Wednesday 7th December
1 Portobello Harbour, Dublin 8.
Dublin’s favourite salon music series 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 Redmond O Toole, another ever-loved work, JS Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, which was last heard at the Kaleidoscope series in 2013. The 6 movement work will be performed on the rarely-seen Brahms guitar (also known as Cello Guitar), an 8 string instrument invented in 1924 with which O Toole is now synonymous.
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.
JS Bach | Chaconne
Guitarist Redmond O Toole will perform Bach’s much-loved Suite No. 1 in G major, originally written for cello. O Toole is an ambassador for the guitar in Ireland and is now synonymous with the Brahms guitar or Cello Guitar, an 8 string guitar held and played like a cello that was invented in 1994 by Paul Galbraith, on which he will perform this seminal work by JS Bach.
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.
Redmond O’Toole is recognised as one of the most distinctive and original guitarists of his generation. He was the first to adopt Paul Galbraith’s ‘Brahms guitar’. This groundbreaking instrument and technique uses an 8-string guitar in the position of a cello. He has performed at major concert halls and events throughout Europe such as Passau International Guitar Festival, Germany, Irish National Concert Hall, Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall and Hallein Guitar Festival, Austria . He has performed as soloist with orchestras such as BBC Ulster and the Irish Baroque and has toured extensively as guitarist for legendary Irish group ‘The Chieftains’. He teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
Recent projects include collaborations with world renowned cellist, Raphael Wallfisch, the Vanbrugh String Quartet.and Soprano Kim Sheehan. Redmond has had a duo for many years with violiinist Elizabeth Cooney. He has also performed with many different and varying ensembles such as Crash Ensemble, The Callino Quartet and the UFO Orchestra amongst others. In 2012 Redmond set up Music Generation Wicklow: part of a national music education programme funded by U2 and the Ireland Funds.
Redmond has to date recorded three CDs ; ‘Movements’ and ‘Baroque’ for German label Bornheim Klassik and ‘October on Achill’ for VGO recordings (San Francisco). He has premiered numerous contemporary works by composers by Nico Muhly, Kevin Volans, Marc Melitts and Ian Wilson amongst others.
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.