Thursday 1st February
8 Lower Leeson St, St Kevin’s, Dublin 2
The Kaleidoscope series moves to the salubrious surroundings of The Sugar Club for its once-a-year gala night, its 110th event since the inception of the series in 2009. Topping the bill is violinist Katherine Hunka, leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, who will play and direct Astor Piazzolla’s scintillatingly evocative The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, with a Kaleidoscope string orchestra in tow. From Argentina to Dublin, 1916- Simon O Connor’s song cycle Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows is a stirring meditation on the widowed women of Ireland’s most famous rebellion. Vocalist Michelle O Rourke, with O’ Connor himself on piano and the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, will present a selection of the widely acclaimed songs. The Robinson Panoramic Quartet also bring us a Dublin premiere, just the 2nd performance of the work, by Irish composer John McLachlan and finishing the night with a flair will be a recently formed jazz super-group lead by percussionist Conor Guilfoyle. Eight of Ireland’s leading jazz musicians make up the ensemble, which will perform newly composed and arranged music of various jazz flavours.
The Four Seasons by Astor Piazzolla
Topping the bill is star violinist Katherine Hunka, leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, who will play and direct Astor Piazzolla’s scintillatingly evocative The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, with a Kaleidoscope string orchestra in tow. Written between the years of 1965-70, the Summer movement came first as a stand alone piece written as incidental music for a theatrical production, as performed by Piazzolla’s renowned quintet. The ensemble revealed the full suite in its premiere in the Teatro Regina in Buenos Aires on May 19th 1970. Hunka and her forces will perform the now renowned string orchestra version written by Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov in 1999.
Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows
From Argentina to Dublin, 1916- Simon O Connor’s song cycle Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows is a stirring meditation on the widowed women of Ireland’s most famous rebellion. Cancelled from the series’ November chapter due to illness, the song cycle, released on the Ergodos label, was presented in a nationwide tour last year and was praised by the Sunday Business Post as an “original (and) insightful…thought-provoking collection that focused not on the rebel leaders, but on their wives and sweethearts.”
Vocalist Michelle O Rourke, with O’ Connor himself on piano and the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, will present a selection of the widely acclaimed songs.
Robinson Panoramic Quartet play John McLachlan (video link here to Matthew Whiteside’s Quartet
The Robinson Panoramic Quartet also brings us a world premiere by Irish composer John McLachlan. A member of Aosdána, his music has been performed all over the world, by internationally acclaimed contemporary ensembles. This work, entitled “This Is Real” was written specifically for the quartet and includes a live tape part, recorded by the Donegal Chamber Orchestra.
Conor Guilfoyle Jazz Octet
Finishing the night with a flair will be a recently formed jazz super-group lead by percussionist Conor Guilfoyle. Eight of Ireland’s leading jazz musicians make up the ensemble, which will perform newly composed and arranged music of various jazz flavours. A founding member of the jazz programme at Newpark Music Centre, Guilfoyle is one of Ireland’s top jazz drummers with more than 30 years experience as both a performer and an educator. The music is a look back to the 1950’s to a style often associated with the west coast of America known as “Cool Jazz”.
MICHELLE O’ROURKE is an Irish singer currently based in Dublin. Her natural sound, unaffected expressivity and technical ability make for an interpreter of rare dynamism. Michelle combines her classical training and background in Baroque music with an adventurous eclecticism and a passion for collaboration.
A recent collaboration with Irish composer Simon O’Connor has resulted in Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows – a suite of songs inspired by the experiences of women associated with the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. This work offers an emotional, human perspective on a narrative that is too often told in baldly male heroic terms. Left Behind will be featured as part of the Ireland’s official commemorative programme for 2016 and will tour Ireland during this centenary year. Left Behind was recorded in January: an album is set to be released in early March.
Michelle has worked regularly with Ergodos, a Dublin-based music company, since its inception in 2006. She has performed for Ergodos, both as a soloist, and as part of their flexible performing group Ergodos Musicians, in Ireland, UK, USA and Germany.
Robinson Panoramic Quartet
The Robinson Panoramic Quartet : Anita Vedres violin, Robin Panter viola, Kate Ellis cello, and Malachy Robinson bass
RPQ were ensemble-in-residence for Kaleidoscope Night 2014, resident tutors for Music Generation Carlow‘s Outstanding Young Musician programme 2014-15 and resident ensemble for the Irish Composition Summer School 2016.
This pioneering group explores the possibilities of an alternative to the conventional string quartet in which both tonal palette and range are extended. Composers have reacted very enthusiastically and we have already built a significant repertoire for Panoramic String Quartet. Audiences have been delighted by this revelation in string chamber music, and excited by the dynamic and rapport of the ensemble.
The RPQ in association with Kaleidoscope Night received Arts Council funding to commission a significant new work from Raymond Deane, Quadripartita, which was delivered at Kaleidoscope on the 3rd December 2014. This was the final of four premieres commissioned by us and performed during our 2014 residency.
This grouping is definitely not just like a standard quartet with a few extra low notes: the shift in roles for viola and cello changes everything, and the double-bass adds a wealth of potential textures and timbres. Having four distinct voices rather than two identical ones at the top invites the composer to explore four identities and also facilitates greater overall equality because no instrument has timbral dominance. The range of the violin extends far beyond the upper limit of the human voice and the extension to the lower range afforded by the double bass seems an entirely logical balance.
Conor Guilfoyle Jazz Octet
Conor Guilfoyle began playing drums at age 13. At 17 he was working with many of the leading players on the Irish jazz scene. In 1983 Conor went to study at Drummers Collective in New York where his teachers included Michael Carvin, Horacee Arnold and Frank Malabe. From there Conor won a scholarship to the prestigious jazz programme at the Banff College of Fine Arts in Canada directed by bassist Dave Holland.
On his return to Ireland Conor quickly established himself as one of the most in demand drummers in Europe. His extensive playing and recording credits include Guitarists: John Abercrombie and Larry Coryell. Saxophonists: David Liebman, Sonny Fortune, Pat la Barbara, Ronnie Cuber, Joe Lovano. Pianists: Kenny Werner, Jim McNeilly, Mark Levine, Mal Waldron, John Taylor and Enrico Pierranunzi.
Conor is a co-founder of the jazz programme at “Newpark Music Centre”. He has been expanding the rhythmic language of jazz with his application of odd metres to the standard jazz repetoire and the use of the Afro Cuban concept of clave applied to different time signatures. These innovations have led to an international demand for his teaching.
He has lectured in many of the leading colleges worldwide including Berklee College of music, Boston, the New School in New York, Tufts University in Massachusetts, Drummers Collective in New York, The Royal Conservatory, Hague Holland, The Bruckner Conservatory Graz, Austria, The Rhythmic School, Copenhagen, The American School of Jazz, Paris, Folkhogskola Skurups, Sweden, The Lucerne School of Jazz Switzerland among others.
He is the Author of 2 books, “ Odd Meter Clave for drumset” and “Rhythmic Reading For Drummers” both published by Advance Music.
John Mclachlan was born in Dublin and studied music at DIT, RIAM, and TCD. His works have been performed in 20 countries on four continents. He has worked with many major performers in the new music scenes in Europe and elsewhere including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Crash Ensemble, The Fidelio Trio, ConTempo quartet, Trio Arbós as well as many prominent soloists including Ian Pace, John Feeley, Mary Dullea, Darragh Morgan, Satoko Inoue and David Adams. He has received commissions from RTE NSO, Music Network, Lyric fm, the Musica Viva Festival (Portugal) and the National Concert Hall, among others. He has represented Ireland in ISCM festivals in Croatia and Slovenia, and in other festivals in Portugal, Peru, Finland, South Africa and Romania.
His music has been recorded by The Dublin Guitar Quartet, Mary Dullea, John Feeley, and David Adams (among others), and he has had many pedagogical piano works selected and published by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is also a broadcaster and writer on contemporary music, with many published articles.
Late in 2017 his music featured in 6 concerts in Japan and one in New York.
John is a member of Aosdana, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy for the creative arts. His music is available from the Contemporary Music Centre. www.johnmclachlan.infoWorld Premiere : John Mclachlan – This is Real
London born, Katherine studied with musician, educator and composer, Sheila Nelson and continued at the Royal Academy of Music with Gyorgy Pauk. She pursued her studies at Indiana University with Mauricio Fuks and became his teaching assistant. On her return to England, Katherine was invited to become a member of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, touring extensively with them.
In 2002 Katherine was appointed Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and regularly directs concerts from the violin as well as performing as soloist across a wide range of repertoire. She has directed tours to every corner of the country and internationally. Together with the ICO, she has championed the music of Irish composers and over the years has premiered many new works by contemporary composers such as Raymond Deane, John Kinsella and Sam Perkin. Katherine collaborated with ICO guest artists, performing concertos with Pekka Kuusisto, Nigel Kennedy and Martin Hayes, among others.
Katherine enjoys performing a great range of styles, from Bach to Tango. Her Far Flung Trio, which includes accordionist Dermot Dunne and bassist Malachy Robinson, has a busy touring schedule. This Autumn they will be playing in venues across Ireland including The Westport Chamber Music Festival.
As a soloist and chamber musician, Katherine has been a regular visitor to the Aldeburgh Festival, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, the festival of Great Music in Irish Houses and the Killable Chamber Music Festival. At Aldeburgh, she premiered Benjamin Britten’s re-discovered concerto for violin and viola with violist Philip Dukes. Plans for the coming season include recitals with pianist Finghin Collins, and directing a CD with the ICO and singer Ailish Tynan. She has recently recorded Piazzolla’s Four Seasons with the ICO which will be released next year.
Katherine has been a guest leader with the Manchester Camerata, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra of Ireland and has performed solo concertos with the City of London Sinfonia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
She is currently the Artistic Director of the MA in Classical Strings programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick which is operated jointly by Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Academy. Katherine is a Professor at the CIT Cork School of Music and has been a visiting Professor at Indiana University USA.
She plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin (1874) and her bows are by the Irish maker Gary Leahy.