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 Solas Quartet in Rosscarbery

January 19, 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: St. Fachtna's Cathedral, Rosscarbery, P85 C430, 8pm

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


Katherine Hunka, violin
Marja Gaynor, violin
Cian Ó Dúill, viola
Aoife Nic Athlaoich, cello

Matthew Locke – Curtain Tune from The Tempest [1674]
Fanny Mendelssohn – String Quartet in E flat major [1834]
Katherine Hunka – Pass the Hat [2023]
arr. Marja Gaynor – Old Wedding March / Lord Mayo (trad)
Alexander Borodin – String Quartet No.2 in D major [1881]

For their third NSQF tour the Solas Quartet presents two Romantic masterpieces, Fanny Mendelssohn’s elegantly lyrical quartet from 1834, and Borodin’s D major quartet, famous for its Nocturne featured in the 1953 musical Kismet. The concerts open with Matthew Locke’s curtain raiser to a 1674 London production of The Tempest and feature the first performances of a new quartet by Katherine Hunka, a theatrical look at power dynamics within a group.

Katherine Hunka, violin
Born in London, Katherine has been the leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and regularly directs from the leader’s chair. She has toured extensively with the orchestra as soloist and director and in 2020 her solo album with the ICO of Piazzolla and Schubert received glowing reviews. As a guest leader she has visited the Manchester Camerata, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Northern Sinfonia.
Katherine plays a lot of chamber music and is Artistic Director of the Killaloe Music Festival which sees international artists gather in her home village each June. Katherine enjoys performing many styles of music. Her group “The Far Flung Trio” with accordionist Dermot Dunne and bassist Malachy Robinson play across Ireland and the UK, music from Bach to Klezmer. In 2024 they will tour Ireland and the UK to celebrate ten years together.
She is a Lecturer at the MTU Cork School of Music and Artistic Director of ConCorda, a course for young chamber musicians.

Marja Gaynor, violin
Originally from Finland, Marja Gaynor is a Cork-based violinist and viola player. She specialises in Baroque music and is a member of Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny, recording and touring with both groups regularly. She has also performed with Irish Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Marsyas, Dunedin Consort, London Handel Players, King's Consort and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, and plays contemporary music with Dublin Sound Lab. Marja is known as a versatile musician at home in many different styles, a fluent improviser, as well as arranger and curator. Her string arranging credits include Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once, and Marja is also a long time member of the cult band Interference. Upcoming projects include chamber music tours with the Vanbrugh and performing and arranging as a trio with uilleann piper David Power and flamenco guitarist John Walsh. She teaches violin and chamber music in MTU Cork School of Music

Cian Ó Dúill, viola
Cork born viola player Cian Ó Dúill has performed with the Vanbrugh, Carducci and Calino String Quartets, the Fidelio Trio, the Avalon Ensemble, Chroma and the Crash Ensemble. He has played in chamber music recitals with Anthony Marwood, Finghin Collins, Jorg Widmann, Hugh Tinney, Natalie Clein, Howard Shelley, Kirill Troussov, and Patricia Rozario as well as appearing at West Cork, Killaloe, Ortús, Sligo Spring, Kilkenny Arts, Cheltenham, Warwick Arts, Chichester, Aldeburgh, Wye Valley and Kings Lynn Chamber Music Festivals.
Cian was a founder member of both the Regent String Quartet and the Rothko String Trio, played regularly with the Chamber Players and the London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble and is currently a member of the period instrument Giordani String Quartet and Prism Ensemble. Concerto appearances include performances of works by Bach, Telemann, Mozart, Bruch and Hindemith in Ireland, the UK, Spain and Greece.
Cian is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was co-principal viola of the London Mozart Players and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Britten Sinfonia. Cian teaches viola at both the CIT Cork School of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Aoife Nic Athlaoich, cello
Dublin born Aoife Nic Athlaoich enjoys a versatile career performing on both modern and baroque cello. As well as her position as principal cello with the ICO, Aoife is sub principal cellist with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and a co-founder of the Solas String Quartet.|
Aoife has performed at Ireland's leading chamber music festivals and is the former artistic director of the East Cork Early Music Festival.
Aoife studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin before continuing her 3rd level education at the Royal Academy of music and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London for her post graduate studies.
Aoife lives in Cork city where she is a lecturer of cello at the MTU Cork school of Music. Aoife also teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin and on the MA in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick.
Outside of performing and teaching, Aoife enjoys spending free time with her family and dog Marty, she is also an avid all weather sea swimmer.