Music in Kilkenny | Kilkenny Tourism

Music in Kilkenny


Music in Kilkenny,
Castalia Hall,
Co. Kilkenny


Music in Kilkenny

Music in Kilkenny organises two series of concerts every year; an autumn series and a spring series. All concerts take place in Kilkenny.

Music in Kilkenny Committee: John Clark, Brian Fennelly, Beatrice Kelly, Kieran O’Sullivan, Susan Proud

Music in Kilkenny is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny County Council & the Camphill Community of Ballytobin

Schedule January - June 2017

PDF of Music in Kilkenny - January to June 2017 Brochure (PDF File / 6mb)

All concerts at Castalia Hall, Ballytobin, Callan unless otherwise stated

RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Sunday 15 January, 4pm, €15

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) -- String Quartet Op 76 No. 4 ‘Sunrise’
Linda Buckley (b. 1979) -- New work, with electronics (new RTÉ commission)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) -- String Quartet No. 4

The fourth concert in The Bartók Project in which the RTÉ Contempo Quartet perform the six extraordinary Bartók quartets paired with the six Haydn Op. 76 quartets and six pieces by contemporary Irish composers, including four new RTÉ commissions. The RTÉ Contempo Quartet is one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. The members studied together in Bucharest where they formed the quartet. They were appointed Quartet in Residence in Galway in 2003 and RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence in May 2014. Linda Buckley’s music has been described as ‘Exquisite’ (Gramophone), “strange and beautiful” (Boston Globe). It has been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Sinfoniker Orchestra, Crash Ensemble and at many international festivals.


Martin Hayes (fiddle) & David Power (uilleann pipes)

Saturday 21 January, 8pm, €25/20

Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most significant talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of his chosen instrument – the violin – his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create a formidable artistic intelligence. He has drawn inspiration from many musical genres, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in East County Clare. He has a unique ability to place the tradition within a wider contemporary context, creating a unique and insightful interpretation of Irish music.

Uilleann piper David Power travels the world as a solo musician, in duos with fiddlers and in collaborations with many other artists, including Pipers Union, Masters of Tradition, baroque ensemble Camerata Kilkenny and with organist Malcolm Proud. He has recorded three solo CDs - ‘My love is in America, ‘The Little Cuckoo of Glen Nephin' and ‘the eighteen Moloney’. His most recent recording ‘Apples in Winter’, is a duet of fiddle and pipes with Willie Kelly of New York. He has performed at the Sydney Opera house and at the legendary Broadway Studio 54. He performed in the off-Broadway production of ‘Love’s Pure Light’, recorded music for the Irish Repertory Theatre’s staging of ‘The Field’ and was a cast member and musician in the Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s ‘A Touch of the Poet’, starring Gabriel Byrne.

Hanna Hipp (contralto) & Emma Abbate (piano)

Sunday 22 January, 4pm, €15

Folklore - An exploration of folk songs from different countries
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) -- Huit Chansons polonaises
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) -- 6 Songs
Luciano Berio (1925-2003) -- Quattro canzoni popolari
Edward Elgar (1857-1934) -- Piano Improvisations No. 1 and no. 4
Maurice Ravel (1896-1914) -- Chants populaires
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) -- Siete canciones populares españolas

Hanna Hipp has been described as a singer who “lights up the stage” (Opera Britannia). She makes her role and house debut at Minnesota Opera in the 2015-16 season singing the Composer in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. She also returns to her native Poland singing Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, a role she repeats at her house debut at Bergen Opera. Ms. Hipp appears in concert with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva and Lausanne in performances of L'Enfant et les Sortilèges under Charles Dutoit. In summer 2016 she returned to the Glyndebourne Festival as Magdalene in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and makes her house debut at Seattle Opera as Isolier in Rossini's Le comte Ory. In future seasons she will return to Scottish Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg directed by Kasper Holten and conducted by Antonio Pappano, debut at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, and return to the Glyndebourne Festival and Seattle Opera in leading roles.

Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician, working with some of the finest singers and instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Koscierzyna and Sorrento, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. She is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Finghin Collins (piano)

Friday 17 February, 8pm, €15

Bach Partita -- No. 1, in B flat major
Schubert -- Four Impromptus Op. 90
Schumann -- Waldszenen Op. 82
Chopin -- Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, Op. 61

One of Ireland's most successful musicians Finghin Collins achieved major international success by taking first prize at the Clara Haskil Competition in Switzerland in 1999. Since then he has developed an international career that takes him all over Europe, the United States and the Far East. He made his Australian début in July 2016. His recordings include four Mozart piano concertos directed from the keyboard with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. A new solo Chopin CD will come out in 2017, a co-production between RTÉ lyric fm and Claves. He is Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival since 2006, and Artistic Director of Music for Galway since 2013. 

RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Sunday 19 February, 4pm, €15

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) -- String Quartet Op 76, No. 5
David Coonan (b. 1987) -- Songlines of Butterfly (RTÉ commission)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) -- String Quartet No. 5

The 5th concert in the RTÉ Contempo Quartet’s Bartok Project series of 6 concerts in which they perform all of Bartok’s string quartets alongside Haydn’s Op. 76 set and a contemporary Irish work. The Bartok quartets form a series of snapshots representative of his life as a musician, spaced over most of his mature career. Haydn’s Op. 76 are his last complete set of quartets. In this concert we hear a new work by the young Irish composer David Coonan whose work is driven by a notion of creative recycling, and whose all-embracing musical curiosity has led to a body of compositions mindful of many diverse musical influences.

Catherine Leonard (violin) & Hugh Tinney (piano)

Sunday 5 March, 4pm, €15

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) -- Sonata in C minor for violin and piano, BWV 1017
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) -- Sonata in A minor, D 385
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) -- Thème et Variations (1932)
Raymond Deane -- ‘Parthenia Violata’
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) -- Sonata in D minor, Op.108

Catherine Leonard and Hugh Tinney, two of Ireland's foremost musicians with highly successful solo careers in Ireland and internationally, have performed as a duo since 2000. Their musically scintillating partnership provides exciting and beautiful performances of a broad range of repertoire. About their 2017 programme Catherine says:

“Hugh and I are thrilled to embark on an entirely new programme for our 2017 tour! We introduce some Bach, a first for us. We look forward to delving into the baroque world, and coming up with our own unique interpretation. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Messiaen's 'Theme and Variations', a work which requires steely control and vigilant adherence to the score and tempo markings. We have been waiting to include this in a programme for many years. The work was originally written as a wedding present for the composer's first wife, the violinist Claire Delbos, who gave the premiere with him shortly afterwards. Sonatas by Schubert (in A minor, D 385) and Brahms (in D minor, Op.108) will be more familiar territory for all and we look forward to sharing the enjoyment of this music with you.”

The tour will bring Hugh and Catherine to Galway, Roscommon, Westport, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Thurles and Westmeath. The Duo is at the centre of the Westport Festival of Chamber Music, held in Co. Mayo in September. Recently they have performed in the National Concert Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and in America.

Malcolm Proud (harpsichord)

Sunday 12 March, 4pm, €15

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) -- Goldberg Variations

In 2001 Malcolm Proud recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Castalia Hall for the Maya-Recordings label. After 16 years he returns to perform this great work on the Hall’s magnificent Donzelague harpsichord. Malcolm Proud is in demand as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout Ireland and abroad. In July 2017 he will perform at the Mantua Chamber Music Festival, give an organ recital with David Power in the Tullamore Organ series and in the Autumn he travels to Switzerland to give the inaugural recital on the newly restored organ in Wallerau.

RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Sunday 19 March, 4pm, €15

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) -- String Quartet Op 76, No. 6
Sean Clancy (b.1984) -- ‘Four Lines of Music Slow Down and Eventually Stop’ (an RTÉ commission)
Béla Bartók (1881-1945) -- String Quartet No. 6

In this final concert in the RTÉ Contempo Quartet’s Bartók Project we hear both Haydn’s and Bartók last string quartet alongside a RTÉ commissioned work from Sean Clancy, ‘Four Lines of Music Slow Down and Eventually Stop’ which contains four lines of music that do just that. It was written in Ireland, Britain, Turkey, China and the USA between May and October 2016. 

Duo “B!z’art”

Sunday 26 March, 4pm, €15

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) -- Bilder aus Osten op.66
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) -- Hungarian Dances, selection
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) -- Andante and Allegro Vivace op.92
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) -- Suite op.11

The Belgian piano duo ‘B!z’art’ - meaning Bizarre - focus on what is unusual and unconventional in music. They perform unique repertoire exploring the various sound worlds and possibilities of the piano duo. They have performed together throughout Europe. André Roe works with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Opera Orchestra of Wallonia. He teaches at the Ettelbruck Music Conservatory in Luxembourg. Geoffrey Baptiste (who gave a recital for Music in Kilkenny in 2015 with violinist Aude Millar) works with many leading instrumentalists as well as with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and the Liège Symphony Orchestra with which he plays piano and celeste.

Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra
ft. Ciaran Crilly (conductor) & Adrian Mantu (cello)

Sunday 14 May, 4pm, €15

Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) -- Marche Slave
Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) -- "Variations on a Theme by Rossini" for cello and orchestra
Max Bruch (1838-1920) -- Kol Nidre for cello and orchestra
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) -- Symphonic Suite from ‘On the Waterfront’
Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky -- Swan Lake Suite 

The new Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra is composed of the most advanced part-time students of orchestral instruments at the RIAM. The orchestra was formed in September 2016 as a result of a major re-calibration of the performing groups at the Academy. This reorganising also saw the formation of the new RIAM Philharmonia, an orchestra made up solely of full time students of the RIAM. This concert will be the RIAM Symphony Orchestra’s second concert


NOTE: Ticket Prices

Tickets for all concerts (except Martin Hayes & David Power)

Season Ticket (8 concerts): €100.00 (€65.00 concession)

Individual Tickets: €15.00 (€10.00 concession)

Please Note: Martin Hayes & David Power: €25.00 (€20.00 concession) - not included in season ticket

Further information: 
tel: + 353 (0)86 1777017