‘cello)

August 10, 3:30pm, The Black Abbey


Arvo Pärt: ‘Es sang vor langen Jahren’

Arvo Pärt: Fratres

Arvo Pärt: Summa

Arvo Pärt: Stabat Mater


Chamber Series #3


August 11, 3:30pm, St John’s Priory


Debussy: Sonata for violin and piano, L.148

Debussy: Estampes, II. La soirée dans Grenade; III. Jardins sous la pluie

Ysaÿe: Sonata No.3 for solo violin “Ballade”

Franck: Sonata in A major for violin and piano


Chamber Series #4


August 12, 3:30pm, St John’s Priory


Clara Schumann: Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 20

Clara Schumann: Piano Sonata in G minor

Clara Schumann: Drei Romanzen Op. 21


Chamber Series # 5,6,7


August 13, 14 & 15, 3:30pm, The Black Abbey

Programme – 13th:

Mozart: String Quartet K156 in D Major

Haydn: String Quartet Op. 74, No.3 (“Emperor”)

Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 59. No.1

Programme – 14th:

Haydn: String Quartet Op. 42 in d minor

Mozart: String Quartet K464 in A major

Beethoven: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2

Programme – 15th:

Mozart: Adagio and Fugue in c minor

Haydn: String Quartet Op. 64, No. 6

Beethoven: String Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3

Chamber Series #8


GRETE PEDERSON (conductor)

August 16, 3:30pm, The Black Abbey


Kaija Saariaho: Nuits, adieux

Orjan Matre: Orphic Songs Prologue, Rite, Hyphnos

Louis Andriessen: Un Beau Baiser

Deirdre McKay: Sable sui glisse

Rhona Clarke: The Kiss

Maja Linderoth: Sonnet form denatured prose


Chamber Series #9


Harriet MacKenzie, Jane Hackett (violin)

Beth McNinch, Andreea Banciu (Viola)

Bill Butt, Grainne Hope (Cello)

August 17, 3:30pm, The Black Abbey


Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in Bb, Op. 18

Brahms: Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36


MALCOLM PROUD – organ recital

August 17, 11am, St Canice’s Cathedral


Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537

Bach: Three chorale preludes on ‘Nun komm’, der Heiden Heiland’, BWV


Bach: Canonic variations on ‘Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her’, BWV 769

Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 54





The Soldier’s Tale

Stravinsky, Ramuz

13th August, 7:30pm

14th August, 7:30pm

Watergate Theatre


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *