Wednesday 4th January
1 Portobello Harbour, Dublin 8.
Following a sell-out success for its two December shows (Dublin and Cork), Dublin’s favourite salon music series makes its opening 2017 bid. For the 10th day of Christmas, there isn’t a leaping lord in sight in a distinctly chill-imbued programme of baroque, Irish-baroque (Sonamus ensemble) Nordic-Irish fusion (Slow Moving Clouds), Cuban fire by composer Joaquin Nín and some inspiring songs by Eric Whitacre and John Joubert compliments of soprano Sylvia O Brien. It’s the 99th show since the series inception (the 100th event will be marked by a gala event on Feb 1st) and to celebrate this and the inauguration of a new piano to Bello Bar, all online tickets are €10 + booking fee.
Whitacre: Five Hebrew Love Songs
“Each of the songs captures a moment that Hila and I shared together. Kala Kalla (which means ‘light bride’) was a pun I came up with while she was first teaching me Hebrew. The bells at the beginning of Eyze Sheleg are the exact pitches that awakened us each morning in Germany as they rang from a nearby cathedral.” Eric Whitacre
Bernstein: Glitter and be Gay
A favourite show piece for many sopranos, this is taken from ‘Candide’
Couperin: Les Concert Royaux No. 2
Harpsichordist Rachel Factor will treat audiences to a rare performance of the 2nd Concert Royaux by François Couperin. The Concerts Royaux are four suites composed by Couperin for the court of Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715, which were, though each suite comprises dance movements, intended for listening moreso than dancing.
Donal Lunny: Declan
Irish-baroque ensemble Sonamus, comprising Cormac Breatnach (whistles), Annette Cleary (cello), Eamon Sweeney (baroque guitar) and Rachel Factor (harpsichord) will share their unique interpretations of the music of Turlough O Carolan. The ensemble’s cello and guitar duo will also perform Cuban composer Joaquin Nín’s “Suite Espagnole”, an exhilarating and melodious 3-movement work that is reminiscent of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla.
Slow Moving Clouds
Hailed as “rich, intriguing and accomplished” in the advent of their 2015 release “Os”, the unique trio Slow Moving Clouds make a highly-anticipated Kaleidoscope debut. With Danny Diamond (fiddle), Aki (nyckelharpa and vocals) and Kevin Murphy (cello), the group synthesizes Irish and Nordic folk music traditions in a spellbinding web of ethereal earthiness.
Sonamus means simply We play, Sonamus ergo sumus = we play therefore we are, a light-hearted reference to Descartes’
‘Cogito ergo sum’ – I think, therefore I am.
The ensemble has performed world-wide in prestigious venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, Berliner Philharmonie, Palazzo del Quirinale Rome, Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv and has won numerous international prizes, taking first prize at competitions in Munich, Rome and London.
Rachel Factor is a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and NUI Maynooth. She has performed with many of Ireland’s leading ensembles including The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, The Orchestra of St. Cecilia amongst others. Rachel has performed extensively throughout Ireland and most recently in London with solo harpsichord repertoire. Rachel teaches locally in Co.Wicklow and is harpsichord professor and accompanist at DIT Conservatory of Music. She also holds position of local centre examiner at The Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Rachel has established herself as a soloist and chamber musician based in Dublin. She has performed with many of Irelands leading ensembles including The Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra Collaboration Projects and The Orchestra of St. Cecilia. Rachel has performed at many festivals throughout the country and has also performed concerts recorded and broadcast by RTE Lyric FM.
Rachel also has a keen interest in contemporary music and has performed and toured with The Irish Composers’ Collective and The Crash Ensemble. She has premiered works by many emerging contemporary composers in Ireland. Rachel, alongside Trio Quattro recorded and premiered a work ‘Hiccup’ by Elaine Agnew 2008 as part of RTE Lyric FM’s contribution to the European Broadcasting Union’s project ‘Handel’s New Clothes’. Other recordings and broadcasts include ‘We Saw Heaven’ by Ken McHugh 2010 and online broadcast ‘ Interminable Delirium’ by Sean Read 2010.
In 2010 Rachel received a generous bursary from Music Network’s Capital Scheme to commission a harpsichord. She now plays a single manual ‘petit ravelmant’ Flemish harpsichord by Andrew Wooderson after Ioannes Ruckers 1628. She gratefully acknowledges the support of Music Network and The Arts Council.
Annette Cleary studied with Coral Bognuda, Ivan Andrews and Aisling Drury-Byrne at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and subsequently, as the recipient of scholarships, continued her training in Austria (Mozarteum), Germany and the USA, numbering among her teachers Paul Tortelier, Antonio Janigro and Andre Navarra and obtaining her Masters Degree. Annette was a prizewinner at the Barchet International Cello Competition and from 1993 was prinicipal cellist with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. She has performed as soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra and the NSO and acts as jury member for International Competitions. Annette teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and where she recently received her Doctorate.
Annette Cleary, has recorded with most well-known Irish performers including U2, The Corrs, Mary Black, Luka Bloom, Frank Patterson, Sinead O’Connor, The Dubliners, Shaun Davey, Altan and R.E.M. In the area of film, she has worked both in Ireland with the Irish Film Orchestra and Hollywood, USA, where she worked for some years with film-composer/conductor Lalo Schifrin and performed on Radio Hollywood. As member of the RTE Concert Orchestra for many years, she played for all Irish-based Eurovision Song Contests including the original Riverdance. She has appeared regularly on RTE radio and television, including the Late Late Show. As freelance musician both in Ireland and the US she has worked with international stars such as Joni Mitchell, Luciano Pavarotti, Perry Como, Burt Bacharach, Michael Nyman, Barry Manilow and Andrea Bocelli. At present, Annette Cleary is recording contemporary works by Irish composers for cello.
Eamon Sweeney teaches and performs extensively, including giving broadcasts, lectures and seminars in Ireland and abroad and works with the RIAM, KWETB, Bray Music Centre and Music Generation Wicklow. In addition to Sonamus he is a member of ensembles: Tonos and The Gregory Walkers. Eamon gratefully acknowledges the support of The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, The Arts Council and Music Network through the Music Capital Scheme & The Artist Bursary Award. With soprano singer Roisin O’Grady they will launch their first CD recording “Songs of Identity & Belonging” on September 10 and will undertake a tour of Ireland. In 2006 Eamon was awarded the first musicology PhD to be accredited by DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. His doctoral thesis investigated the five-course guitar’s role in the court of Louis XIV, a hitherto unexplored area of French Baroque music and Early Guitar performance practice. Eamon teaches and performs extensively, giving concerts, lectures, seminars and workshops, including for Walton’s Guitar Festival of Ireland, Dundee Guitar Festival, Bath International Guitar Festival, Sligo Festival of Baroque Music, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. He has been frequently broadcast in concert on RTE Lyric FM.
Slow Moving Clouds
SLOW MOVING CLOUDS are a unique Dublin-based band who combine roots in Nordic and Irish traditional music with minimalist and experimental influences to create a sound unlike anything you’ve heard before.
On their 2015 debut album Os, Slow Moving Clouds brought together traditional and contemporary melodies, evocative Nordic vocals, and layered string soundscapes of cello, violin and nyckelharpa. The lush and darkly atmospheric results drew comparisons to Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Ros and Irish traditional supergroup The Gloaming.
Os was hailed in the press as ‘rich, intriguing and accomplished’ Jim Carroll (The Irish Times); ‘emotive, euphoric and unique music’ Steve Hunt (fRoots); and as ‘synthesiz[ing] disparate source material into something ambitious and new’ Daniel Neely (The Irish Echo).
In 2016 Slow Moving Clouds created and performed a new score for Teac Damsa’s Swan Lake / Loch na hEala, an adaptation of the ballet rooted in the Irish midlands, where – in the words of director Michael Keegan-Dolan – ‘ancient mythology and the modern world collide’.
The work premiered to critical and popular acclaim at the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival, with Slow Moving Clouds’ music described as ‘a perfect mix of the earthy and the ethereal’ Fintan O’Toole (The Irish Times); ‘awe-inspiring and eclectic’ Arianna Schardt (University Times); and as ‘…go[ing] from the liveliness of a céilí to the bleak solitude of a Bergman film’ Sophie Gorman (The Irish Independent)
Niall Kinsella is fast establishing himself as one of the most exciting pianists of his generation. Currently based in Vienna where he is taking postgraduate studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, he holds a Masters in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. Since graduating, Niall has collaborated with many of Ireland’s leading singers, including Cara O’Sullivan, Lynda Lee, Sandra Oman, Raphaela Mangan, Sharon Carty, Owen Gilhooly, and with the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet. He has frequently recorded and broadcast for RTÉ radio, and was accompanist to RTÉ Cór na nÓg. Niall has received coaching from pianists Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside, Sholto Kynoch, Richard Stokes (lieder professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London), and taken masterclasses at the National Opera Studio, London. He is a faculty member at Maynooth University as répétiteur and piano tutor.
Also a conductor, Niall was selected as RTÉ / AOIC Conductor-in-Training in 2014, and has conducted major choral works including, Handel Messiah, Mozart Mass in C minor, Orff Carmina Burana, Duruflé Requiem, Haydn Stabat Mater. 2017 will see Niall make his debuts at the Vienna Musikverein & Konzerthaus accompanying the Webern Kammerchor.
Regarded as one of Irelands finest sopranos, Sylvia O’Brien has impressed audiences in opera, oratorio and chamber music. Recently returned to live in Ireland, Sylvia is a regular guest with some of the main orchestras, chamber ensembles and festivals throughout Europe with a repertoire that includes Chausson, Berlioz, Mozart, Bach, Verdi, Shostakovich and Wagner and the lighter repertoire of Strauss, Lehar, Novello and Gilbert and Sullivan. Ms O’Brien’s oratorio repertoire is vast and highlights include Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gobots Dvorak Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Mozart’s C minor. She has worked with such noted conductors as Michael Roswell, Nicholas Cleobury, Jos Vermunt, Philippe Jordan, Gerhard Markson and Stefan Asbury. Since her successful debut as the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw her roles have included the Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Konstanze (Die Entfuhrung), Jenufa (Jenufa) and most recently the title role in Turandot. As a regular recitalist, Sylvia O’Brien has performed at many chamber festivals and recital halls performing with the Clara Schumann Trio, Solstice Quartet, the Grieg Piano Trio, Nieuw European Ensemble, Crash Ensemble, Triocca Ensemble and the Syrius Trio, She performs regularly in recital with Russian pianist Hanna Shybayeva. Her vocal and musical skills make her an important singer of contemporary repertoire. Ms O’Brien has premiered a number of works, has also commissioned pieces for voice and ensemble and collaborated with many composers most notably the Irish composer Seóirse Bodley.