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The Ficino Quartet

Thursday 7 December 2023, time to be decided

organised in collaboration with

the National String Quartet Foundation

location to be decided (Leap or Union Hall)

Tickets €15, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

Details will follow.

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The Vanbrugh and Friends

Sunday 19 November 2023, 8 pm

organised in collaboration with

the National String Quartet Foundation

at Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen

Tickets €15, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

Details will follow.

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The Contempo Quartet

Friday 22 September 2023, 8 pm

organised in collaboration with

the National String Quartet Foundation

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €15, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

Details will follow.

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John O’Conor – piano

Friday 18 August 2023, 8 pm

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €25, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

Confirmation of date and programme details will follow.

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The Inis Quartet

Molly O’Shea and Anna Mitchell – violin

Fiachra de hOra – viola, Zoë Nagle – cello.

Thursday 10 August 2023, 8 pm

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

They are a Fellowship Quartet at ConCorda.

About ConCorda, Chamber Music Course for Strings


Beethoven – Quartet in F minor Op.95

Fanny Mendelssohn – Quartet in E flat major

Shostakovich – Quartet No.9 Op.117

The Inis Quartet was formed for the 2023 West Cork Chamber Music Festival and also takes part in the 2023 ConCorda summer chamber music course as the National String Quartet Foundation Fellowship Quartet.

They open this concert with one of Beethoven’s most dramatic quartets, famous for its brevity and sudden changes of mood. It was composed in 1810, a year after the Battle of Wagram between Napoleon and Austria left 74,000 casualties in a single day, just outside Vienna. Fanny Mendelssohn, sister of the better known composer Felix Mendelssohn, has in recent years been accorded long overdue recognition as composer of more than 400 fine works. She wrote her elegantly lyrical, at times impassioned string quartet in 1834, just a few years after the deaths of Beethoven and Schubert. The virtuosic last movement is especially memorable. The concert ends with Shostakovich’s wonderful ninth string quartet, written in 1964 and full of vivid characterization, expression and contrast. The stark and cataclysmic vision of the fourth movement leads to an extraordinary finale concluding with a long, exhilarating and life-affirming build-up.

Anna Mitchell, violin

Anna Mitchell is an Irish violinist currently based in Limerick. She is an alumnus of the Young European Strings (YES) School of Music, where she was a student of Professor Ronald Masin’s for many years. She is now in the final year of her MA in Classical String Performance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. In 2021, she was awarded the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Emerging Artist Grant along with the RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarship to support her studies with Dr. Diane Daly. Since she began studying in Limerick, Anna has performed with the Irish Chamber Orchestra on many occasions. Anna also worked with Opera Workshop in Limerick in 2022 to perform Fiona Linanne’s new site-specific composition ‘No. 2 Pery Square’, directed by Shirley Keane and Sinead Hayes. She regularly performs with Glasshouse Ensemble, and has also toured with Irish singer Tommy Fleming

Molly O’Shea, violin

Molly O’Shea is a violinist originally from Cork, currently based in Dublin. She completed her BMus in the Cork School of Music in June of 2019 under the guidance of Ruxandra Petcu-Colan and Liz Charleson, graduating with First Class Honours. She had spent the previous 3 years studying under Marc Danel at l’Institut de la Musique et de Pedagogie in Namur, Belgium and graduated with Distinction from a Violin Performance Masters June of 2018. Molly has been a prizewinner in multiple competitions nationally. In October 2019 she received 2nd prize in the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year competition and was also the recipient of the Florian Leonhard Fine Instrument Grant and the John Vallery Prize for the Highest Placed String Player. In 2021, Molly was chosen as one of five young musicians to take part in the University Concert Hall’s Rising Stars Concert in Limerick.

She currently plays in the first violin section of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and is also working on “Improvised Landscapes” with writer Luke Cassidy; a project combining spoken word and improvised contemporary violin.

Fiachra de hOra, viola

Dublin born viola player Fiachra de hOra is currently undertaking his Bachelor’s degree with Nobuko Imai and Marjolein Dispa at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. In June 2017, he was joint winner of Ireland’s National Concert Hall Young Musicians’ Award. He performed a sold-out solo recital in March 2019 in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. He was also the featured young musician at the Westport Festival of Chamber Music later that year with a solo recital which was broadcast by RTE Lyric FM.

He won 3rd prize in the 6th National Dutch Viola Competition, and won the popular vote for his concerto performance with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. In November 2019, he performed as a soloist with the Ulster Orchestra playing Walton’s viola concerto.

He has taken part in the Clandeboye Festival Young Musicians’ programme a number of times, and has taken part in the Chamber Music Gatherings of the National Concert Hall Dublin. In August 2021, he was invited to play at the Clandeboye Festival as a guest artist.

Zoë Nagle, cello

22 year old Zoë Nagle is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, Germany, in the class of Julian Steckel. She completed her part-time musical studies at the MTU Cork School of Music in 2019, where she was a student of Christopher Marwood, and in 2016, she spent two months studying with Professor Gotthard Popp at the Robert Schumann Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf.

Zoë has performed solo in venues worldwide, including the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Joseph Kosma Auditorium in Nice, France, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New York. Following her debut with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta in Carnegie Hall, she was praised for “soaring in the lyrical variations in a confident, highly musical performance” of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme (The Epoch Times).

Passionate about chamber music, Zoë has performed in the National String Quartet Foundation’s Chamber Music Gathering at the National Concert Hall. She currently studies in the chamber music class of Raphaël Merlin (Quatuor Ébène) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.

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The Elatha Trio

Thursday 3 August 2023, 8 pm

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

The programme will be a mix of Irish Traditional music and Classical chamber music.

Details will follow.

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Musici Ireland

Thursday 27 July 2023, 8pm,

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 2264797

Programme still to be decided but hopefully with

Vourneen Ryan – flute, Mia Cooper – violin and Beth McNinch – viola and composers such as Martinu, Halvorsen, Amanda Feery, Beethoven, Libby Croad, Bartok, Hoffmeister, Saariaho, Ponce

Founded in 2012, Musici Ireland is a female led chamber collective that takes pride in presenting interesting and evocative programmes.

Musici consists of a core of players that welcomes collaborations with nationally and internationally celebrated musicians.

Over the last decade we have created lasting relationships with venues and guest artists, performing regularly at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, making our debut at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2019, and enjoying a successful partnership with RTE Lyric FM through regular broadcast of our performances.

In 2022, we mark our 10th anniversary, with celebrations which include an ambitious concert series “Still I Rise” featuring women composers, the continuation of our “Live from Wells House” Series and an education project with Music for Wexford.

Alongside our concert season, we are also planning several exciting commissions by Irish composers, including a project with composers Linda and Irene Buckley in response to the Mother and Baby home scandal in Ireland.

In addition to this, we are also working on many exciting cross genre collaborations, with dancers, aerial artists, theatre and visual artists.

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Anne-Marie Papin Labazordière – Harp, Sokol Koka – Cello

Thursday 20 July 2023, 8pm,

at St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, P81 AH51

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 2264797

Programme will definitely include

– Nocturne by Bellini

– Improvviso Drammatico by Tedeschi

– Pièce en forme de Habanera by Ravel

– Le cygne by Saint-Saëns

– Beau soir by Debussy

– Café 1930 by Piazzolla

– Les larmes de Jacqueline by Offenbach

– Promenade d’automne by Tournier

– 2nd mvmt of g minor Sonata by Bach

– O du mein holder abenstern by Wagner

Anne-Marie Papin Labazordière started the harp when she was 9. After obtaining a Premier Prix de la ville de Paris in Harp performance at 17, she decided to focus on language studies in university, choosing English and Russian.

It is when she started playing with the Choeur et Orchestre des Grandes Ecoles in Paris, that

she decided to concentrate solely on music. She attended the Royal College of Music in London and after a Postgraduate Diploma in Harp Performance, won a scholarship to start a Masters in Harp Performance.

Anne-Marie moved to Ireland in 2007 and has since performed with different orchestras such as Cork Opera House Orchestra, RTE Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra. She teaches the harp in Cork School of Music.

Sokol Koka. Born in Durrës, Albania, Sokol Koka began studying cello in the music school of his city where he graduated with the highest honor in 1990. He continued his studies in the High School of Fine Arts of Tirana for two years before joining the cello class of Professor Rocco Filippini in the Conservatory “G.Verdi” of Milan, Italy where he graduated in 1995. Later he got a Masterclass Diploma in chamber music from Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, München. He was the recipient of Rheinland-Pfalz-Foundation for chamber music “Villa Musica” and joined also the masterclasses of Georgy Kurtag in Prussia Cove. Apart his chamber music activity, Mr.Koka has been from 1997 to 2008 member of the Symphony Orchestra of Milan “G.Verdi”. In 2009 he won the audition of RTE National Symphony Orchestra and moved to Dublin.Currently, Mr.Koka is a freelance chamber music and orchestra musician with RTE Concert Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra.

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Claudia Boyle – soprano, Niall O’Sullivan – trumpet, Conor Linehan – piano

Thursday 13 April 2023, 8.30 pm (location and starting time changed)

organised by Music Network

at Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, P81 KP99

(due to circumstances beyond our control we had to change the venue)

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical Skibbereen or text/call 086 2264797

“The enduring appeal of high brasswinds combined with voice goes back several centuries, to the days when trebles and tenors of the Venetian cori spezzatti sang alternatim against cornetts and sackbuts high from the balconies of St. Mark’s in Venice.

Led by one of Ireland’s most spectacular sopranos, April features another brand new ensemble showcasing the talents of a trio of much sought after Irish artists. Claudia Boyle has secured a stellar international profile in recent seasons through highly-acclaimed performances in Zurich, Rome, London, Berlin and New York and recently returned from making her house debut for Opéra National de Paris singing the role of Dede in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place to much acclaim.

Joining Claudia will be trumpet player extraordinaire Niall O’ Sullivan and exceptional pianist Conor Linehan.

Presenting a varied and eclectic programme, the trio will share dazzling interpretations of

Handel’s ‘Let The Bright Seraphim’,

Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb,

Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate in addition to operatic favorites by

Donizetti and Verdi and music by the ever popular Piazzolla.

Music Network presents a Composer Insight Session.
Apart from organising fantastic Tours Music Network also promotes the composition of works by Irish artists. For this tour the composer Solfa Carlile was commissioned to write a piece and she created Storybook Land.

During the concert Solfa will give a brief introduction and share some insight about this work, giving us, the audience, a lovely opportunity to hear directly from the composer.

About the Artists

Claudia Boyle

A former member of the Salzburger Festspiele’s prestigious Young Singers Project, Irish Soprano Claudia Boyle has won both 1st Prize and the Critics Award at The Maria Callas Competition in Verona where the Callas Estate presented her with the miraculous medal once owned and worn by the legendary singer. She was also chosen by acclaimed film director Mike Leigh to star in his first ever venture for the operatic stage as the leading heroine Mabelin Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in London’s Coliseum.

Career highlights have included the roles of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Komische Oper Berlin, Alice in Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden under Thomas Adès, Adina in L’elisir d’Amore at Semperoper Dresden and Den Norske Opera, Leila in The Pearl Fishers for English National Opera, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by James Conlon at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with Danish National Opera.

Claudia appeared with the New York Philharmonic at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lincoln Centre, singing the role of Cecily Cardew in Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest. She performed the four roles of Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Irish National Opera and as a testament to her linguistic strengths, made her debut as Verdi’s Gilda in Rigoletto at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to overwhelming audience and critical acclaim.

Her blossoming concert career has taken her further afield to Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Ankara. She has appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele in Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn under Riccardo Muti, with NHK Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No.8 under Paavo Järvi, and in Henze’s Nachtstücke und Arien with NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover under Eivind Gullberg Jensen. Claudia joined Kent Nagano and Ensemble Modern in the role of Dede for the premiere performance of a new chamber version of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at Konzerthaus Berlin, subsequently joining Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for further performances and a CD recording for DECCA.

Claudia collaborated with playwright Enda Wash and composer Donnacha Dennehy on their first opera The Last Hotel which received critical acclaim at The Dublin Theatre Festival, The Edinburgh Festival and The Prototype Festival in New York. This was subsequently filmed by Sky Arts and recorded by Cantaloupe Music record label.

Niall O’Sullivan

One of Ireland’s foremost classical musicians, Niall O’Sullivan has performed all over Europe, Asia and the USA appearing in prominent concert halls to sell-out crowds with his ensemble of world class musicians. Both Niall’s self-titled debut album and Ballads EP reached No. 1 on the iTunes classical & jazz charts. His orchestral album Niall O’Sullivan and Friends was produced by Julian Lloyd Webber and Gavin Murphy and features opera star Danielle de Niese, four-time Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Larry Carlton, theatre royalty Kim Criswell and two of Ireland’s finest vocalists, Emmet Cahill and Lisa Lambe.

Niall has performed baroque and classical works for trumpet and orchestra with the National Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra and several other ensembles throughout Ireland including a performance of Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto with trumpet legend Crispian Steele-Perkins. As an arranger, he has performed his own unique arrangements of iconic works with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for live radio broadcasts and concert performances.

Niall and his wife, vocalist Shóna Henneberry, have toured the USA extensively with their sell out show My Funny Valentine. As a featured guest, he has performed with Josh Groban, The Priests and The Unthanks and as a sideman he has shared the stage with Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse, Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Dionne Warwick and Sinead O’Connor. He has performed for every president in Ireland since 1990 and was principal trumpet for the Pope’s Irish visit in 2018.

“The brilliant Claudia Boyle…who seemed to take every vocal demand in her stride” –Opera Magazine

“O’Sullivan’s Piazzolla brought the audience to their feet” –The Irish Times

“Boyle’s plaintive soprano in particular shines” –Gramophone

“Niall O’Sullivan’s playing was bright, breezy, delicate, joyous and stylish” –The Irish Examiner

Conor Linehan

About the Composer

Solfa Carlile
Originally from Cork, Solfa was a recipient of the Bill Whelan Bursary, graduating from the Royal College of Music. In 2010 she received the NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composers’ Award and was composer-in-residence for the Covent Garden Sinfonia from 2012-2014. Solfa received the Seán O’Riada Prize in 2013.  Her cantata The Life of St. Cuthbert was premiered at the 2019 Durham Vocal Festival and she was the featured composer for the 2019 Spotlight Chamber Music series at Triskel Arts Centre.  In 2022, Solfa collaborated on The Sequenza Project with flautist Eilís O’Sullivan, composing a new work, Sonanotine, to complement Luciano Berio’s Sequenza series.

Also, a theatre composer, Solfa’s folk musical-in-progress, Setanta the Brave was workshopped in London in 2021 and 2022. She was awarded a doctorate (DPhil) in music from the University of Oxford, culminating in the composition of a chamber opera The Exile based on James Joyce.

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The Spero Quartet

Friday 17 February 2023, 8 pm.

organised in collaboration with

the National String Quartet Foundation

Myross Church of Ireland, Union Hall, P81 T384

Tickets €15, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 2264797

Jennifer Murphy, violin, Brigid Leman, violin

Ali Comerford, viola, Yseult Cooper Stockdale, cello


Haydn – Quartet in D minor Op.76 No.2 ‘Fifths’[1797]

Deirdre Gribbin – ‘Hearing your genes evolve’ [2014]

Dvořák – Quartet in E flat Op.51 ‘Slavonic’ [1879]

The Spero Quartet return for their fourth tour for the Foundation with a programme including one of Haydn’s finest and most popular quartets, his Fifths quartet from 1797. Deirdre Gribbin’s fascinating ‘Hearing your genes evolve’ is based on DNA patterns from the 1000 Genomes project and Dvořák’s E flat major quartet is one of his most gorgeous creations, full of melody and Bohemian folk spirit.