Crossroads are magical. They pose the question of what direction to follow and invite the exploration of new destinations. They are places for music and dancing and for meeting friends. The Galway Early Music Festival, 26-27 May invites you to our festival crossroads for two days of glorious instrumental and vocal music, joyous dance and a meeting of old and new friends in a programme that celebrates the amazing growth in early music performance in Galway and Ireland.
We are thrilled to have Galway’s international soprano Aisling Kenny joining world renowned historical harpist Siobhán Armstrong performing Si dolce tormento: Songs of Love and Loss featuring Purcell, Monteverdi, Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini and even music attributed to Queen Anne Boleyn in the beautiful acoustic of St Joseph’s Church, Presentation Rd. The all-female Galway-based choir Vox Orbis, directed by Mark Keane, is joined by soprano Helen Hancock to perform Taking the high road: Women's voices in Renaissance & Baroque music, a celebration of Polyphony, Madrigals and Arias from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Galway’s iconic medieval venue, St Nicholas Collegiate Church. This concert will feature the premiere of Mark Keane’s new bespoke harpsichord from Bizzi, Italy, (funded by the Music Network Music Capital Scheme). In the Mick Lally Theatre, Yonit Kosovske, harpsichord, Catriona O’Mahoney, Baroque violin, Sarah Groser, viola da gamba, and Vlad Smishkewych, percussion, present Body and Soul, an intriguing programme of accessible tonal contemporary works for period instruments that bridges time periods and diverse cultures (this is, indeed, a new direction to explore!).
The Mick Lally Theatre will be the festival hub on Saturday, with instrumental and dance workshops, a chance to see and hear unusual instruments and a place to meet and make friends.
This festival is especially a crossroads for director Maura Ó Cróinín, who will step down as chair and artistic director this year, as the Galway Early Music Festival takes a new path into the future. “I have had such a wonderful time being a part of the Galway Early Music Festival since the very first year in 1996. I have worked with amazing international, national and local artists, colleagues in the organisation, and volunteers, and have been thrilled to see interest in early music performance blossom in Galway and throughout Ireland. I look forward to the next decade the Galway Early Music Festival under its new organisers (more news to come!).’
Journal of Music 2021 Festival Review
Great atmosphere, great music & lovely setting
Galway has a tremendous buzz and the festival has terrific organisation
Planned our Ireland trip so we could attend.