International pianists to light up New Ross Piano Festival
AWARD WINNING MUSICIANS TO PLAY CLASSICAL AND JAZZ MUSIC AT VENUES
PIANISTS born in Germany, South Africa, America, Australia, Hungary, Ireland and the UK will descend on New Ross to entertain audiences next week.
The town of New Ross will be the epicentre of piano music in the country during New Ross Piano Festival, which brings people and business into the area just after the summer season has finished and is a welcome boost to the economy.
This year starts with jazz pianist Phil Ware and his bass player Damian Evans who are playing at a concert in St Mary’s Church, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
In the evening, a great treat lies in store when the Italian legendary jazz pianist, Enrico Pieranunzi, gives a solo concert.
Pieranunzi has been named Artist of the Year three times by the Musica Jazz magazine critics’ poll. He also won the French Django d’Or prize as “Best European Musician” and the German Echo Jazz Award in 2014 as ‘Best International Keyboard Artist’.
Enrico and Phil will be talking about their lives in jazz at 7 p.m. in the church. All are welcome to eavesdrop.
Local talent will be on show on Thursday evening at 7.30 p.m., featuring young piano students from all across the region. This year 25 youths aged 8 to 18 will perform on the grand piano. Tickets cost €5.
At noon on Friday anyone can join the assembled second-level music students in St Mary’s Church for a free concert given by the young award-winning Irish pianist, Sean Morgan-Rooney. The pieces he is playing are all short and will be introduced by a visiting Hungarian writer, Endre Toth, who is visiting the festival for the second time.
At 8 p.m. the main evening concert takes place, featuring Klara Wurtz, Zoltan Fejervari and Finghin Collins on the piano, with help from Istvan Vardai [cello], Kristof Barati [violin] and Jennifer Stumm [viola]. Würtz is among the more important pianists to have emerged from the latter decades of the 20th century. Hungarian-born, she has, since the early ‘90s, made numerous tours of the United States and Canada while also appearing throughout Holland and elsewhere in Europe. She has made numerous recordings.
She has recently recorded the Beethoven complete violin sonatas and the Brahms violin sonatas with Kristof Barati who is also at the festival this year.
Zoltán Fejérvári is making his Irish debut. He was winner of the 2017 Concours Musical International de Montréal for piano. Finghin Collins is Artistic Director to the festival, and is one of Ireland’s foremost pianists, performing widely all over Europe, America, the Far East and last year Australia also. These three pianists will give two other concerts, one on Saturday at 7.30 and one on Sunday at 3.30pm. Full information on their repertoire is on www.newrosspi- anofestival.com.
On Saturday at noon, the world renowned Kristian Bezuidenhout will be playing a specially imported fortepiano in St Mary’s Church. Elizaveta Ukrainskaia is making her Irish debut, while the extraordinarily imaginative David Greilsammer performs the late night concert on Saturday at 10 p.m. His programme will feature Bach, Mozart, Janecek, and the lesser-known Jean-Fery Rebel and Ofer Pelz, and he will explain the labyrinth he has created.
At 11.30am, just before the Coffee Concerts on Saturday and Sunday in St Mary’s Church the Hungarian musicologist Endre Toth will be talking to Finghin Collins about the Hungarian school of music and its influences.
As is usual there is an element of chamber music at the three main concerts in this year’s festival, and the artists are remarkable. István Várdai, Kristof Barati and Jennifer Stumm will peform and returning to jazz piano, well-known Myles Drennan will play two free jazz piano sessions on Saturday. He will be in the library at 11 a.m. and in the Dunbrody Visitor Centre at 3.30 p.m.
Booking is recommended for this, the 12th New Ross Piano Festival. This year there is allocated seating and booking is at St Michael’s Theatre, 051 421766 or www.stmichaelsnewross. com. More information about the full programme is on the website.
Klara Wurtz. Kristian Bezuidenhout.