This year the Piano Festival will be from September 22nd – 25th, the last complete weekend in September. Consequently this year it is rather earlier than usual so mark the date now!
The official launch took place on August 16th at 6.30pm at the Dunbrody Visitor Centre and on the ship. The guest speaker this year was Brendan Howlin, TD. Finghin Collins and Emily Crowley played the grand piano, and the summer sun shone down on all who came to enjoy the evening.
“…a little gem…”, “…innovative planning…”, “…atmospheric charm…”, “attractive acoustic…” Some of the reviewers’ comments about the festival
And then there are the pianists – Cristina Ortiz, Freddy Kempf, Melvyn Tan, Norika Ogawa, Lisa de la Salle, Sunwook Kim, Joseph Moog, Lilya Zilberstein, Kathryn Stott, and Cedric Pescia are amongst the 45 international stars audiences have had the pleasure of listening to over the past ten years.
For the 11th piano festival the concerts will feature leading international pianists Nicholas Angelich and Piers Lane who will join Artistic Director Finghin Collins for the three main concerts. There will be piano quintets with the outstanding Ebène Quartet from France for performances of glorious music by César Franck, Robert Schumann and Gabriel Fauré. The coffee concerts will be given by two distinguished younger pianists: the French Nathalia Milstein, the first female winner of the Dublin International Piano Competition (2015) and New Ross rising star Jonathan Morris. Natalia and Jonathan will also pair up for a delightful late-night programme of French piano duet music.
Throughout the weekend the world premieres of the final five pieces in the Ros Tapestry Suite will take place, bringing to a close the ambitious three-year project which has seen the commissioning of fifteen Irish composers to respond to the 15 panels of the amazing Ros Tapestry in music. The composers this year are Raymond Deane, Philip Martin, Grainne Mulvey, Marian Ingoldsby and Garrett Sholdice.
On Friday the renowned jazz pianist, Phil Ware, will be in town with bass player Damien Evans, and will give short recitals in unusual venues, such as the Dunbrody Cafe and the library. A similar pattern will take place on Saturday with Patrick Molitor, who has been influential in preparing students for entry into the degrees in jazz piano that are now available in Ireland.
There will be the usual outreach sessions with students of all levels, and the placing of “Play Me” pianos in unusual venues for the public to play whenever they feel like it.
This is very much a niche festival for lovers of the piano and its fantastic repertoire in a small-town intimate atmosphere in a lovely part of Ireland – forty five minutes from the Rosslare Ferry Port, and two hours from Dublin Airport.