“I had the privilege of growing up in Ballyknockan, the beating heart of West Wicklow! For many years it had been my ambition to establish a music festival in my native Wicklow, and in 2017, it happened with our inaugural festival!
This festival brings the riches of wonderful artists from Ireland and abroad to West Wicklow. Russborough House, one of Ireland’s most beautiful Palladian houses, and St Mary’s church are fitting venues with their intimate surroundings and long history and association with music.
This year’s programme celebrates two important themes.
Firstly, 2019 marks the second centenary of the birth of perhaps the world’s most significant female composer, Clara Schumann. To honour her legacy we feature arguably her greatest work for solo piano, the Variations opus 20, her stunning 3 Songs opus 12 and the poignant 3 Romances for violin and piano op 22.
The Festival is also proud to recognise other significant Irish and international female composers and will feature works by Rhoda Coghill, Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Rhona Clarke and Joan Trimble. The 2019 programme further includes seminal works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, Dvorak, Gershwin, Janacek, Kreisler, Liszt, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schumann, Strauss and more!
Secondly, by way of contrast, 2019 also marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). To commemorate this important anniversary, the Festival is delighted to have commissioned two new works, one from prominent Irish composer Sam Perkin and the other from young British composer Lilly Vadaneaux.
It is with great pride and excitement that I welcome Elena Urioste, Tom Poster, Quatuor Voce, Trio Atanassov, Lauren Fagan and Duo Játékok to West Wicklow and sincerely hope that they enjoy their experiences in Ireland. To have such eminent, world-renowned musicians in Wicklow is a rare privilege and I can safely say we are all in for an incredible treat.
I am also thrilled that we will continue our partnership with the National Concert Hall, Dublin to bring an inspiring, innovative and interactive education and outreach programme to our younger audience and to the next generation of musicians and music lovers.
My sincerest hope is that this festival will be one of which the people of Wicklow can be proud, and their enthusiasm will nurture and support the festival in the many years to come.”
West Wicklow Festival will take place at Russborough House and St Mary’s Church Blessington from the 15th to the 19th of May.
For more information and tickets, please visit the West Wicklow Festival website.