WEST WICKLOW FESTIVAL RETURNS WITH A FEAST OF CLASSICAL MUSIC
DESPITE what the song says, it’s the lakes that will be alive with the sound of music as the second West Wicklow Festival takes place this weekend.
The festival is the brainchild of Ballyknockan man Fiachra Garvey and takes place from tomorrow (Thursday, May 17) until Sunday, May 20.
After the success of last year’s inaugural event, this year’s festival boasts an expanded programme with twice as many concerts, an additional venue and even more artists making their way to Blessington.
Events get under way with a concert in Russborough House on Thursday at 8 p.m. The concert will feature performances by Fiachra Garvey, a renowned pianist, clarinet virtuoso Julian Bliss and Philip Higham, principal cellist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the music of Beethoven, Debussy, Poulenc and Brahms.
On Friday, the award-winning Benyounes Quartet and Fiachra Garvey will present music by Haydn, Debussy and Schumann at 8 p.m. in Russborough House.
There is a choice of two concerts at Russborough on Saturday. The first begins at 8 p.m. and features Julian Bliss, Philip Higham and the Benyounes Quartet per- forming the music of Brahms and Schubert while the second takes place at 10.30 p.m. and will see Philip Higham perform compositions by Bach.
On Sunday, there will be a free family music event at Russborough. Children are invited to follow the West Wicklow Music Trail through the Russborough parklands, embarking on a musical journey through the maze and the magical Lady’s Island with live musicians entertaining them along the way. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon and is outdoors so anyone intending on coming along is asked to wear suitable clothes, depending on the weather.
A free family concert is due to take place at noon in the hippodrome at Russborough. Unfortunately, this event is now fully booked but a limited number of tickets will be available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
The final event of the festival will take place in the historic surrounds of St Mary’s Church in Blessington. Beginning at 4 p.m., the concert will feature renowned Irish baritone Gavan Ring and Fiachra Garvey, who will perform music by Rossini, Verdi, Debussy, Quilter, Schubert, Chopin, Vaughan Williams and a selection of Irish songs.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night cost €38. Tickets for the 10.30 p.m. concert on Saturday cost €15 or patrons can attend both Saturday night concerts for €50. Tickets to the Sunday afternoon concert in St Mary’s Church cost €28.
A €130 festival ticket allowing entry to all five concerts is also on offer and tickets are available from westwicklowfestival.com
Irish baritone Gavan Ring.