Dear Festival Friends,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all on the occasion of our 6th Annual Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. 

Every year we strive to share a world class musical experience with you in the atmospheric setting of St. Flannan’s Cathedral. Our artistic director Joachim Roewer has increased the repertoire this year by including the Irish premiere of the children’s chamber opera ‘Brundibár’ by Hans Krása, as we endeavour to introduce young musicians and music lovers to the festival. They will, after all, become the audience and potentially the stars of the future.

In line with Joachim’s innovative vision, Saturday’s ‘Late Night Concert’ sees the inclusion of dance to the programme by way of adding another dimension to your chamber music experience. Our ‘Emerging Artist’ Kevin Jansson’s reputation precedes him and we are thrilled to welcome him to the festival. With guest artists the Carducci String Quartet, Phoenix Piano Trio, Benson Wilson (baritone) and the outstanding Festival Orchestra, our line-up is complete.

Enjoy this year’s art exhibition featuring works by Clare Hartigan and Jennifer Allen, curated by Patricia Haselbeck. The village’s young aspiring musicians will raise the roof on Sunday afternoon under the direction of the Diane Daly in ‘Lets Play Together’.

May I take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and you, our valued audience, for your continued support that ensures that this festival is recognised as one of the finest in Ireland. Welcome to ‘Autumn in May’.

With every good wish,

Trish Taylor Thompson




Autumn in May

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 
― Albert Camus

When composers put their big orchestral scores away and begin to write for smaller ensembles, a string quartet, a piano trio, a single voice or instrument, they get in touch with their innermost feelings, an emotional world so personal and intimate, they couldn't possibly use the force of a full size orchestra. Instead they gather their listeners around the piano in a smaller room, a chamber, and let them into their secrets. In the Autumn of their lives, having gone through the passions of sorrow and joy, great composers like Schubert and Brahms, Mozart and Mendelssohn, Astor Piazzolla and Bohuslav Martinu wrote some of their most profound chamber music, sizzling with energy and glowing with beauty. 

We would like to warmly welcome you all to the 6th international Killaloe Chamber Music Festival, where you will hear some of the later works by the great composers, in some cases their swan songs, always reflections, masterpieces, autumnal flowers.

And our Festival has grown again as we embark on a new, exciting journey that explores the largely forgotten genre of chamber opera. To open this year’s Festival we will premiere the children’s opera “Brundibar”, the score of which had been smuggled into the Nazi concentration camp Terezin in 1943 where it was reworked for the children and musicians incarcerated in the camp by the Czech Jewish composer Hans Krása.

I am delighted to welcome back friends and musicians who have been with us for many years as well as the wonderful and exciting Irish and international musicians who are new to our Festival. My sincere thanks go to our many sponsors and supporters without whom the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival would not exist.

Thanks to all the members of the Festival Committee who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, who have never stopped being positive and encouraging, who have created this wonderful feast of music.

Joachim Roewer    

Artistic Director