Hostoftop­tal­entin­storeat 14thArdeeBaro­queFes­ti­val

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By FIONA MA­GEN­NIS

THERE’S a treat in store for mu­sic lovers as they are in­vited to immerse them­selves once again in the al­ways pop­u­lar Ardee Baroque Fes­ti­val, which runs from Fri­day, Novem­ber 24th to Sun­day, Novem­ber 26th.

The im­mensely pop­u­lar fes­ti­val is now in its 14th year and will take place at nu­mer­ous venues through­out the town with a host of top clas­si­cal mu­si­cians tak­ing part.

Aimed at mu­sic lovers young and old, this year’s Ardee Baroque Fes­ti­val in­cludes a re­turn visit by the Ir­ish Baroque Orches­tra with lead­ing Ir­ish so­prano Sinead Camp­bell Wal­lace; a fam­ily friendly con­cert from Mu­sic Gen­er­a­tion Louth’s Ju­nior Orches­tra; a solo vi­o­lin recital by one of Ire­land’s most ex­cit­ing play­ers; a talk on Ir­ish harp from the re­gion, and a per­for­mance by pi­anist Michael McHale and cel­list Brian O’Kane.

Pro­gramme di­rec­tor, Pauline Ash­wood said preparations are well un­der­way for the fes­ti­val, which prom­ises to be the best one yet.

‘Hop­ing to draw on the suc­cess of last year with record num­bers en­joy­ing Vi­valdi’s ‘Four Sea­sons’ with the Ir­ish Baroque Orches­tra, this year we will have one of Ire­land’s lead­ing so­pra­nos to per­form a pro­gramme of pop­u­lar and much-loved arias by Han­del for the main Sat­ur­day evening con­cert. You don’t have to be a clas­si­cal mu­sic ex­pert to en­joy this fes­ti­val.

‘Many per­for­mances in­clude well-known tunes from the Baroque pe­riod as well as a pi­ano and cello con­cert with mu­sic by and in­spired by Bach.’

Over the years, Ardee has been host to many spe­cial mu­si­cal events and has seen some of the great­est per­form­ers of baroque mu­sic visit the County Louth town. As the cold and darker evenings draw in, the town gears it­self up for an in­flux of mu­si­cians and peo­ple to sup­port this great fes­ti­val.

The Ir­ish Baroque Orches­tra re­mains the head­line act for the fes­ti­val.

Un­der the di­rec­tion of vi­o­lin­ist Claire Duff, this year they bring Ir­ish so­prano, Sinead Camp­bell-Wal­lace with a pro­gramme of de­light­ful and many well-known arias from the baroque pe­riod, in­clud­ing pieces from Han­del’s Mes­siah. Stick­ing with the al­most-sea­sonal theme, they will also per­form Corelli’s cel­e­brated Christ­mas Con­certo.

Mu­sic Gen­er­a­tion ini­tia­tives around the coun­try have been grow­ing from strength to strength.

Mu­sic Gen­er­a­tion Louth’s im­pres­sive youth cham­ber groups and Ju­nior String Orches­tra per­form a fam­ily-friendly se­lec­tion of baroque favourites in­clud­ing Win­ter from Vi­valdi’s Four Sea­sons and mu­sic from the Royal Fire­works by Han­del. This is an in­spi­ra­tional con­cert for and by young mu­si­cians.

Ir­ish vi­o­lin­ist Mairéad Hickey is much in de­mand for the beauty, qual­ity and sen­si­tiv­ity of her play­ing. For this hour-long con­cert in the in­ti­mate set­ting of the draw­ing room in Hatch’s cas­tle, she will per­form a pro­gramme of baroque and tra­di­tional Ir­ish works for solo vi­o­lin.

Harper, Pa­trick Quin was one of the youngest of the 18th cen­tury Ir­ish harpers. The Sun­day lec­ture will fea­ture re­searcher Sylvia Craw­ford talk­ing about Pa­trick and the po­ten­tial of Ir­ish mu­sic in cul­tural tourism in the Oriel re­gion.

The week­end comes to a close with a recital fea­tur­ing mu­sic writ­ten and in­spired by Bach and will in­clude Brahms’ glo­ri­ous sonata for vi­o­lin and pi­ano.

Orig­i­nally from Belfast, pi­anist Michael McHale lived in Louth for a num­ber of years and is de­lighted to re­turn to the wee county joined by Cork cel­list Brian O’Kane. Tick­ets are avail­able through An Táin Arts Cen­tre, Crowe St, Dun­dalk, Co Louth +353 42 9332332 or­

Ardee Baroque Fes­ti­val was ini­ti­ated by Louth County Arts Of­fice in 2004. It is funded by Louth County Coun­cil, Cre­ate Louth and the Arts Coun­cil.

The Mu­sic Gen­er­a­tion Youth Orches­tra who will fea­ture in this year’s Ardee Baroque Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

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