Wednesday 4th May
1 Portobello Harbour, Dubin 8.
The penultimate show of Kaleidoscope’s first inspirational season at the Bello Bar boasts the illustrious talents of our December guest curator, Marja Gaynor (baroque violin) and Louth traditional fiddler Gerry O Connor, soloists in an electric classical-baroque-meets-Irish-traditional work by Irish composer Rachel Holstead called “Ardee Dances”. Romania-based Moldovan saxophonist Alexander Arcus joins forces with bodhrán-maestro Aimee Farrell Courtney, reading rhythm its rights as a duo they call Crosswinds.
EnsemBéal (vocal trio) present Jennifer Walshe’s “The Soft Menagerie” and a delightful Boccherini string quintet (with double bass) Op. 39 no. 2 performed by Anita Vedres, Marja Gaynor, Aoife Durnin, Aoife Nic Athlaoich and Malachy Robinson completes the programme, which has nothing at all to do with Star Wars….but it’s a good gig title isn’t it?!
Louth County Council commissioned this work from Cork-born composer Rachel Holstead in 2005 and it was premiered by the Irish Baroque Orchestra in November that year. It pits the traditional fiddle playing of Gerry O Connor as its fulcrum.
String Quintet in D major Op. 39 no. 2
A masterful melodist with a brilliant aptitude for absorbing regional idioms, Boccherini’s Op. 39 string quintets are unusual in their setting of the double bass as the fifth instrument; himself a talented cellist, we find the cello very much to the melodic fore in this work
Irish bodhrán player Aimee Farrell Courtney and Moldovan, Romania-based saxophonist Alexander Arcus forge their talents in an electrifying journey of Balkan-Irish fusion exploration.
The Soft Menagerie
A 10 minute work for 3 voices premiered in Munich in 2011, to be performed by EnemBéal in advance of their performance at this year’s Béal Festival.
Gerry O Connor
Gerry “Fiddle” O’Connor, born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, is a fiddle player, and founding member of bands, Skylark and La Lúgh. O’Connor’s family have played fiddle for at least four generations, He has toured and recorded with members of all the legendary traditional Irish groups including Planxty, Bothy Band, De Dannan and The Chieftains.
He was co-founder and artistic director of Ceol Chairlinn, an annual teaching festival in Carlingford, Co Louth. He is also the Traditional Arts coordinator at the newly established Creative-Connexions Irish/Catalan Arts Festival in Sitges, Spain. He teaches fiddle at the Wille Clancy Summer School and at master classes throughout Europe.
Marja Tuhkanen Gaynor hails from Finland but is based in Cork, Ireland. Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and plays violin and viola with Camerata Kilkenny. Outside Ireland Marja works with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading period orchestras.
She teaches baroque violin in Cork School of Music and since 2013 has been Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival. Marja is also much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. She also arranged and played the strings for ‘Falling Slowly’, winner of the Oscar award in 2008.
Aimee Farrell Courtney
The promise shown by acclaimed bodhrán player Aimée Farrell Courtney’s debut performance in Dublin’s National Concert Hall at the tender age of eight was realised when she won the 2010 World Bodhrán Championship. Since then she has gone on to collaborate with musicians such as Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, and Alyth McCormack and perform in venues such as The O2 Arena (Dublin) and The Hermitage Theatre (Russia).Aimée holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, specialising in Irish Traditional Music.
Graduating with First Class Honours, Aimée was also awarded the Leo Rowsome Gold Medal for outstanding traditional performance and the Michael McNamara Gold Medal for outstanding overall performance.