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 a founding 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. 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.
Irish Examiner 2017
“…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”.