Mary Dullea. Photo: Frances Marshall
Mary Dullea
Photo: Frances Marshall

Mary Dullea
Artistic Director and Piano

As soloist and chamber musician, Irish pianist Mary Dullea performs internationally at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Casa da Musica (Porto), Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Phillips Collection Washington D.C., Symphony Space New York City, Palazzo Albrizzi Venice (Italy), Johannesburg Music Society and National Concert Hall Dublin. Festival appearances include City of London, Cheltenham, St. Magnus International Festival, Huddersfield, Aldeburgh, Sound Scotland as well as Lodi Festival (Italy), TRANSIT Festival (Leuven) and National Arts Festival (South Africa). Her frequent broadcasts include BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, RTHK, RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC, Radio New Zealand and Sky Arts, Irish, French, Austrian and Italian television. Concerto appearances include RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mary’s CD releases include on labels NMC, Delphian Records, Resonus Classics, Altarus, Col Legno, MNR, Naxos, Lorelt and Divine Art. Recent collaborations include premiere recordings of Philip Glass for Orange Mountain Music and projects in 2018 include a second instalment of French piano trios for Resonus Classics, a Gerald Barry portrait CD for Mode Records and the release of Marlacoo by Simon Mawhinney.

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A sought-after interpreter of new music, Mary’s expansive repertoire covers the standard piano literature as well as an ever-increasing amount of 20th- and 21st- century compositions, many of which are dedicated to her. Her piano trio, Fidelio Trio, are passionate advocates for piano trio repertoire around the world. Constantly commissioning new works, composers that the Trio have worked closely with include Johannes Maria Staud, Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Judith Weir, Kevin Volans and Charles Wuorinen, to name but a few.

Mary was the curator of Soundings (an annual UK/Austrian collaborative new music festival) at the Austrian Cultural Forum London from 2008 to 2016. She has served on the jury of ‘Schubert und die Musik der Moderne’ International Chamber Music Competition in Graz, Austria. In 2014 she founded ‘Chamber Music on Valentia’ an annual chamber music festival in Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the aim of bringing chamber music performances of international standing, innovative programming and outreach and engagement programmes to this unique place.

Mary’s own studies were at The Royal College of Music, London on the Edith Best Scholarship, Goldsmiths, University of London (MMus in Contemporary Music Studies)and her PhD in Performance is from Ulster University. Mary was on the piano faculty of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for 9 years. She previously held the position of Director of Performance at University of Sheffield and since 2015 she has held this position at Royal Holloway, University of London.

www.marydullea.com

Mary Dullea Sitting at piano
Mary Dullea Photo: Frances Marshall

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Darius Brubeck playing grand piano
Darius Brubeck

Darius Brubeck
Jazz piano

Born in San Francisco in 1947, jazz pianist and composer Darius Brubeck grew up in the artistic milieu of his famous father Dave and has enjoyed a lifetime of varied international experience as bandleader, composer, teacher and broadcaster. The Brubeck family moved to Connecticut in 1960 where Darius attended high school and graduated cum laude from Wesleyan University where he studied ethnomusicology and history of religion. He also holds an M. Phil. from Nottingham University where he was a Visiting Fellow in Music in 1999-2000.

After graduation in 1969 and some experiments with different kinds of music, Darius was ushered into the international jazz scene in the Seventies as a member of Two Generations of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck) under his father’s leadership but also continued playing intermittently with his own groups.

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He married Catherine, an expat South African living in New York, and moved to Durban, South Africa in 1983, where he initiated the first degree course in Jazz Studies offered by an African university. Together, they founded and developed the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal six years later,where, as Professor of Jazz Studies, Darius taught until 2005. He has also served as a Fulbright visiting professor in Romania and Turkey. Darius Brubeck and Afro Cool Concept, which featured some of South Africa’s premier musicians, played throughout southern Africa, Europe, and the USA and recorded for the Sheer Sound label. He also collaborated with virtuoso bansuri player, Deepak Ram, using the name Gathering Forces for ‘world-music’ concerts. From 1989 onward, Brubeck led staff-student groups representing his university and South Africa on official tours, attending conferences and giving workshops and concerts in Europe, North and South America, Turkey, and Thailand.

Moving to the United Kingdom on retirement from full-time teaching in 2006, Darius now leads the London based Darius Brubeck Quartet, which has now an international following and since 2010 also tours annually with his brothers Chris and Dan in Brubecks Play Brubeck.

Darius and his wife/manager Catherine return to South Africa every year where he remains an honorary research professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Darius regularly appears at academic conferences related to jazz studies, presenting papers and joining panels. The Brubecks were jointly awarded a writing grant in 2017 by STIAS (Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study) and again in 2019. The couple are writing a book about their jazz life in South Africa during the turbulent and hope-filled period leading up to the first democratic election in 1994.

Darius has composed and arranged across a range of styles from string trio to full orchestra, as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and others. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra commissioned Darius and Zim Ngqawana, to set extracts from speeches by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu to music, read by Morgan Freeman. In 2005, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded him a residency as a composer at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. ‘For Lydia’ was selected for the 2013-2014 Grade 5 Piano Syllabus by the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music and the 2018-2019 Grade VI syllabus includes his ‘Tugela Rail.’

The theme of cultural diplomacy figured large in 2018 and will continue to build this year. A WNET/BBC4 TV co-production titled ‘The Jazz Ambassadors,’ about jazz diplomacy during the Cold War featured an extensive interview with Darius. (https://vimeo.com/255776114)

Darius went to Poland in February 2018 where he played with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as a guest and returned in March with his Quartet for a concert on the 60th anniversary of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s famous 1958 world tour. (Incidentally, Szczecin, Poland is where Darius made his un-planned stage debut as an 10-year old accompanying his parents.) The DBQ returned to Poland again in November 6 – 18 for a tour of the cities visited on the original 1958 tour by his father’s quartet. (A ‘live in Poland’ CD will be forthcoming.) A film crew shadowed this tour and will follow Darius and Catherine to South Africa this year, making a documentary about his life as an unofficial jazz ambassador.

‘Darius, the eldest [of Dave Brubeck’s sons] and most visually like his father, plays stylish piano and knows the score.’ Jack Massarik, Evening Standard

Darius Brubeck Playing Grand Piano  playing at the Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival
Darius Brubeck

www.dariusbrubeck.com

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Nathan James Dearden
Composer

photography |  Catrin Arwel
Nathan James Dearden

Nathan James Dearden (b. 1992) is a composer and conductor, whose music is regularly performed across the UK and overseas by a variety of different instrumentalists and ensembles, from both community ensembles to internationally renowned musicians.

Nathan’s music has been commissioned, performed, featured and workshopped by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berkeley Ensemble, The Tippett QuartetGenesis Sixteen, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, The Heath Quartet, Grand Band, the Fidelio Trio, Hebrides Ensemble, CHROMA ensemble, Carla Rees and The Dunedin Consort. His music regularly features in concerts across the UK and overseas, including at the Cheltenham Music Festival, Dartington International Summer School and Festival, International Young Composers’ Meeting, CROSSROADS International New Music Festival and Vale of Glamorgan Festival of Music. Nathan was an inaugural Young Composer-in-Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and Music Creator for Sinfonia Newydd in 2013. 

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Recent notable performances include under the earth, written as part of Tŷ Cerdd’s CoDI Chamber Programme  (Berkeley Ensemble), 2 lost songs at CROSSROADS International New Music Festival (Hebrides Ensemble), i sleep alone at Nagoya University/Japan (Jeremy Huw Williams; Paula Fan), franz at City of London Guildhall (London Philharmonic Orchestra), and johannes at World Saxophone Congress Zagreb 2018 (Tenor Saxophone Collective).

Upcoming projects include a song-cycle collaboration with composer and pianist Michael Finnissy, a new work for pianist Mary Dullea as part of an album project with the Tŷ Cerdd Label, plus a new set of works for the Swansea Philharmonic Choir as part of Making Music UK’s Adopt-a-Composer Scheme.

Nathan has recently been awarded an Early Career Public Engagement Grant from the Institute of Musical Research in support of Spotlight Series: Finnissy at 70 and was selected as a London Philharmonic Orchestra Leverhulme Arts Scholar for their 2016/2017 season. In May 2017, Nathan received the inaugural Paul Mealor Award for Outstanding Young Composers by the Welsh Music Guild.

Based in South East England, Nathan is currently Performance Manager, Visiting Tutor in Music Composition, Conductor of the New Voices Consort and New Music Collective and Postgraduate Research Scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London. Supervised by Mark BowdenHelen Grime and Julian Johnson, Nathan’s research interests include parody in music, and music as a form of social commentary. 

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Music (with Honours) from Cardiff University, where he was awarded the David Lloyd Music Prize for excellence in vocal studies and choral work (2012) and the Elizabeth Griffiths Award for his outstanding contribution to the musical life at Cardiff University School of Music (2013). He later graduated from Cardiff University as a Master of Music (with Distinction) in Music Composition with Robert Fokkens, Louis Johnson and Arlene Sierra, where his studies were kindly supported by Cardiff University, the James Pantyfedwen Foundation and the RVW Trust.

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Tim Gill Cello Playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Tim Gill

Tim Gill
Cello

Tim Gill studied at Cambridge university, reading music (and meeting his future wife and eminent cellist Joely Koos), the Royal Academy of Music and the Banff Centre in Canada.
In 1988 he was selected to play at the South Bank as part of the Park Lane Group concert series, and has since enjoyed a lifelong commitment to contemporary music.

In 2001 he became principal cellist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and two years later was made principal with the London Sinfonietta, drawing critical acclaim for his solo performances of music by Stravinsky, Xenakis and Maxwell Davies.

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In 2011 he enjoyed a brief spell as principal with English National Opera, before returning the next year to the RPO. He now freelances in London, focussing on his solo and chamber music commitments while retaining his association with the London Sinfonietta.

He has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, most recently at the BBC proms and at London’s Kings Place “Cello Unwrapped” series.

Tim plays on a cello by Francesco Ruggeri, dated 1695.

 Tim Gill playing at the Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival

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Elfyn Jones
Composer

Elfyn Jones MMus (GSMD) is a UK-based opera maker, composer, sound designer, musical director and music educator. He has particular experience in composing music for the stage, including opera and music theatre. Elfyn composes to commission and offers workshops in composition, voice and percussion, and advisory and consultancy work. His clients have included WNO, ENO, Opera North, and BBC NOW. He is currently studying for a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, integrating sound design into opera composition. He is an Associate with Devon LDP Music Service, working with schools across Devon. He is also Artistic Consultant for South West Music, working with exceptionally gifted young musicians from across South West England, and tutors in A level composition for Junior Trinity. 

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Elfyn Jones has composed music to commission for Tête à Tête, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, ENO Baylis, National Dance Company of Wales and others. At ENO Baylis he was Artistic Director of The Hoxton Singers 1996-2006 and composed a number of musical theatre works for them including The Firebucket, Cinderella and The Hoxton Singers Radio Show. Additionally, he composed songs and incidental music for four new plays for Spare Tyre Theatre Company 2000-2003. His String Quartet No.1 was recorded by Aylwin String Quartet in 2008; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performed his symphonic movement The Journey Part III in 2013. As Musical Director his credits include Brewhouse Young Company (The Secret Garden, Les Miserables, Around The World in 80 Days, Singin’ In The Rain), Crediton Arts Centre (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, The Shaughraun), as well as Sailors and Sweethearts and schools workshops for NT’s Warhorse at Theatre Royal Plymouth, and The Day We Played Brazil for Exeter Northcott. He was the original accompanist for Gareth Malone’s BBC series Military Wives.

www.elfynjones.org.uk

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Úna Monaghan playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival
Úna Monaghan Harp

Úna Monaghan
Harp

Úna Monaghan is a harper, composer, and sound artist from Belfast, Ireland. Her recent work has combined traditional music with bronze sculpture, sound art and movement sensors. Her compositions have been presented on BBC and RTÉ television and radio, in theatre productions, and at international festivals and conferences, such as the International Computer Music Conference, York Festival of Ideas, and Belfast Festival at Queen’s. Úna is co-founder of Quiet Music Night, an evening dedicated to performing quiet music of all genres, especially new and experimental music. She holds a BA in Astrophysics from Cambridge University, and a PhD on New Technologies and Experimental Practices in Contemporary Irish Traditional Music, from Queen’s University Belfast. 

In 2013 Úna was selected from an international audition process as a Future Music Performance Fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival, Maine, USA. She was an Artist in Residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in Spring 2015. Úna also works as a sound engineer specializing in Irish traditional music, and experimental, live electronic and multichannel music, a role in which she travels worldwide. She curates the JamJar series of contemporary and experimental music for Moving On Music in Belfast.

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In 2016 Úna was Artist in Residence at the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI) at McGill University, Montréal, where she developed her composition work with harp and motion sensor. This residency was supported by a James M. Flaherty Research Scholarship, awarded by the Ireland Canada University Foundation, and through funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Úna is currently the Rosamund Harding Research Fellow in Music at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

Úna Monaghan playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival
Úna Monaghan

www.unamonaghan.com

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Darragh Morgan Playing at the Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival
Darragh Morgan Photo: Frances Marshall

Darragh Morgan
Violin

Irish violinist Darragh Morgan (b. 1974) leads a successful career in classical music and is known for his versatile ability to perform music from baroque to contemporary styles. He frequently performs and records solo and concerto repertoire including world premieres and works dedicated to him written by major contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt, Sir John Tavener, Kevin Volans, Gerald Barry and Michael Finnissy. His impeccable technique and openness to exploring new styles are widely recognised and have led to regular collaborations with artists such as Thomas Adès, Emmanuel Pahud and Nicholas Daniel. World-class international groups, including Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Group and Les Siècles have invited Darragh to be their guest leader and this has seen him working closely with conductors Pierre Boulez, François-Xavier Roth, Oliver Knussen and Heinz Holliger.

As a soloist, Darragh has performed at Wien Modern, Festival d’Automne Paris, Osterfestival Tirol, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms Chamber Music, Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, Cheltenham, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals. His interest in chamber music has led him to found The Fidelio Trio. Described by The Sunday Times as “the virtuosic Fidelio Trio”, they have performed at Wigmore Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, and recorded Michael Nyman’s Complete Piano Trios for MN Records and Philip Glass Trios on Orange Mountain Music.

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As former violinist in the Smith Quartet, the group performed and recorded with artists as divers as Louis Andriessen, Gavin Bryars and Steve Reich, and appeared at Seoul Arts Centre and The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Darragh has recorded over 50 solo and chamber albums for classical music labels including NMC, Naxos, Resonus Classics and Signum. He serves on the violin faculty at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and previously at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses at world-class institutions such as Peabody Conservatory and Curtis Institute. His achievements as a musician are heavily indebted to his teachers and coaches including Yehudi Menuhin, Mauricio Fuks, Pinchas Zukerman, Detlef Hahn and the Amadeus and Takács Quartets during his formative years.

Darragh plays an 1848 Giuseppe Rocca violin, generously on loan from the Morgan-Rocca Instrument Trust which is administered by The Royal Society of Musicians.

Darragh Morgan Playing at Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival
Darragh Morgan Photo: Frances Marshall

 

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John O'Conor - Piano
John O’Conor

 

 

John O’Conor
Piano

“A pianist of unbounding sensitivity” (Gramophone) ; “He represents a vanishing tradition that favors inner expression and atmosphere over showmanship and bravura” (Chicago Tribune) ; “Impeccable technique and musicality … it would be hard to imagine better performances” (Sunday Times – London) ; “This artist has the kind of flawless touch that makes an audience gasp” (Washington Post); “Exquisite playing” (New York Times).

The Irish pianist John O’Conor has been gathering wonderful reviews for his masterly playing for over forty years. Having studied in his native Dublin, in Vienna with Dieter Weber and been tutored by the legendary Wilhelm Kempff his unanimous 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has brought him all around the world. 

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He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, l’Orchestre National de France, the NHK Orchestra in Japan and the Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, Dallas, Montreal and Detroit Symphonies in North America. He has given concerts in many of the world’s most famous halls including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Dvorak Hall in Prague, the Seoul Arts Centre, and the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. He enjoys collaborating in Lieder recitals and performing chamber music with many instrumentalists and ensembles such as the Cleveland, Tokyo, Vanbrugh, Vermeer, Takacs, Vogler and Ying Quartets.

John O’Conor first gained widespread attention in the USA in 1986 with the release of his first volume of Beethoven Sonatas on the Telarc label. He went on to record the complete Sonatas and these were issued as a box set in 1994. CD Review described Mr. O’Conor’s performances as “recordings of the highest calibre and Beethoven playing at its best”. Mr. O’Conor has made more than 20 recordings for Telarc, including the complete Beethoven Bagatelles (cited by the New York Times as the best recordings of these works) and Mozart Concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has also recorded the complete Nocturnes, Sonatas and Concertos of the Irish Composer John Field.

In 2007 and 2008 he recorded the complete Piano Concertos of Beethoven with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Delfs and these have been greeted with great acclaim. In the past year he has released two new CDs on the Steinway label, one of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and the other of five Haydn Sonatas.

Prof. O’Conor is regarded as one of the most important piano teachers in the world today. He is Distinguished Artist in Residence, Professor of Music and Chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, Professor of Piano at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, International Visiting Artist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Visiting Professor at Showa University in Japan. His students have won many international prizes and he is in great demand for masterclasses and as a juror at the most prestigious International Piano Competitions worldwide.

For his services to music he has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the National University of Ireland, by Trinity College Dublin, by the Dublin Institute of Technology and by Shenandoah University, the title “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government, the “Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst” by the Austrian Government, the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan, and has received many other awards. In 2015 he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Dublin Society. In October he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and in November 2017 he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Concert Hall in Dublin by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

John O’Conor is a Steinway Artist.

John O'Conor
John O’Conor

 

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Keith Pascoe playing at the Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival
Keith Pascoe

 

Keith Pascoe
Violin

Keith Pascoe has since 1998 played and toured nationally and internationally with the Vanbrugh Quartet, resident artists at the National University of Ireland, University College Cork. In 2016 the quartet were presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Concert Hall for their contribution to musical life in Ireland. As a solo violinist he has performed the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Beethoven and Mozart, in over thirty concerts around Ireland, in a series sponsored by the Arts Council. After violin, piano, and conducting studies at the Royal College of Music in London, his professional life began in 1981 as founder member and first leader of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Subsequent positions included: sub-leader of the London Philharmonic in his early twenties; assistant director of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, with whom he appeared as soloist, and ten years (1985-95) with exclusive EMI artists, the Britten Quartet.

Keith was appointed conductor of the Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra (formerly Cork Symphony, and City of Cork Symphony) in 2015.
He has conducted an extensive repertoire of symphonies, and has accompanied such soloists as sopranos Majella Cullagh, Mary Hegarty, the violinists Mairéad Hickey, Sarah Sexton, Tasmin Little and Nigel Kennedy, with whom he has also played Bach’s concerto for two violins; cellists Christopher Marwood, Julian Lloyd Webber, and pianists David Syme, Ciara Moroney, and Barry Douglas; the Fleischmann Choir, as well as the Army Band of 1 Southern Brigade; International choirs including the RLPO choir, and the Harlow Chorus.

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He and the CFSO will open the 2017 Cork International Choral Festival with Verdi’s Requiem. “Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathetique’ symphony poses different challenges — sudden changes of dynamic that range from the almost inaudible to huge, overpowering ‘tuttis’, very exposed instrumental solos, lots of rubato, warmth contrasting with bleak despair and, under Pascoe’s inspired guidance, the orchestra responded brilliantly”.
Irish Examiner 2014

In addition to a busy performing schedule, Pascoe is a Luigi Boccherini scholar and has published articles and editions. He is a lecturer in the Conservatory of Music in the Dublin Institute of Technology, and has conducted the DIT Camerata whom he performed Britten’s opera
Noye’s Fludde, and the premiere of Paul Alday’s first symphony, the first symphony composed in Ireland. An external examiner and visiting teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was awarded an honorary ARAM by the Academy in 2015. He lives in Cork City.

“…Pascoe’s intensely musical, deeply personal, and wonderfully moving account of the [Mendelssohn] concerto to match, at times even surpass, the playing of the best international soloists it has been my pleasure to hear”. Irish Examiner 2017

Keith-Pascoe playing at Chamber Music on Valentia Feastival
Keith Pascoe

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Karen Power Composer Appearing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Karen Power Photo: John Godfrey

 

Karen Power
Featured Composer and Sound Installations

Karen’s compositions utilise two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sounds, spaces and soundscapes. Her output is diverse – both in its approach and delivery – and her primary aim is to capture and translate the essence of an idea through any artistic means necessary. For example, recent projects have been presented as orchestral works, sonic installations, chamber music, collaborations between sound and dance, image and experimental film, free improvisations and musical happenings.

Everyday environments and how we hear everyday sounds lies at the core of Karen Power’s practice with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what most of us call ‘music’ and all other sound. She has found inspiration in the natural world and how we respond to spaces we occupy. She continually utilises our inherent familiarity with such sounds and spaces as a means of engaging with audiences. Resulting works challenge the listeners memory of hearing while simultaneously shifting focus and presenting new contexts for such sounds. Karen’s current practice revolves around her development of aural scores + parts as alternate methods of communication with performers. 

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In 2009 she completed a PhD in acoustic and electroacoustic composition at SARC (Sonic Arts Research Centre), Belfast, with Prof. Michael Alcorn. Throughout her PhD, Karen’s works focused on the commonalities and individualities of both acoustic and electroacoustic composition aiming to develop a more integrated language, which acknowledges and utilizes such strengths.

Recently Karen has spent time in residency at The Arctic Circle, The Banff Centre, Canada, The Guesthouse, Ireland, UCDavis, California, USA and in 2015/16 was artist in Berlin through a DAAD Award. She has been composer in Residence with Galway Music Residency and Music Generation. Karen has been commissioned by RTÉ, Bozzini Quartet, SCAW, Carin Levine, Sonar Quartet, Ensemble Mosaik, ConTempo, Ultraschall Festival, MikroMusik, NMD Festival, Isabelle O’ Connell, Other performances include: RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Modern, the Ulster Orchestra, Kate Ellis, Mmm Trio and Quiet Music Ensemble. She has been awarded national and international awards and honorary mentions for her work and has represented Ireland internationally on a number of occasions. Karen’s installation work and her recent interest in field recordings has taken her music across many genres and art mediums including: video, dance, film, painting, sculpture and glass. This cross-arts approach has enabled some of her more open-time music to be presented in spaces like galleries, parks, warehouses and houses, which offer audiences choice in how and when we listen.

In 2017 Karen became chair of Sounding the Feminists, a collective seeking equality in music across Ireland.

In 2018 her work represented Ireland @ ISCM in Beijing.

Some exciting recent projects include; Gorging Limpet, which is a collaborative project between sound and experimental film, a commission from UK pianist Andrew Zolinsky – focusing on the subtle individual tuning of pianos, The Arctic Circle Residency, hearSpace (2014) – an exploration into the world of Radio with a new interactive radio art composition, a large-scale commission for Bozzini Quartet, a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Award, Instruments of Ice (2015) for QME + Arctic Ice, once below a double installation + soloists based on Berlin’s underground bunkers and veiled babble (2016) for Ensemble Mosaik + underwater Spree River sounds + a commission for Sonar Quartett merging string quartet with Laotian ricefields + Berlin. Current explorations include a fluxus-style work: those are the dangers of round vegetables in a major train station where players and environmental sounds became 1, sounds like… for brass quartet, voices from hidden places (2018) for BAM Festival, Germany + location location location (2018) for NMD.

Karen is an active improviser, who specializes in using environmental and everyday sounds as catalysts for constructing new soundworlds, which also feeds in to her educational work with children and adults.

In her education work she is specifically interested in creating new music and sounds with children through active workshops, which allow children to explore, create and perform their own compositions. She has developed and delivered an early years program Natural Creators. Children are intuitively open and my aim as an artistic educator is to introduce new sounds, musical experiences and draw out creative impulses in my work. Much of Karen’s work in this area includes the use of improvisation, an awareness of our natural soundscape and the creation of alternative natural instruments as performance tools. Her current program is called Natural Creators and is suitable for 3-5 years.

Karen Power Composer Appearing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Karen Power Photo: John Godfrey

 

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Anna Prowse Singing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Anna Prowse

 

Anna Prowse
Mezzo-Soprano

British mezzo-soprano Anna Prowse was a choral scholar at Girton College, Cambridge, studying English Literature before completing her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in 2018 where she studied with Sophie Grimmer and was the recipient of the Joan Greenfield Scholarship. She won first prize in The Elisabeth Schumann lieder competition and second prize in both The English and French Song competitions.

Opera highlights this year will include chorus in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena with Longborough Opera Festival and Elfyn Jones’ Vicky and Albert with Sonopera following its success last summer at Tête à Tête’s opera festival. On the concert platform Anna has sung at The Leeds Lieder Festival and as a soloist for Eugene Asti’s Schumann and Debussy concert series. Opera roles also include, Bianca in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia (Stratford Circus Theatre), Dido in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas (Blackheath Halls Opera), Alto soloist in Purcell’s King Arthur (Frithy Tippett opera), Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors (Yorke Trust Opera), Polina in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades (Opera Coast), Nerone in Monteverdi’s, L’incoronazione di Poppea (Blackheath Halls), Joachim in Handel’s Susanna (Yorke Trust Opera) and Fairy Queen in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe (London Garden Opera).

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Anna Prowse Singing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Anna Prowse

 

www.annaprowse.com

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David Quigley Piano will be playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
David Quigley

David Quigley
Piano

Award-winning Irish pianist David Quigley enjoys a wide and varied career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has performed in many of the world’s greatest concert halls including the Philharmonie Köln, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Musikverein Vienna, Mozarteum Salzburg, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, National Concert Hall Athens, Wigmore Hall London, Konserthaus Stcokholm and Carnegie Hall New York.

As a concerto soloist he has appeared with many orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Ulster Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Southern Sinfonia and Cairo Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with distinguished conductors such as Barry Wordsworth, Barry Douglas, Takuo Yuasa, Sachio Fujioka and David Porcelijn.

David is also a much sought after chamber musician and performs regularly with internationally renowned artists including oboist Nicholas Daniel, clarinettist Michael Collins, violinist Nathaniel Vallois and soprano Ailish Tynan. He performs regularly with his sister, the violinist Joanne Quigley in both duo recitals and in trio recitals with cellist Jonathan Aasgaard.


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Born in Ireland in 1977, David began his musical studies at the age of four. He attended the Leinster School of Music, Dublin, studying with the renowned Irish teacher Mabel Swainson. In 1996 he entered Birmingham Conservatoire where he worked with the pianist/composer Philip Martin, graduating in July 2000 with a first class honours degree and the Principal’s Prize. As a result of winning the Joseph Weingarten Scholarship, David continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, with Balázs Szokolay and later with Brigette Engerer at the Paris Conservatoire.

In 2002, David was selected as the UK’s representative for the European Concert Hall Organisation’s Rising Stars series resulting in critically acclaimed debut recitals throughout Europe and the USA. His many national and international competition successes include winner of the inaugural Clandeboye Young Musician of the Year Competiton, the Royal Over-Seas League Piano Competition, the Ulster Bank Music Foundation Award, the Carnwath Scholarship and silver medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians London. He is also a former finalist of the RTÉ Young Musician of the Future Competition and the B.B.C. Young Musician of the Year Competition. He has been awarded major scholarships from the Martin Musical Trust, Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Myra Hess Trust, Northern Ireland Arts Council and the Wingate Foundation and he is a former winner of the Making Music Young Artist Award.

David’s discography includes Piano Music From Northern Ireland (Lontano records), Saint-Saëns Carnival Of The Animals with Jeremy Young and the Lancashire Sinfonietta, Rediscoveries: Old and New music of Ireland (Ischia Records) with his sister Joanne Quigley , Piano Music by Philip Hammond (Lontano records) and his latest release, Piano Classics (El Greco Records). He broadcasts extensively on both radio and television for the BBC, RTÉ, Classic FM, RTÉ Lyric FM and Dutch Radio 4.

Recent performing highlights include a multi city solo recital and masterclass tour of China and chamber music recitals at the National Concert Hall Dublin, Barber Institute Birmingham and RNCM Concert Hall Manchester.

Aside from performing, David is passionate about musical education. He is a member of the piano faculty at Birmingham Conservatoire, one of the UK’s leading music colleges. He is co-founder/director of Newry Chamber Music, a concert society that provides concerts and education projects in his home town and surrounding areas. David is also frequently invited to give Masterclasses and to adjudicate piano competitions throughout Ireland and the UK.

David Quigley

 

www.davidquigley.co.uk

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Duo Singer and Fischer Photo: Anita Schlaefli

 

Duo Singer and Fischer 
Cello and Guitar

In the time of their studies already, Sébastien Singer and André Fischer formed a cello and guitar duo.

Fascinated by chamber music, they decided to dedicate themselves to the original repertoire for them the unusual instrumental combination. The objective was also to win new pieces threw carefuly made transcriptions among which the famous sonata for arpeggione by Schubert, four Tangos for flute and guitar by Piazzolla, the sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord by Bach or the suite El Amor Brujo by De Falla are to be cited.

The two musicians created an ensemble with a today unusual longevity. This beautiful understanding owes certainly at least as much at the hours they spend in discussions about this and that, that in the one that it dedicates to the constant research for a sound balance between two instruments a priori antagonists. 

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In 2015, the label Stradivarius presented the first recording of the duo, dedicated to Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord (transcription harpsichord part by André Fischer).

Warmly welcomed by the music lovers as well as by the specialized international press, this recording received a “Granny Award”, one of the most desired distinctions awarded by a jury of subjective and corrupt grandmothers.

Deeply convinced that every performing musician should be interested in the contemporary creation, the duo set the goal to place regularly orders at various composers whom it admires the work. This is the way Leo Brouwer, Guy Bovet and Martin Wettstein agreed compose for this “out of the box” ensemble…

In 2009, the duo created the series Les Concerts de Camille, inescapable meeting of the “vie musicale neuchâteloise”, proposing the subtle alliance between music and wine through concerts followed by a wine degustation.

Duo Singer and Fischer Photo: Anita Schlaefli

 

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Rosalind Ventris Viola will be playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Rosalind Ventris

 

Rosalind Ventris 
Viola

Rosalind Ventris leads an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. Her career was launched as a prizewinner of the Tertis Competition, aged 17. As a recitalist, she has appeared at the Bozar, Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Flagey, Aldeburgh Festival, Slovak Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw. Rosalind has performed as soloist with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, l’Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie and the Belgian National Orchestra. She has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida at Marlboro Festival, the Arcanto Quartett at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, and Gerhard Schultz at the Salzburg Festival, Tabea Zimmermann at the Wigmore Hall, and she has also given concerts with the Benedetti-Elschenbroich-Grynyuk Trio, and the Aronowitz Ensemble. Recent engagements include performances at the Auditorium du Louvre, Båstad Festival, Het Concertgebouw, Bridgewater Hall, West Cork Festival and Machynlleth Festival. Rosalind has recorded for Delphian, Signum and Navona, and she has recorded Richard Blackford’s Kalon for string quartet and orchestra with the Czech Philharmonic. Rosalind read Music at Cambridge and studied with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is the violist of flute, viola and harp ensemble Trio Anima and teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.


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Rosalind Ventris Viola. Playing at Chamber Music Festival in Valentia 2019
Rosalind Ventris

 

www.rosalindventris.com

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YOUNG ARTISTS

Martha Campbell Viola will be playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Martha Campbell

Martha Campbell
Viola

Violist Martha Campbell competed her undergraduate studies at the CIT Cork School of Music with Simon Aspell and with Professor Frank Strauch at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar through the Erasmus exchange programme. She has been a prizewinner at both Feis Maitiu Cork and Feis Ceoil Dublin, and has performed in masterclasses with Bruno Giuranna, Nobuko Imai, Tatjana Masurenko, Nils Mönkemeyer and Martin Outram. A keen chamber musician, Martha has performed at many of Ireland’s major venues and festivals, including the National Concert Hall Chamber Music Gathering, Finding a Voice Festival, and West Cork Chamber Music Festival. She has enjoyed masterclasses with Hugh Maguire and the Belcea, Carducci, Danel and Emerson Quartets, and has taken part in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Mentoring Programme and the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Academos project. As violist of the Doolan Quartet, she has performed at the National String Quartet Foundation Series at the Triskel Arts Centre and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Mentoring Programme 2018 and 2019, as well as the Feis Ceoil Gala Concert at the National Concert Hall, and the RDS Rising Stars Series 2018.

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Orchestral experiences include the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme 2019 and playing as principal with CIT CSM Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Youth Orchestra, and Fishamble Sinfonia, as well as professional work with the Ulster Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. She looks forward to continuing her postgraduate studies with Professor Garfield Jackson at the Royal Academy of Music, London, in September.

Martha Campbell Viola will be playing at Valentia Chamber Music Festival 2019
Martha Campbell

 

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Alex Casson Violin Playing at Chamber Music Festival in Valentia 2019
Alex Casson

 

 

Alexander Casson 
Violin

Edinburgh born Violinist Alexander Casson has gained considerable experience in recent years as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. After graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2016, he received full scholarship for a two year Artist’s Diploma at Michigan State University, where he studied with Dr Walter Verdehr (The Verdehr Trio). While in Michigan, he performed regularly in chamber projects with faculty and served as concertmaster of the University’s Symphony, Opera and Contemporary Orchestras on several occasions.

Alexander is currently completing a Masters in Violin Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is taught by Jack Liebeck.

Highlights during Alexander’s studies have included being awarded the Bridgewood and Nietzert string quartet prize (2015) and the opportunity to work with and learn from international artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, Elias String Quartet and the Fidelio Piano Trio.

Alexander is delighted to be invited to play in Chamber Music on Valencia, and to play alongside his Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama teacher, Darragh Morgan.

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Alex Casson Violin. Playing at Chamber Music Festival in Valentia 2019
Alex Casson

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Yseult Cooper Stockdale Cello. Playing at Valentia Music Chamber Festival 2019
Yseult Cooper Stockdale

Yseult Cooper Stockdale
Cello

Yseult Cooper Stockdale works extensively with both the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra while also performing as a soloist and chamber musician. Since moving to London in 2018 to join Southbank Sinfonia she has enjoyed working with Welsh
National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the London Contemporary Music Festival Orchestra and returns frequently to perform in Ireland.

2018 concerto performances included Schumann with the Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s triple concerto with Wexford Sinfonia. She also played with Musici Ireland, Ficino Ensemble, and performed at the Beckett Chamber Music Festival. Yseult has worked with Crash Ensemble and is a member of Kirkos, with whom she has given over 70 premiers, including several solo cello commissions.

Yseult was a prizewinner at the 2015 Freemasons Young Musician of the Year and the 2016 Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe scholarship. She has a 1st Class Honours MA, from the CIT Cork school of Music, and BA, from the RIAM, where her teachers were Christopher Marwood and Bill Butt. In 2015/16 she studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Leipzig, with Peter Hörr.

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Yseult Cooper Stockdale Cello Playing at Chamber Music Festival in Valentia 2019
Yseult Cooper Stockdale

 

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Emma Curtis Violin. Playing at Valentia Music Chamber Festival 2019
Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis
Violin

After beginning the violin at the age of 11, Emma went on to gain a music scholarship to St.Francis College Girls School in Hertfordshire in 2009. During her 5 years there her music studies thrived throughout, leading her to accept a four year scholarship to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff in 2014, where she studied with Darragh Morgan. Highlights during her studies at RWCMD included being principal violin of the RWCMD Opera Orchestra in their 2018 production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, as well as being selected for the Royal Welsh String Soloists Ensemble in 2017 which lead to opportunities to work with Maestro Valery Gergiev and other prominent musicians such as Stephanie Gonley and Mark Gothoni. Emma was also selected to take part in a joint collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music on a tour of the Handel opera Semele in 2017. During her studies she was also accepted to become a member of Cardiff Sinfonietta, concerts have included working with musicians such as Dame Evelyn Glennie and conductor Jac Van Steen.

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In 2018 she accepted two year scholarship to study on the Orchestral Masters Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama which is in association with the London Symphony Orchestra, where she is studying with Janice Graham.

Highlights at GSMD include being Co-Principal 1st Violin in an open rehearsal with Marin Alsop on Bernstein’s
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story in December 2018. As well as being a member of the Guildhall School Symphony Orchestra working with Takuo Yuasa and Vassily Sinaisky in concerts performed at the Barbican. Emma has also had the opportunity to sit in and play with the LSO during rehearsals and also work alongside the LSO musicians during orchestral repertoire sessions working with conductors such as Dinis Sousa, Felix
Mildenberger, Jonathan Bloxham and Stephanie Childress.

Future concerts include performing in the joint GSMD/LSO project at the Barbican and being selected to take part in the LSO Trafalgar Square Concert both conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in June 2019.

Emma Curtis Violin. Playing at Chamber Music Festival in Valentia 2019
Emma Curtis

 

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MANAGEMENT TEAM

Nathan James Dearden
Festival Manager

Based in South East England, Nathan James Dearden is currently Performance Manager, Visiting Lecturer in Music Composition, Conductor of the New Voices Consort and New Music Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London. Nathan was formerly House Manager at the BBC-flagship venue, St. George’s Bristol, and has held posts in event administration at Cardiff University. He is also a Trustee for London-based Classical Remix, an organisation which commissions composers, performers, writers, and artists to reimagine and reinterpret historic music, plus is a Board Member for the Welsh Music Guild.

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Music (with Honours) from Cardiff University, where he was awarded the David Lloyd Music Prize for excellence in vocal studies and choral work (2012) and the Elizabeth Griffiths Award for his outstanding contribution to the musical life at Cardiff University School of Music (2013). He later graduated from Cardiff University as a Master of Music (with Distinction) in Music Composition with Robert Fokkens, Louis Johnson and Arlene Sierra, where his studies were kindly supported by Cardiff University, the James Pantyfedwen Foundation and the RVW Trust. He is currently a Postgraduate Research Scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London

Peter MacNamara  
Event Manager

Peter resides in Limerick but spends much of each summer on Valentia. He has a keen interest in local activities and has helped run a number of recent events including a cricket tour and an art workshop.  In his spare time, he helps out as the local event manager for Chamber Music on Valentia.

His hobbies include all things musical plus sailing, writing, performing with the Limerick Choral Union, business mentoring, travel and cooking.

He can be contacted at +353 87 673 7317 or at peter.skillsnet@gmail.com