BY JACKIE KEOGH
THE countdown is now on to the 20th West Cork Chamber Music Festival, which opens its doors on Friday, June 26th for nine days of world-class music in Bantry.
Since booking opened in March, tickets have been selling quicker than in any other year and a number of concerts are now sold out. However, there is a chance to book for some performances, including some afternoon recitals.
A hallmark of this festival has always been its line-up of international stars and this year is no different. Leading Russian musicians, violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky and pianist Alexander Melnikov are among those performing in the Crespo Series recital at 4pm on Thursday 2 July. Two of the works played are intensely joyous-Prokofiev’s Trapeze and Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds.
The outstanding British tenor James Gilchrist, the exciting young Signum Quartet from Germany and Ireland’s own Vanbrugh Quartet will be appearing on the St Brendan’s Church stage the following afternoon at 4pm with works by Vaughan Williams, Ades and Denis Matthews.
On the final morning of the festival, the Coffee Concert will feature Beethoven’s delicious Serenade for flute, violin and viola, Ligeti’s delightful Bagatelles for wind quintet and then Janácek’s popular Septet for winds. Following on will be the Young Musicians’ Platform at 3pm and a lovely programme of much-loved works including Schubert’s famous Quartet in A minor ‘Rosamunde’, his Quartet in D minor ‘Death and the Maiden’ and Shostakovich’s Quartet No 3 in F major will be played by four string quartets.
There are a few tickets left for some concerts during the week and these can be booked through www.westcorkmusic.ie, by calling into the West Cork Music office at 13 Glengarriff Rd, Bantry or by ringing 027 52788.
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Failte Ireland.