St. Barrahane's Church Festival of Music and Concerts

St. Barrahane's Church of Ireland


(8km from Skibbereen)

Co. Cork, P81 AH51


+353 86 226 4797 (Jacqueline Weij)

The Ora Quartet in Skibbereen

February 15, 2024

8:00 pm


Organised in collaboration with the National String Quartet Foundation
The concert is supported by the Arts Council, Cork County Council and RTE Lyric FM

Venue: Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, P81 KP99, 8pm

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


Siun Milne, violin
Molly O’Shea, violin
Ali Comerford, viola
Yseult Cooper-Stockdale, cello

Joseph Haydn - Quartet in A major Op.18 No.6 [1772]
Emma O’Halloran - Dying is a wild night [2019]
Benjamin Britten - Quartet No.2 Op.36 [1945]

We are delighted to welcome the recently formed Ora quartet to the Foundation’s touring programme. After several years enjoying playing together in various chamber music formations, these four outstanding musicians decided in 2023 to join as a string quartet and made their debut at Fuddlefest in August of that year. Projects in 2024 include a series of collaborative concerts in the Everyman, Cork, as well as this tour.

Haydn’s ground-breaking 1772 set of string quartets was written while the 40 year old composer was Kapellmeister at the Eszterháza palace near Vienna. This is the last in the set and it is noticeably bright and optimistic in character, perhaps an antidote to the uncomfortably damp and marshy living conditions at the palace.
Emma O’Halloran’s Dying is a wild night is a reflection on mortality inspired by events in the composer’s family. It began to take shape in 2017 as part of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s Composition Competition and underwent substantial revision before being premiered in its final form at the 2019 Festival. Written as a tribute to Purcell and premiered on the 250th anniversary of his death, celebrated English composer Benjamin Britten’s second quartet is a work of startling originality, surely one of the most important string quartets of the 20th century (Kai Christiansen,

Siún Milne, violin
Siún studied the violin with Ruxandra Colan-Petcu at CIT Cork School of Music before completing her BMus degree on scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Maurice Hasson and Mateja Marinkovic.
Siún is a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and has performed with a variety of ensembles throughout her career including the Irish Chamber Orchestra, The Vanbrugh and Callino String Quartet, Aurora Orchestra, Hebrides Ensemble and Scottish Ensemble. She recently performed Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Siún has participated in masterclasses with Gerhard Schulz at IMS Prussia Cove, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Sylvia Rosenberg and Rachel Podger. As a part of Ólafur Arnald’s string quartet, Siún performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Cross-Linx Festival, Volksbühne Berlin and has toured the UK with Arnald’s soundtrack for “Broadchurch”. She has performed with a diverse range of artists including Mícheál O Suilleabháin, Sam Amidon, Frankie Gavin, singer-songwriter Rumer on BBC’s Later with Jools Holland, Loah at the National Concert Hall and Efterklang.

Molly O’Shea, violin
Molly O’Shea is a violinist, 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.
During her studies, Molly has been a prizewinner in multiple competitions both locally and 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 5 young musicians to take part in the University Concert Hall’s Rising Stars Concert in Limerick. She has been a member of the First Violin section of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland since March 2020 while also maintaining a varied freelance career.
Molly is an avid chamber musician. With the Inis quartet, Molly was invited to participate in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival masterclasses in summer 2023, taking masterclasses with the Armida Quartet, the Pacifica Quarter and the Ardeo Quartet. She was selected to participate in the Chamber Music Gathering 2019 in the National Concert Hall. In November 2018, Molly was selected to perform at the Philharmonie de Liege as part of a Young Chamber Musicians Programme.

Ali Comerford, viola
Ali Comerford is an Irish musician, born and raised in Kilkenny. She completed her Masters in Viola Performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York after gaining a full scholarship to study with Patinka Kopec. During her time there, she won the Fuchs Chamber Music Prize, and the Hindemith Viola Competition, and also played as principal violist under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. After graduating in 2017, Ali performed as a freelance musician in New York and played as principal violist with The New York Chamber Music Players, The Handel Festival Orchestra and TENYC, with whom she premiered works at Carnegie Hall, all while holding a Fellowship at the International House NY. Ali then won a position with Lincoln Center Stage and spent time traveling the world as a chamber musician and soloist, most notably to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Alaska. In 2023 Ali was awarded the Resonate Residency for the National Opera House. She performs consistently with the National Symphony Orchestra and enjoys a varied freelance career. Ali also holds a Masters in Violin Performance from the Royal College of Music in London and a Bachelor of Music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Yseult Cooper-Stockdale, cello
Yseult enjoys a varied career, performing with every professional orchestra in the ROI, while also specializing in experimental performance.
Favouring more intimate ensembles, she is highly regarded as a chamber musician and collaborator. ’22 / ’23 projects included the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (Crash and Kirkos), and tours with Spero Quartet, Vanbrugh, Evlana, Ficino Ensemble, The Quiet Music Ensemble, BellX1, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. She was also Arts Council funded to co-write and perform a large-scale cross-disciplinary work, and received an Agility Award to expand her knowledge of historically-informed performance. Improvisation collaborators include Lina Andonovska, Nick Roth and Andy Ingamells.