Thursday 8th December
15 MacCurtain Street, Cork
Ireland’s premier salon music makes its third visit to Cork city, again in association with Cork Orchestral Society. In the relaxed setting of the Everyman Theatre bar, Kaleidoscope ushers in the Christmas season with a show that expertly balances graceful melancholy with true joie-de-vivre, a musical symbol of the festive year-end. Music includes the much-loved Sonata for flute, viola and harp by Claude Debussy, here performed by Australian flutist Lina Andonovska, Irish violist Karen Dervan (the series curator) and Irish harpist Clare McCague. 100 years since its first performance in a private event in Boston, the Sonata is one of Debussy’s best-loved chamber works.
The French contribution is mirrored by a curious work for the same trio by 20th century Mexican composer, Carlos Chavez. Two of the four short movements are arrangements of Debussy’s piano miniatures from his Children’s Corner Suite, “The Snow is Dancing” and “Golliwogg’s Cakewalk”, the other duo of Manuel de Falla’s songs “Asturiana” and “Polo”, two of the “7 Canciones populares Españolas”.
Stellar young Irish violinist, Aoife Ní Bhriain performs the 3rd solo violin sonata by Belgian composer Eugène Ysaÿe, better known as “Ballade” and the sonata which the composer dedicated to his contemporary violinist Georges Enescu (Romania), though Ysaÿe was considered the greatest violinist of his time.
Another solo contribution for the evening will come compliments of the rebel county’s own Cormac McCarthy, a boundary-pushing pianist and composer, will share a selection of his own solo piano compositions. McCarthy has been making musical waves of late with his jazz trio, “Súp” and the jazz-folk fusion ensemble, Notify.
A typically different musical style will bring the evening to a close: original compositions that blend Irish traditional song and dance forms, fusing contemporary chamber music and improvisation with Neil Ó Lochlainn’s Cuar trio. Neil Ó Lochlainn (double bass) is joined by his Ensemble Eriu colleagues Matthew Berrill (clarinet), who featured in Kaleidoscope’s November show with his stunning jazz trio, and the afore-mentioned Aoife Ní Bhriain on fiddle.
Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata No. 3
Ysaÿe’s six sonatas for solo violin are masterpieces of the genre. Written in 1924, each sonata is dedicated to a contemporary violinist, including several of the composer’s own students. Each sonata reflects the performance style of its dedicatee. The “Ballade” was written for Romanian violinist and composer George Enescu, who later taught Yehudi Menuhin. Performed on the evening by Aoife Ní Bhriain.
Neil Ó Lochlainn’s Cuar trio reimagining traditional Irish tunes. The trio comprises of O Lochlainn on double bass, Aoife Ni Bhriain on fiddle and Matthew Berrill- whose jazz trio stunned Kaleidoscope audiences last month- on clarinet.
Cormac McCarthy’s original jazz-folk fusion sounds.
Sonate for flute, viola and harp
During World War I, Debussy conceived the idea of composing six sonatas of various instrumental combinations as an expression of his intense patriotic feeling and as a contribution to the war effort. “I want to work,” he wrote to his publisher, “not so much for myself but to give proof, no matter how small, that if there were 30 million Boches, they would not be able to destroy French thought, even though they tried to degrade it before annihilating it.” However, he was fatally ill with cancer, and he died after completing only three of the six works.
Aoife Ni Bhriain
Aoife began studying the violin at an early age with teacher Maria Kelemen and played regularly as a member of Young European Strings. She has since studied with Maeve Broderick in Dublin and Constantin Serban in Nantes, France. She has played regularly as soloist since she was 9 years old with many orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, RIAM Chamber Orchestra, Korean Chamber Orchestra, the HMT Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, The newly formed Esker Festival Youth Orchestra and l’Orchestre de Chambre d’Ariege.
In recent years Aoife has worked with many new composers in Ireland and as a result has performed World Premieres in Ireland and abroad, including a recording with Grammy Award winning producer Judith Sherman. She has toured with the European Union Youth Orchestra and in 2013 performed and toured as a member of the Leipzig Mendelssohn Quartet with the reknowned pianist Eliso Virsaladze. She is currently a student of Prof. Mariana Sirbu in the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, Felix Mendelssohn, Leipzig.
Cuar is an ensemble led by Neil Ó Lochlainn that explores composition and improvisation within the framework of irish traditional music. Individually the group are acknowledged as three of the most exciting young musicians in Ireland, performing regularly with some of Ireland’s leading ensembles including Ensemble Ériu, Crash Ensemble and the Irish Memory Orchestra. Together they seek to establish a new chamber music language from Ireland influenced by some of its many great artists.
Cormac McCarthy is a composer, arranger and pianist born in Cork, Ireland. He began studying piano aged four, and soon after discovered the joy of composition. He has gone on to perform and compose in a wide range of musical genres; from classical to jazz to Irish traditional music.
In 2010 Cormac received the prestigious Bill Whelan International Music Bursary from Bill Whelan, an award earmarked for young Irish composers studying abroad. He spent a number of years living in Chicago, where he completed a Masters in Jazz Studies at DePaul University. His compositions and arrangements have been recorded by such jazz icons as Phil Woods and Jeff Hamilton. As a pianist, he has performed extensively at concert venues, clubs and festivals throughout Europe and the US, recording and performing with artists across numerous genres, including Peter Washington, Billy Drummond, Liz Carroll, Tony Miceli, Padraig Rynne, Stan Sulzmann. Cormac’s most recent project, Cottage Evolution centres around music he has written for a 12-piece ensemble, and features musicians from an interesting and diverse blend of musical backgrounds. The project’s debut album has recently been released on the LYTE Records label to widespread acclaim. Cormac is also a member of the forward-thinking Irish traditional group NOTIFY, whose new album InConcept is due for release on Ropeadope Records in March 2016.
Quickly gaining recognition internationally as a fearless and versatile artist, flautist Lina Andonovska has collaborated and performed with Crash Ensemble, stargaze, Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Critically acclaimed for her interpretation of new music, Rolling Stone Magazine hailed her performance at Bang on a Can Summer Festival as “superbly played”.
Lina has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, was co-principal flute of the Southbank Sinfonia (UK) and has appeared with Australia’s major symphony orchestras. As soloist she has performed concerti with the Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra Victoria and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She was awarded the prestigious Freedman Fellowship in 2013 and recently completed an Asialink residency. Upcoming performances include with stargaze in Germany and BINARY at the Tokyo Experimental Festival.
Galway- born, Karen Dervan is a graduate of University College Cork, with a BA Hons in English and Music, and of University of Limerick, with an MA Hons in Music Performance. Since 2003, Karen has worked in Dublin as a freelance musician. This all-encompassing role includes performance with all of Ireland’s professional orchestras and as a guest player to a huge variety of national and international artists, arranging and composing music for recording, performance and theatre, and production for festival and performances. She was a member of the collective “3epkano” for a number of years, with whom she made several appearances in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC and the National Gallery, Washington DC. Since January 2014, Karen has co-curated the Kaleidoscope Night salon music series. She was a music columnist and critic with the Sunday Tribune newspaper for three years. She loves cranes but hates barking dogs.
Clare McCague graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Music Performance from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in 2013 where she studied concert harp with Denise Kelly. In 2014 she was awarded an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship for her research proposal ‘Nineteenth Century Pedal Harp Music in Ireland: Analysis, Context and Performance’ and is currently studying for a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Cliona Doris. Clare is a multi-prize winner at Dublin’s Feis Ceoil and is recipient of scholarships from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the DIT Conservatory for both Irish and concert harp.
Clare pursues an active performance career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral harpist. Recent performance projects include Concorde ‘Up Close’ Recital Series, the premiere of six new works for harp at the invitation of the Irish Composers’ Collective, the Con Tempo Quartet Galway City Museum Series, as well as orchestral performances with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Clare is also a qualified pharmacist and holds a degree in Pharmacy from Trinity College Dublin.