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ConTempo Quartet & Raphaël Merlin cello

Aula Maxima, The Quadrangle, NUI Galway 8pm
Monday 9 March

Tickets: €18/ MFG Friends and Concessions: €14 / Students (full time): €6 Book here

BOCCHERINI Cello Quintet in C major, Op. 28 no. 4
MOZART String Quartet K. 575
SCHUBERT Cello Quintet in C major, D 956

Versatile French cellist Raphaël Merlin, member of the internationally acclaimed Quatuor Ebène, is joining ConTempo Quartet on Monday 9 March at the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle of NUI Galway at 8pm. Part of Music for Galway’s CELLISSIMO season, this concert features the most beautiful music for cello quintet including Boccherini’s quintet in C major, well known for its lively rondo finale and Schubert’s sublime quintet in C major. ConTempo will also perform Mozart’s String Quartet K. 575. Mozart wrote this quartet under financial strain in the hope to be able to sell it to the King of Prussia, who was himself an accomplished cellist. Indeed the cello features prominently in this quartet and so fits in perfectly with the season’s theme.

From the age of six Raphaël Merlin, born in 1982 in Clermont-Ferrand, displayed a desire for diversity in music. Cello, piano, jazz piano, transcription, composition, analysis, orchestral conducting, orchestration, chamber music, arrangement, teaching - each discipline always generated intense activity. In 1989, after his first year of cello, he asked his parents for piano lessons. A love of polyphony and improvisation was born from this, which would naturally lead to jazz and to his first composition. Continuing his training at the Conservatoire in Clermont, he sometimes escaped to accompany a choir on the guitar, to write some songs, to join a big-band, or to establish a jazz quartet. A few composition contests later, with his first conservatory diplomas already under his belt by the age of 15, he moved to Paris where he caught the bug for orchestral conducting. Chamber music, initially practised with the family, occupies a central part in his work today, in particular since 2002 when he joined the Ebène Quartet. Today the Ebène Quartet performs at the greatest concert halls in the world. Raphaël also produces arrangements (classical, jazz, tango, traditional music). From 1997 to 2002 he was the pianist in the Wildflower Quartet (jazz). He also plays duets with the guitarist Kevin Seddiki. He is an occasional member of the Contraste Ensemble alongside Arnaud Thorette and Johan Farjot; he has recorded the Trio Op. 114 by Brahms (Accord-Universal), Philippe Hersant’s trio (Triton), and a tango album, “Café 1930” (Zig-Zag Territories).

The ConTempo Quartet hardly needs an introduction to Galway audiences. The ensemble most recently performed Haydn and Shostakovich for Music for Galway at the very successful Midwinter Festival “Soundtracks for Superpowers” at the Town Hall Theatre in January. The internationally acclaimed quartet began its work as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence eleven years ago and celebrates its 19th anniversary as a string quartet this season. Since the beginning, ConTempo have made invaluable contributions to our community by sharing their talents through performances with thousands of audience members; by mentoring aspiring young musicians; and by introducing classical music to young school children very often for the first time. Through collaborative projects they have enhanced our music experiences by performing with a wide variety of talented international artists across all genres. ConTempo String Quartet was formed in 1995 in Bucharest, Romania, has won a record of fourteen International Prizes and performed more than a thousand concerts all over the world, including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Berliner Philarmoniker, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Opera House in Tel Aviv, Gedai Hall in Tokyo and Palazzo Quirinale in Rome.

Tickets: €18/ MFG Friends and Concessions: €14 / Students (full time): €6 Book here 




The Lavender Cello
Look out for our giant lavender cello , nicknamed the “Neachtivarius”, commissioned by Tigh Neachtain, crafted by Tommy Lennon.. .this will stand outside Neachtain’s for the entire week of the season launch and wil reappear at various times throughout the season.

Music for Galway is sponsored by the Arts Council and Galway City Council, and also thanks its many partners, corporate sponsors, Diamond Patrons and other Patrons and Friends.

Music for Galway
St. Mary's College
St. Mary's Road
Phone: 00353 91 705962
Email: info@musicforgalway.ie


ConTempo Quartet

Raphaƫl Merlin

The Neachtivarius outside Tigh Neachtains as seen from Artisan Restaurant

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