SCHUBERTIADE 'SOFTLY SHALL YOU SLEEP...'
Tuesday 23 April, 8pm
Hotel Meyrick, Galway
Conor Biggs, bass baritone
Michel Stas, piano
Selection of Schubert Lieder
String Quartet No. 14, D. 810 Death and the Maiden
Tickets: €20/€16 (concession) / €6 (full time students)
Booking: Music for Galway 091 705 962, or Opus 2, 4 High Street, or online www.tht.ie www.tht.ie
Music for Galway’s 32nd International Concert Season will ring out to the sounds of one of the leading composers of the Romantic era, Franz Schubert, on Tuesday 23 April at the Ballroom of Hotel Meyrick at 8pm. Bass-baritone Conor Biggs and Belgian pianist Michel Stas will present a selection of Schubert’s exquisite Lieder, while ConTempo Quartet will perform the hauntingly beautiful ‘Death and the Maiden’ quartet.
Dubliner Conor Biggs studied voice in Dublin and at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. In 1982 he graduated with a degree in musicology from Trinity College, Dublin. Since 1992 Biggs has lived in Belgium, where he is regularly in demand as a soloist in oratorio, recital and operatic performances. He has sung the standard oratorio repertoire in Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Conor Biggs enjoys particular renown for his interpretation of art song. Biggs has made solo recordings for Sony, Eufoda, Vox Temporis, Cyprès and Ars Sonor. His CD of Tchaikovsky songs with accompanist Pádhraic Ó Cuinneagáin was released on the Heliopolis label in March 2005. He has also made solo broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, RTE radio and television, Dutch television and Flemish and Walloon radio and television. He is a member of The Flemish Radio Choir and the Gregorian Chant ensemble Psallentes.
In May 2011 he began his epic Schubert song journey, Schubertreise, in which he performs the complete songs of Franz Schubert over a period of ten years, accompanied by Belgian pianist Michel Stas. This is his third appearance for Music for Galway.
Belgian pianist Michel Stas graduated from the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp, he was awarded a Masters in Performance from the Conservatoire of Tilburg, with maximum points. He has been a prize-winner in several international piano competitions, notably in Rotterdam and Brussels. In addition to his activities as soloist and chamber musician Michel Stas has been involved with singers for almost twenty years, notably in lieder and vocal quartet recitals. He is actively involved in artistic reseach projects concerning the performance of lied, in the search for new perspectives in performance.
Michel Stas is regularly invited to perform in concerts and festivals throughout Europe. Michel Stas is Director of the Academy of Music, Drama and Dance in Overijse, Belgium.
ConTempo Quartet was formed in 1995 in Bucharest, Romania. Recognised as one of the world’s top string quartets, ConTempo has won a record of 14 International Prizes and performed more that 1,000 concerts all over the world, including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Berliner Philarmoniker, Theatre Chatelet in Paris, Opera House in Tel Aviv, Gedai Hall in Tokyo and Palazzo Quirinale in Rome.
The internationally acclaimed ConTempo Quartet began their work as Galway’s ensemble in residence 10 years ago and celebrates its 17th anniversary as a string quartet this year. The quartet has participated in numerous television and radio broadcasts in England (where they recorded quartets by Shostakovich, Debussy, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Bartok & Constantinescu for BBC), France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Romania and Ireland.
Don’t miss this end of season concert, which promises to transport you into a world of tenderness, passion and poetry.
Music for Galway gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.
Booking from Music for Galway 091 705962, Opus 2, No. 4 High Street or online www.tht.ie
Finghin Collins takes the helm as new Artistic Director for Music for Galway
Music for Galway is very pleased to announce that pianist Finghin Collins, one of Irelands finest classical musicians, is taking on the role of Artistic Director for the coming two seasons. He succeeds Jane O’Leary who was a founding member and driving force of Music for Galway for over three decades. She is stepping down as Artistic Director at the end of January to focus on her own work as composer.
Finghin is absolutely delighted to have been appointed: I'm looking forward very much to putting together some exciting programmes for the upcoming seasons. In particular I wish to continue the excellent work done by Jane O'Leary over so many years in Galway and hope that my contribution will in some way measure up to what she has achieved. I hope that the variety and diversity of the programmes we present will appeal to a large cross-section of society and that people of all walks of life will come to savour the music we offer. ... We need culture and music more than ever to provide an outlet for our emotions, an escape from the daily routine. There is nothing quite like live music, performed in the flesh before us, to provide this comfort, to inspire us and to open our minds and our hearts.
Delia Breathnach, chair of Music for Galway welcomes Finghin wholeheartedly: We are thrilled to have been able to secure the services of an artist of such calibre. Music for Galway is continually evolving and looks to Finghin to lead the organisation in new and challenging directions. We look forward to working with him on the seasons ahead.
Finghin Collins is well known to Galway audiences, and indeed has been performing in Music for Galway concerts since his teens. He was born in Dublin and studied with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and with Dominique Merlet at the Geneva Conservatoire. He established his international reputation by winning the 1999 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition. Since then he has performed with leading orchestras such as the Chicago, City of Birmingham and Houston Symphony Orchestras, the Seoul, London, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras and many more. During the 2012/13 season he completes his three-year tenure as Associate Artist of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, rounding off his cycle of the complete Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos. He also performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and gives recitals, chamber music performances and masterclasses in the UK, USA, France and Switzerland. His recordings of Schumann’s piano music for Claves Records in Switzerland have received widespread acclaim, including Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine in 2006. His most recent recording for Claves of works by Stanford with the RTE NSO has also been very well received, and was Editor’s Choice in May 2011. Finghin Collins has been Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival since its inception in 2006, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dublin International Piano Competition.
Music to Charm and Challange
Music for Galway launched their 32nd international concert season on September 17.Soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Europe, South America and the USA willtake part in the season which features over twenty events.
The opening concert on Tuesday 2 October will focus on flute quartets and pianosonatas of Haydn with flautist Madeleine Staunton, pianist Peter Tuite, andmembers of ConTempo Quartet. These works are rarely heard in concert and theprogramme has been specially devised for Music for Galway.
The season will close at the end of April with a special Schubert evening in theMeyrick Hotel Ballroom featuring bass baritone Conor Biggs performing some ofSchubert’s most beautiful songs and ConTempo Quartet performing Schubert’sexquisite quartet, ‘Death and the Maiden’.
Orchestral concerts will take place in Seapoint’s famous Ballroom. The IrishChamber Orchestra bring a programme ranging from the third symphony of PhilipGlass to Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings. The Irish Baroque Orchestra and MonicaHuggett return to Galway with a vibrant new work by American composer HollisTaylor called Groove Theory.
Prize Winning pianists travel to Galway with programmes of virtuosity and beauty:from Moscow - Nicolay Khozyainov - and from Venice - Alessandro Taverna .
Touring events this season feature the outstanding Irish choir Resurgam inHandel’s Messiah just before Christmas and the renowned BBC Singers in a pre-Easter concert featuring Seven Last Words from the Cross in a contemporary settingby Scottish composer James MacMillan.
Concerts will be enhanced by two award winning films, shown at the Huston Schoolof Film and Digital Media: In search of Haydn and Portrait of Philip Glass: Glass in 12Parts. Music by Glass features in concerts by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and theyoung German ensemble sonic.art saxophone quartet.
This year Music for Galway present two very special 3-day festivals. One ispresented in association with the Galway Music Residency, celebrating their 10thanniversary with our world renowned Galway ensemble in residence ConTempoQuartet and special guests: pianist Isabelle O’Connell from New York, accordionplayer Dermot Dunne with Ariel Hernandez from Argentina, and the RTEVanbrugh Quartet.
The annual Midwinter Festival in the third weekend of January has a focus onthe music of Beethoven: Genius, Passion and the Irish Connection. This Festivalis again sponsored by DERI and this year brings together the outstanding Dutchpiano trio Osiris, the Dutch soprano Charlotte Riedijk, UK based Irish tenor RobinTritschler, clarinetist Paul Roe, Cork born pianist Rebecca Capova and actorRod Goodall who will read from the letters of Beethoven as translated by EmilyAnderson, Galway scholar whose translation of Beethoven’s correspondence hasbrought the composer closer to the English speaking world.
The Festival will feature Piano Trios, Bagatelles for solo piano, the song cycle ‘To theDistant Beloved’, the Clarinet Trio, and Beethoven’s delightful settings of Irish folksongs for voice, violin, cello and piano.
The season runs from October to the end of April in various venues throughoutGalway, offering a wide variety of musical events, a selection of music encompassingstyles from classic and romantic to minimalist and jazz, a host of outstandingmusicians and ensembles renowned for their skills from Russia, Germany, Italy,Belgium, the Netherlands, Argentina, the USA, and the UK as well as Ireland. Fulldetails from www.musicforgalway.ie.
Music for Galway is supported by The Arts Council and Galway City Council.
Further information from:
Anna Lardi Fogarty, Music for Galway, c/o GMIT, Cluain Mhuire, Galway
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 091 705962