KBC Great Music in Irish Houses 2014 Festival Programme


KBC Great Music in Irish Houses 2014 Festival Programme features Irish début of pianist Richard Goode and opening night performance by violinist Arabella Steinbacher.

Ireland’s longest-running chamber music festival returns for 2014 with 12 stunning performances by internationally acclaimed artists from home and abroad. The season will also include the Irish début of renowned American pianist, Richard Goode.

KBC Great Music in Irish Houses will take place from 10th – 15th June in unique and iconic venues across Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare including, for the first time, The National Botanic Gardens as well as Smock Alley Theatre, The Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle and The Little Museum of Dublin. Richard Goode is hailed for the tremendous emotional power of his music-making, will perform at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on June 11th. Having celebrated his 70th birthday last year, this master pianist continues to perform at the highest levels across Europe and the US where he has a large and devoted following.

Highlights of this year’s festival include a much-anticipated opening night performance from violinist Arabella Steinbacher, who will be partnered by pianist Robert Kulek in the beautiful surrounds of Killruddery House’s Orangery (June 10th).  Steinbacher has been one of the world’s leading violinists since she burst onto the musical scene as a young prodigy.  Her career boasts collaborations with, amongst others, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. This will be one of only a handful of performances by the duo worldwide this year, marking an auspicious start to the festival.

The music of Mozart and Brahms will bring an added magic to the beautiful National Botanic Gardens where dynamic Spanish string quartet, Cuarteto Casals, will perform an exciting programme against a verdant backdrop on June 13th.  

A special feature of this year’s festival will be The Dublin Musical Saunter, a day-long series of concerts in old Dublin, celebrating the rich heritage of classical music composed in Ireland by Irish and international composers. All concerts are in venues within easy walking distance of each other and include performances from such musical luminaries as sopranos Lynda Lee and Anna Devin; flautist William Dowdall; harpist Andreja Maliř and pianist Michael McHale.

Castletown House, the birthplace of the Festival, will welcome the dynamism of the Apollon Musagète Quartett, who captivated audiences last year with their début festival performance. Emerging as one of the most charismatic and creative ensembles in international music, this is a must-see performance.  They will be joined by the exceptionally talented Irish clarinettist Macdara Ó Seireadáin, for a performance of Mozart’s sublime Clarinet Quintet.

Title sponsor KBC has cultivated a long and fruitful partnership with the Festival, a collaboration which is now its 14th year. KBC was twice short-listed and received the overall Business to Arts Award for its long-term association with the Festival in 2012.  Speaking at this year’s launch, Aidan Power, Head of Marketing at KBC said, “This festival has helped establish Ireland as one of the great homes of chamber music on the international stage. KBC Great Music in Irish Houses offers a remarkable musical experience from a group of remarkable performers and with such a diverse programme, there really is something for everyone.  I would encourage anyone who loves music to pay a visit to this year’s Festival where I think they will be both surprised and captivated. This is a very special event and a sponsorship of which KBC is very proud.”

Other eminent names performing this year are UK ensemble The Heath Quartet whose most recent performance was described by The Times as one of “unforced beauty and tremulous tension”. The Quartet will take part in a rarely performed partnering of two towering works in spoken word and chamber music with one of Ireland’s finest and most compelling actors, Olwen Fouréré.  Olwen will read TS Eliot’s celebrated poem, Four Quartets, which was inspired by Beethoven’s spellbinding Quartet in A Minor, op132, which will then be performed by the Heath Quartet. Another featured performance will be that of star clarinettist Michael Collins, who will be joined by Giovanni Guzzo and Michael McHale when the trio perform at the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre at Grand Canal Dock.

This year’s Festival will see the introduction of a Support Act Residency Programme, which is sponsored by KBC and will help young Irish ensemble players to hone their skills as chamber musicians, under the tutelage of leading musicians in a Residency Programme at the National Botanic Gardens in June.

The Festival acknowledges the continued support of the Arts Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and appreciates the ongoing commitment of media partner RTÉ lyric fm.

Tickets are available from the National Concert Hall Box Office www.nch.ie   and 01 417 0000, are priced from €10 to €50 and include a free concert on Sunday, 15th June.

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 8.00 pm
Killruddery House
Arabella Steinbacher, violin and Robert Kulek, piano
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at 8.00 pm
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Richard Goode, piano
Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at 8.00 pm. 
Smock Alley Theatre
Olwen Fouréré
Heath Quartet
Friday, June 13th, 2014 at 8.00 pm. 
National Botanic Gardens
Cuarteto Casals
Saturday, June 14th at 12.00 Noon. 
Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre
Michael Collins, clarinet
Giovanni Guzzo, violin
Michael McHale, piano
Saturday, June 14th at 8.00 pm. 
Castletown House
Apollon Musagète Quartett
Macdara Ó Seireadáin, clarinet
Sunday, June 15th - The Dublin Musical Saunter
11.00am - The Little Museum of Dublin

Annette Cleary, cello; Aisling Drury Byrne, cello continuo and David Adams, harpsichord
12.00noon - Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.  Free Concert
Michael Collins clarinet and Michael McHale, piano
3.00pm - Smock Alley Theatre
Lynda Lee, soprano and Andreja Maliř, harp
5.00pm - Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle
Music for Dublin Castle
William Dowdall, flute; Lisa Dowdall, viola and David Adams, harpsichord
7.30pm - Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle  
Anna Devin, soprano and Irish Baroque Orchestra Chamber Soloists
9.30pm – Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle
Michael McHale, piano