Chamber Music masterclasses experience shortfall in funding

July 10th, 2019 5:50 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Sarah O'Donovan, Cammy Harley and Helen Dawson of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, were at the opening concert in Bantry House. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A MASTERCLASS programme for young musicians may have to be curtailed due to a shortfall in funding, according to the director of West Cork Music, Francis Humphrys.

Speaking at a special fundraising event for the masterclass programme – which was held at Seaview House Hotel on the opening day of the 10-day West Cork Chamber Music Festival – Mr Humphrys confirmed that there will be 30 masterclasses featured in this year’s programme alone.

These have been central to the festival since 1996 and give young musicians the opportunity to work with some of the top European chamber musicians. It also gives them a chance to perform in a variety of venues and prepare in a very focused way for national and international competitions.

Despite the support of the Arts Council and generous donations, Mr Humphrys confirmed that the masterclass programme ‘has a substantial shortfall and we have to curb our ambition somewhat.’

Although it takes a huge amount of administrative time, Mr Humphry said the money is, nevertheless, ‘well spent.’

The fundraising event showcased the talents of one young musician who benefited greatly from the masterclass programme, Mairéad Hickey, a Cork musician who has gone on to gain admission to one of the most prestigious string academies in Europe at Kronberg in German, which marks her as a future star.

This year, as part of Bantry’s 24th annual celebration of chamber music, there will be 110 musicians, masters, students, established composers, strong and wind plays, solo sopranos, pianists, national and international Baroque ensembles gathered for ten days of intense music-making.

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