Born in East Germany, Joachim Roewer graduated from the Hochschule für Musik “Franz Liszt” Weimar and the Orchesterakademie of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, having performed frequently with this world class orchestra in Berlin and internationally. During that time he was also principal viola of the International Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.
In 1994 Joachim Roewer moved to Ireland to become principal viola with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, a position which he has held ever since.
On numerous occasions he appeared as soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante alongside violinist Anthony Marwood with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy” with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.
From 2006 until 2018 Joachim Roewer worked as Course Director of the annual international ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings. He is a passionate teacher and a busy chamber music player. He is a member of the Esposito String Quartet and has been frequently invited to perform with the Vogler Quartet, the Vanbrugh Quartet and the RTE Contempo Quartet.
Since it’s inauguration in 2013 Joachim is Artistic Director of the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival.
Barry McGovern is one of Ireland's best known actors. A former member of the RTE Players and the Abbey Theatre company he is perhaps best known for his work in the writings of Samuel Beckett. His award winning one-man show I'll Go On derived from Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable has been performed at the Edinburgh International Festival as has his adaptation of Watt and Krapp's Last Tape. He has recorded the complete Three Novels. He also recently performed in First Love. He has played in Waiting for Godot at the Mark Taper Forum and Endgame in the Kirk Douglas Theatre, both in Los Angeles. He has recently performed Watt at the Melbourne Festival. On screen he has played the King of St. Ives in Royally Ever After and William Martin Murphy in Citizen Lane. Recent theatre work includes The Old Tune in Enniskillen, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Abbey and The Price at the Gate.
Matthew Breen began his musical training with John Dexter, studying voice and piano. In 2011 he commenced organ studies with David Adams at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he now studies full time. Over the last few years he has been a regular winner at numerous competitions including the Dublin Feis Ceoil and Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
Matthew is active as a solo recitalist, having given performances in cathedrals and churches throughout the island of Ireland. He has been organist and choirmaster of St Patrick’s, Dalkey since 2016.As a harpsichordist, he and three fellow students gave the Irish premiere of Bach’s concerto for four harpsichords in Dublin. He is a member of early music quartet Westland Baroque, whose performances at the 2018 West Cork Chamber Music Festival merited a return visit this coming July.
One of Matthew's areas of particular interest is improvisation. This he has studied with Ansgar Wallenhorst, and has participated in masterclasses with David Briggs. Signed to independent label Soft Boy Records, his piano trio ‘Five To Two’ has been hailed as a major revitalising force in Irish jazz. Matthew’s reputation on Dublin’s new music scene as both a bandleader and supporting player has brought him to Bray International Jazz Festival, Other Voices and RTÉ Studio 8.
CHATHAM SAXOPHONE QUARTET (CSQ)
Runaway winners of Music Network’s Young Musicwide Award in 2012, the superlative Chatham Saxophone Quartet (CSQ) has repeatedly won plaudits for its bravura performances and versatility. With an eclectic repertoire spanning contemporary, classical and jazz genres, this unique ensemble pushes the boundaries of what we know the saxophone quartet to be.
Since its foundation in 2008, the Chatham Saxophone Quartet (named after the street where the ensemble first formed) has appeared at the Boyle Arts Festival, Ten Days in Dublin festival, Galway Music Residency, the National Concert Hall, and additionally regularly feature in Dublin’s monthly Kaleidoscope Night. In 2012 the quartet performed throughout Ireland as part of their national tour. More recently the CSQ collaborated with the Irish Chamber Choir, playing a programme of spiritual music featuring repertoire by Arvo Pärt, Gesualdo and Kancheli.
The quartet’s members all actively compose and arrange new works for the group. In addition to performing contemporary pieces for saxophone’s and electronics, the CSQ have also worked closely with both the Vanbrugh Quartet and ConTempo String Quartet in transcribing string repertoire for wind instruments.
In 2015, the CSQ launched their debut album “New Irish Music” (under Lyric FM label), featuring new works by Brian Byrne, Ian Wilson, Brian Irvine, Jonathan Nangle and Ken Edge.
Diane is a violinist and has been a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 1998.
She has toured the world with a number of prestigious ensembles including The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The European Union Chamber Orchestra, and the BBC and Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras.
In other genres she has performed alongside and recorded with Sir Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, The Corrs, Bono, Shania Twain and Katie Melua. She is currently undertaking an Arts Practice PhD and is the recipient of a scholarship from the Irish Research Council.
One of Ireland’s foremost baroque violinists, Claire Duff is in demand as soloist, chamber musician, leader and director. Her ‘stylish solo violin playing’ (Gramophone) has been described as having ‘all the excitement of a high-wire act’ (The Irish Times). In 2016 she was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM), for her significant contribution to the music profession. Claire is leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra with which she regularly performs as soloist and often as director, to critical acclaim. She has led Florilegium, I Fagiolini, English Touring Opera, The Kings Consort and Camerata Kilkenny and co-led the Academy of Ancient Music and The English Concert. Claire has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed CD of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and IBO, and Flights of Fantasy with IBO chamber soloists which was chosen by Newyorker.com as one of the most memorable moments in music for 2010. Claire is passionate about baroque music and is a fervent exponent of period instrument performance. She is Artistic Director of the Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra and teaches baroque violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and directs the RIAM baroque orchestra. Concerts in 2019 include a Bach recital tour with the award-winning French harpsichordist, Benjamin Alard and directing the IBO for ‘La Donna Barocca’, a programme of female baroque composers performed as part of the National Concert Hall chamber music series.
A graduate of both the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama(BMus Hons) and The Bull Alley Theatre Training Company,Rory Dunne has studied as both an actor and a classical singer.
His career has led him to work with Irish National Opera, Cork Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Wide Open Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Lyric Opera Productions, Opera in the Open and the RTE Concert Orchestra Chorus, performing roles in The Wexford Opera House, The National Concert Hall, The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and The Buxton Opera House.
He has been awarded prizes from Feis Ceoil, The Bernadette Greevy Bursary, Navan Choral Festival and The John McCormack Society, as well as being selected as a finalist in Northern Ireland Opera’s 2017 Glenarm Festival of Voice.
Performed roles include Colline (La Bohème), The Mikado (The Mikado), Monterone (Rigoletto), Haly (L'Italiana in Algeri), Buck Mulligan (Eric Sweeney's “Ulysses”), Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata), Sciarrone (Tosca), Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro), David (A Hand of Bridge), Boatswain (HMS Pinafore), Talpa (Il Tabarro), Fiorello (Il Barbieri di Siviglia), and Dancaire (Carmen).
Rory has been engaged as a Company Artist with Cork Opera for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons where he regularly performs. Later this year he will be returning to work with Opera Collective Ireland to perform the role of Greatrakes in Raymond Deane‘s new opera Vagabones.
Cork-based Finn Marja Gaynor is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny, with whom she has toured extensively. With the IBO she has appeared as viola soloist alongside Monica Huggett in JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6. Camerata Kilkenny’s recent recording for Lyric FM includes her performance of Telemann’s Gulliver Suite as a duo with Claire Duff, as well as her arrangements of O’Carolan tunes. Marja is a founding member of Giordani Quartet, Ireland’s only chamber group specialising in early Classical repertoire using period instruments. Outside Ireland Marja has worked with Ensemble Marsyas, Dunedin Consort, The King’s Consort, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European period orchestras.
Apart from her career as a Baroque player, Marja is passionate about new music and has contributed to the Irish contemporary music scene by premiering numerous new works. She is also much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. A landmark project was her critically acclaimed arrangement of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which drew on various areas of her musical expertise: 17th century music, modern folk and traditional music, and improvisation. She also arranged and played the strings for ‘Falling Slowly’, Oscar winner for best song in 2008. Marja was the Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival 2013-2015, and she teaches Baroque violin and chamber music in CIT Cork School of Music.
Sarah is a freelance double bassist living and working in Dublin. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Duncan Mc Tier, Graham Mitchell and Robin McGee. After graduating she spent several years enjoying a busy career in London playing with ensembles ranging from period groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music and the Gabrielli Consort and Players to larger symphony orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra.
She always maintained a strong connection to the Irish music world and moved home in 2009 to pursue a masters degree at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in double bass performance. She now performs predominantly with Irish groups and has performed with the RTÉ Symphony and Concert orchestras, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera and the Ulster Orchestra along with a variety of other freelance ensembles.
Born in London, Katherine Hunka began playing the violin at the age of four. Whilst growing up under the guidance of teacher Sheila Nelson, she performed chamber music at London's South Bank and the Royal Albert Hall. In 2017 was soloist with the City of London Sinfonia and led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Katherine was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where she spent five years studying with Gyorgy Pauk, and then furthered her studies in the USA at Indiana University where she also acted as teaching assistant to her professor, Mauricio Fuks. This instilled in her a great love of teaching. She has since returned to Indiana as a guest Professor and been made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
Katherine is Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and regularly directs from the leader's chair. As director and soloist, with the ICO, she has toured Germany, China and Singapore, appeared at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and more recently, at the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
Katherine directs ICO national tours, which take the orchestra all over Ireland. In 2017 Katherine released her first solo CD recording with the ICO of Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. As part of her role with the ICO, Katherine collaborates with contemporary composers. She has directed countless premieres with Irish composers As leader, she has also enjoyed performing solo concertos and chamber music with visiting artists, Jörg Widmann, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood and Nigel Kennedy amongst others.
Katherine performs regularly, as a chamber musician and soloist, at festivals throughout Ireland and the UK. At the Aldeburgh Festival she premiered Benjamin Britten's rediscovered Double Concerto. Last year Katherine performed at the Sligo International Chamber Music Festival, the Killaloe Chamber Music Festival and performed much of Brahms' chamber music at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. She is a regular guest to concert venues across Ireland. Last Autumn, she toured Ireland with pianist Finghin Collins playing duo recitals. Her trio, Far Flung with accordionist Dermot Dunne and bassist Malachy Robinson delights audiences with its light-hearted approach, their repertoire spans from Bach to Klezmer with anything in between. They had a seventeen concert tour at the beginning of 2019, and have recently brought out their first CD recording.
Katherine has been a guest leader with the Manchester Camerata, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and will perform in that role with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for various projects in 2019. She has also been guest soloist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra.
She is currently a Professor at the CIT Cork School of Music and the Irish World Academy.
Kelli-Ann Masterson hails from Co. Wexford and holds a B.Mus Ed.from Trinity College, Dublin and MMus from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, from which she obtained first class honours. Kelli-Ann is a studio artist with Northern Ireland Opera 2018/2019 and was selected as one of the 2019 ‘Rising Stars’ by UCH Limerick.
Operatic roles include Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte (Clyde Opera Group), Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar), Daniel in a staged portrayal of Handel’s Susanna (DIT opera ensemble) and Adele in Die Fledermaus, Amour in Orphee ed Eurydice, The Sandman/Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel and Janthe in Der Vampyr (Opera In The Open).
A regular oratorio performer, performances include Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Dun Laoghaire choral society; Faure’s Requiem with Encore Voices; Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël with DIT choral society; and A celebration of Handel with Our Lady’s choral society. 2019 performances with OLCS include ‘Messiah on the Street’ and ‘Handel Highlights’ conducted by Proinnsias O’ Duinn.
Upcoming operatic engagements include Chloe in Offenbach’s Daphnis et Chloe with NI Opera studio and the role of Donal in Raymond Deane’s new opera Vagabones with Opera Collective Ireland in Autumn 2019.
Alex is a resident artist with his own record label Veterum Musica. In 2015 he released his debut solo Mèsangeau’s Experiments to critical acclaim. His second album Elizabeth’s Lutes was similarly well received. Toccata:Touched; theorbo music by Kapsberger was released January 2017: ‘With the rich, deep tones of the theorbo, and some rippling and cascading runs, deftly articulated here by McCartney, this is a delightful programme.’ (Classical Notes). Alex’s latest recording Weiss in Nostalgia was released in 2018. Alex is also currently fundraising to produce an album of works by the lesser-known composer Jean Paul Paladin. Alex is also a BBC Introducing artist and performs occasionally on BBC Radio 3. Alex performs as a soloist with artists such as Iestyn Davies, Ensemble Libro Primo (Sabine Stoffer), Ensemble Marsyas (Peter Whelan), The Gabrieli Consort, Tabea Debus, Cupid and Death, and Poeticall Musicke. Libro Primo have recently released their debut album, Fantasia Incantata, of works in the ‘Stylus Phantasticus’, which received rave reviews from The New Yorker and Early Music Reviews+.
As a continuo player Alex’s playing has been described as ‘sinewy and sensuous, ornaments rarely exaggerated’ (Observer). He holds principal positions in La Nuova Musica and Poeticall Musicke and is delighted to perform regularly with many of the UK-based Baroque orchestras. Alex is a life member of The Royal Society of Musicians.Alex teaches the lute at the University of Aberdeen and at home in Glasgow, he has also created an Online Lute Tutor which has over 150 subscribers. In his spare time he enjoys making lutes.
Belfast-born Michael McHale has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading pianists and has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.
He has performed as a soloist with the Minnesota, Hallé, Moscow Symphony and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and all five of the major Irish orchestras, and performed at the Tanglewood and Tokyo Spring Festivals, Wigmore Hall, London, Berlin Konzerthaus, Lincoln Center, New York, Symphony Hall, Boston and Pesti Vigadó in Budapest.
Michael’s début solo album The Irish Piano was released in 2012 by RTÉ lyric fm and selected as ‘CD of the Week’ by the critic Norman Lebrecht. More recent solo releases include Schubert: Four Impromptus on Ergodos, Miniatures and Modulations on Grand Piano, and a first orchestral album Irish Piano Concertos featuring works by John Field and Philip Hammond with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Courtney Lewis. His discography of over twenty albums includes releases on Delos, Nimbus Alliance, Champs Hill, and seven duo recital albums on Chandos with Michael Collins. The début album of the McGill/McHale Trio Portraits on Cedille featuring special narrations by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali was released in 2017 and immediately entered the Top 25 US Billboard Classical Chart. Upcoming releases include a recording of Strauss’s ‘Burleske’ with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Chandos, and a recording of two new works by Cliff Eidelman with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Winner of the Terence Judd/Hallé Award in 2009, Michael was also awarded the Brennan and Field Prizes at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, the 2005 Camerata Ireland/Accenture Award, and in 2016 a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, and his teachers and mentors include John O’Conor, Réamonn Keary, Christopher Elton, Ronan O’Hora and Barry Douglas. In 2017 Michael was invited to become a Patron of the Ulster Youth Orchestra, and in 2018 he was appointed as a part-time professor of piano for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Cork School of Music in Ireland.
Michael collaborates regularly with Sir James Galway, Michael Collins, Patricia Rozario, Dame Felicity Lott and Camerata Pacifica. www.michaelmchale.com
NAVARRA STRING QUARTET
Since its formation in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a Musica Viva tour, and prizes at the Banff, Melbourne and Florence International String Quartet Competitions.
The Navarra Quartet has appeared at major venues throughout the world including the Wigmore Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Sage Gateshead, Kings Place, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Esterházy Palace, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg and international festivals such as Bath, Aldeburgh, Lammermuir, Presteigne, Bergen, Grachten, Sandviken, Schwetzinger, Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Aix-en-Provence, Bellerive, Harrogate Chamber Music and the BBC Proms.
Further afield they have given concerts in Russia, the USA, China, Korea, Australia and the Middle East, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, RAI 3 (Italy), Radio 4 (Holland), SWR (Germany), Radio Luxembourg and ABC Classic FM (Australia). The Quartet has collaborated with artists such as Li-Wei, Guy Johnston, Mark Padmore, Allan Clayton, Francesco Piemontesi, John O’Conor, Simone Young and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Highly-acclaimed recordings include Haydn’s The Seven Last Words for Altara Records and a disc of Pēteris Vasks’ first three String Quartets for Challenge Records, which they recorded whilst working closely with the composer himself. The recording was described by critics as “stunning”, “sensational” and “compelling”, and was nominated for the prestigious German Schallplattenkritik Award. More recently, the Navarra Quartet recorded a disc for NMC Records featuring the music of Joseph Phibbs, and future recording plans include Schubert’s Late Quartets and the complete Britten quartets.
In April 2018, they directed the fifth edition of the Weesp Chamber Music Festival, close to Amsterdam.
The Quartet plays on a Hieronymus II Amati violin, a Jean-Baptistery Vuillaume violin (kindly loaned to Marije by a generous sponsor through the Beares International Violin Society), an unknown, old English viola, and a Grancino cello made in Milan in 1698, generously on loan from the Cruft - Grancino Trust which is administered by the Royal Society of Musicians.
AOIFE NIC ATHLAOICH
Dublin born Aoife Nic Athlaoich enjoys a versatile musical career, dividing her time between both modern and Baroque cello. Since moving back to Ireland in 2013 Aoife joined the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has made solo and chamber music debuts at some Ireland's leading festivals including Galway Early Music Festival, Ardee baroque Festival, Killaloe Chamber Music Festival and the East Cork Early Music Festival. Aoife is s member of the highly acclaimed Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique with whom she has toured the USA and Europe as well as performing at the BBC Proms.
Aoife has performed with the orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, la Serenissima, the avison ensemble, Irish baroque orchestra, Scottish chamber orchestra, classical opera company and was a member of the London Mozart Players from 2010-2013.
Aoife has won prizes for solo and contemporary music performance at Feis Ceoil, Dublin as well as being awarded a Belfast Classical Music Bursary in 2007 and was awarded scholarships for her studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at the Royal College of Music, London.
Aoife teaches cello at the Cork school of music, the University of Limerick, and at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin.
Sam Perkin is a composer of new orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral music. He completed an Artist Diploma in Composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, France, after previously being awarded a BMus and Masters in Composition from CIT Cork School of Music, Ireland. He won the prestigious Prix Salabert for Composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon in 2016, and he was awarded The Next Generation Bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland in 2017.
'Waves' is an attempted self-cure for tinnitus and is the fruit of a bountiful collaboration between The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the composer over the last few years, supported by The Arts Council of Ireland. 'Grey Area' blends the worlds of Street Skateboarding with Contemporary Music and was commissioned by Crash Ensemble/Engage Arts Festival with its world première taking place at Musica Nova Festival, Helsinki. 'Language', a substantial work for Solo Violin, was commissioned by West Cork Chamber Music Festival for American contemporary violin specialist Miranda Cuckson. His latest commission was for La Côte Flûte Festival, Switzerland, entitled 'Twitter', for Flute Choir and Smartphones. He is currently composing a new work for Orchestra and Sine Tones for The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
Sam is composer-in-residence with Crash Ensemble in 2018/19. As part of his residency he will compose a set of pieces inspired by his love of linguistics, including a piece for cellist Kate Ellis based on the Cork Accent. He has enjoyed collaborations with musicians and festivals such as Finghin Collins, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Miranda Cuckson, Alex Petcu, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Nathalia Milstein, Music For Galway, ConTempo Quartet, The New Ross Piano Festival, ConCorda Chamber Music, The Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, Ortús Chamber Music Festival, Engage Arts Festival, Spotlight Chamber Music Series, Co-Orch Dublin, Fidelio Trio, Killaloe Chamber Music Festival, West Wicklow Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Gregynog Festival in Wales, Musica Nova Festival in Finland, and La Côte Festival in Switzerland.
Tyrone-born, Limerick-adopted singer songwriter Kathleen Turner is delighted to perform at Killaloe Chamber Music Festival. Storytelling is at the heart of her music – Turner fuses sounds of folk and soul, with lyrics that are incisive, simple and honest and melodies that stay with you. She released her debut EP, Some Stories, in 2014, attracting attention and support from Paul McLoone (Today FM), Carl Corcoran (RTÉ Lyric FM) and Cherrie McIlwaine (Radio Ulster) and opening for the likes of Altan, Eddie Reader and Declan O’Rourke. In 2017, she caught the attention of renowned songwriter and performer Chris Wood, who produced her second EP, The Lines Between Us. This carefully crafted collection of songs comes right out of life - songs with no bells or whistles, just celebrating voice and story.
Anita Vedres was born into a musical Dublin family. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Utrecht Conservatorium. She was a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra for several years which she left in 2000 for family reasons. It was around this time she discovered a new passion for period performance and became a founding member of the Irish Baroque orchestra. She went on to do a masters in period performance and studied baroque violin with acclaimed Swiss violinist Maya Homburger completing her master with first class honours. Anita enjoys a busy and varied career as a freelance violinist working with every orchestra in the country. This past year has taken her to China with the RTE concert orchestra, Germany with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Edinburgh and London with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and a short trip to Bucharest with the National Symphony Orchestra.
She also enjoys chamber music and has performed as baroque violinist in Trio Quattro, Armoniosa and the Eidola trio. This February and March saw her touring extensively around the country as a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra in their fruitful collaboration with Irish National Opera in Gluck's Orfeo. April featured performances again with IBO of Handel's Esther with vibrant Northern Irish choir Sestina. May was Mozart's Magic Flute with ICO. So it seems early opera is the theme this year. She is delighted to be involved in this festival production of Telemann's Pimpinone.
Irish-born Peter Whelan is among the most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance of his generation, having forged a remarkable career as conductor, keyboardist and virtuoso bassoonist. He is Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and founding Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas, and has been dubbed ‘as exciting a live wire as Ireland has produced in the world of period performance’ (The Irish Times).
2019 marks Peter's second year as an Artistic Partner of the Irish National Opera, where he will conduct Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Mozart's The Magic Flute with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Other highlights of 2019 include Peter's conducting début with The English Concert and a residency at the Wigmore Hall with Ensemble Marsyas. 2019 will also see the release of Peter's début recording with the Irish Baroque Orchestra on the Linn label. The recording entitled, 'Welcome Home, Mr. Dubourg', explores the life and music of Matthew Dubourg, 'Master and Chief Composer of the Irish State Musick' at Dublin Castle in the eighteenth century.
Recent conducting and directing engagements include Bach Cantatas at the Concertgebouw, Brugge (2019), Radamisto with English Touring Opera (2018), The Marriage of Figaro with Irish National Opera (2018), Portland Baroque Orchestra (2017), Edinburgh International Festival (2017), Kilkenny Arts Festival (2017), Bath Festival (2017) and Wigmore Hall (2016). As Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas, Peter has led the group to critical acclaim and established an impressive and award-winning discography. Marsyas’ disc of Barsanti was named 'Editor’s Choice' in Gramophone Magazine and ‘Recording of the Year’ in MusicWeb International 2017, as well as reaching second place in the Official UK Specialist Classical Chart.
Peter’s artistic direction in live performance and the recording studio has been praised for its ‘stylish verve’ (BBC Music Magazine), its ‘style and charisma’ (The Guardian), and its 'buoyant style’ (Financial Times).