CLASSICAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

Dundalk man Eamonn Quinn brings top classical composers to town for festival

The music festival is taking place in venues across Dundalk this weekend

Tia Clarke

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Tia Clarke

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tiaclarke@gmail.com

Dundalk man Eamonn Quinn brings top classical composers to town for festival

Eamonn Quinn pictured with composer Gavin Bryars

Dundalk man, Eamonn Quinn has pulled off an impressive feat in organising the upcoming Book of Hours classical music festival.

Eamonn, who is the driving force behind Louth Contemporary Music Society has previously persuaded music legends such as minimalist pioneer Phillip Glass (who performed in St Patrick’s Church back in 2008 even went for a sneaky Indian in Ali’z Restuarant afterwards), not to mention Terry Riley and sonic experimentalist Alvin Lucier, to play gigs in Dundalk.

This year, Mr. Quinn, is back at it again. He says The Book of Hours has been a “year in the making”. It’s a music festival devoted to “beautiful, profound music by contemporary composers from across the globe”. 

And what a line up there is. As well as new works from Salvatore Sciarrino (Italy) Gérard Pesson (France),and Michael Pisaro (USA), the festival will also spotlight contemporary female composers, including new works from Karen Tanaka (Japan), Galina Grigorjeva (Estonia/Ukraine), Linda Buckley (Ireland) and Rebecca Saunders (UK/Germany), with Tanaka and Pisaro travelling to Ireland for the first time to hear their music performed.

A truly international music festival, it will feature five concerts over the two days including Arvo Pärt's sublime Stabat Mater, Gavin Bryars; iconic and deeply moving “Jesus blood never failed me yet” (which has been released on Brian Eno’s label and has been covered by Tom Waits) plus Linda Buckley’s hauntingly beautiful work Revelavit, Wolfgang Von Schweinitz’s KLANG and selections from the works of Hildegard Von Bingen.

The festival opens on Friday with the presentation of the prestigious Belmont Prize for Contemporary Music by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider of the Forberg-Schneider-Stiftung to Eamonn Quinn, Artistic Director of Louth Contemporary Music Society.


The Belmont Prize honours ‘innovation, daring, and courage’ in music and is awarded every two years. It is one of Europe’s largest artistic awards, with a prize of €20,000.


Eamonn will be in fine company with this award, previous winners include composer and clarinetist Jörg Widmann, pianist Marino Formenti, New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, and violinist Carolin Widmann.


It is the first award for this self-taught maverick in the European festival landscape.


The award ceremony will take place on 22 June 2018 during the ‘Book of Hours’ Festival, held in Dundalk on 22 and 23 June 2018.


The presentation will be followed by a concert given by Gothic Voices. Gothic Voices will perform a programme of medieval and contemporary works in the intimate setting of Dundalk Gaol. Karen Tanaka, Linda Buckley and Michael Pisaro have written new works to mark the occasion.

A major German TV broadcaster, Quinn ZDF will visit the festival to report the Belmont Prize and The Book of Hours.


BBC Radio 3’s flagship new music programme Hear and Now will broadcast a concert from the Book of Hours, Morning Prayers featuring von Schweinitz’ glorious Klang piece performed by the Goeyvaerts Trio and Kate Molleson’ composer interviews at 7pm.

Organiser Eamonn Quinn says that this music festival has “something for everyone”.


Mr. Quinn said: “I hope that this festival program will take people on a musical journey. The line up is all very different and varied, so there will be something there for everyone to enjoy. It’s music for everybody. It’s very beautiful and very accessible.”

The organiser of this hugely impressive festival also urges people to take a chance on some of the free concerts which will be taking place on the Saturday.


He said: “I hope people might call into the free concerts out of curiosity. You have nothing to lose. A lot of these composers will never come to Dundalk to perform again, so I’m urging people to come along and enjoy the weekend of music.”


The original Book of Hours was a collection of prayers and private devotions, the lay person’s way of following the Divine Office of the monasteries. Most often associated with wealthy Roman Catholics in the Middle Ages, Books of Hours were remarkably varied.

No two Books of Hours were alike, but the function remained the same: to illuminate the day with moments of the divine. For more details on the lineup and to buy tickets see:

‘The Book of Hours Festival’ on https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-book-of-hours-festival-ticket-tickets-43195647344 

The program is as follows: 

FRIDAY 22 JUNE 2018

Belmont Prize Ceremony
7.30pm, The Oriel Centre at Dundalk Gaol

Presentation of the prestigious Belmont Prize for Contemporary Music by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider of the Forberg-Schneider-Stiftung to Eamonn Quinn, Artistic Director of Louth Contemporary Music Society.  

 

Night Prayer

8pm, The Oriel Centre at Dundalk Gaol


Gothic Voices will perform a programme of medieval and contemporary works in the intimate setting of Dundalk Gaol. Karen Tanaka, Linda Buckley and Michael Pisaro have all written new works to mark the occasion. The programme will open with the numinous beauty of Linda Buckley’s Revelavit.

Tickets €10 available from www.eventbrite.ie 


SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2018

Morning Prayer
1pm, The Chapel, St. Vincent’s School, Jocelyn St Dundalk


The Flemish string trio Goeyvaerts Trio will play a beautiful programme of Wolfgang Von Schweinitz’s hallucinatory work for string trio and ring modulator, KLANG auf Schön Berg La Monte Young in Just Intonation tuning. This promises to be a magical transportive concert in a beautiful resonant setting. 
Tickets Free but attendees are asked to register www.eventbrite.ie 


Daytime prayer

3pm in Dundalk Gaol

The incredibly talented and internationally lauded composer Rebecca Saunders comes to Louth for the first time for a specially curated performance of her music including the world premiere of her James Joyce inspired work, O, Yes & I. The performers include Carol Robinson, Juliet Fraser, Helen Bledsoe and Séverine Ballon

Tickets Free but attendees are asked to register www.eventbrite.ie 


Evening Prayer
5pm in St.Nicholas Church of Ireland, Dundalk

This concert features the world premiere of a new work by Salvatore Sciarrino for solo flute, performed by the incredible Matteo Cesari, one of Sciarrino’s closest collaborators. Additionally, the programme will feature the piano music of Gérard Pesson, performed by Pascale Berthelot including the world premiere of a new work for piano.

Tickets Free but attendees are asked to register www.eventbrite.ie 

Night Prayer II

8pm in St.Nicholas Church of Ireland Dundalk 

Saturday’s evening concert ends the festival with Arvo Pärt’s 1985 work, Stabat Mater, performed here in Just Intonation tuning by the Goeyvaerts Ensemble, adding new shining depths to this spare, devotional masterpiece. Additionally, the Ensemble will also perform a new LCMS commission, Chant, from Galina Grigorjeva. Séverine Ballon also performs Karen Tanaka’s gorgeous The Song of Songs. The concert ends with a version of Gavin Bryars' haunting, ethereal Jesus Blood, the UK composer leading a festival ensemble — including young musicians from Music Generation Louth — in a perfect end to the festival.

Tickets €10 available from www.eventbrite.ie 


Additionally, Kate Molleson will interview a number of the composers at 7pm in the side chapel of St. Nicholas Church of Ireland.