Despite the difficulties the recent economic recession presented for voluntary bodies, not least those involved in promoting the arts, Con Brio have managed to bring world class classical music to Sligo each year for the past sixteen years.
On Friday, October 16 they will launch their seventeenth Sligo Music Series which again will comprise a mix of the best of Irish and international ensembles and soloists.
Irish based performers include the Vanbrugh and the RTÉ ConTempo quartets, the Far Flung Trio and a trio comprising soprano Sylvia O’Brien, cellist Christopher Marwood and pianist Michael McHale.
The Far Flung Trio comprise one of the Con Brio audience’s favourite performers – the leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, violinist Katherine Hunka – together with accordionist Dermot Dunne and double bassist Malachy Robinson.
Their eclectic programme will include a Bach sonata, tangos by Ástor Piazzolla, Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 and three pieces associated with Edith Piaf – La Vie en rose, Hymne a L’Amour and L’Accordéoniste.
The critic D de Rosa commented recently that “we have many good trios today, but some are really exceptional. I would like to mention in particular the Trio di Parma, whom I consider the best ensemble in Italy at present”.
They are a past winner of the Abbiati Prize which is awarded by the Italian National Association of Music Critics for best chamber music ensemble as well as having won international competitions in Melbourne, Munich and Lyon. Having given a highly acclaimed recital at the Vogler Spring Festival last year this wonderfully talented group of musicians make a welcome return to Sligo on March 11 next.
One of the highlights of the Sligo Music series each year is the Celebrity Concert. Past Celebrity Concerts have featured classical music superstars such as Tasmin Little, Joanna McGregor, Nikolai Demidenko and François Frédéric Guy.
The Celebrity Concert for the forthcoming season which takes place on April 8 features the mesmerising English violinist Chloë Hanslip.
Born in Guildford, Surrey in 1987 Chloë was a child prodigy. She performed solo at the Purcell Room at the age of four and a year later she performed for Yehudi Menuhin. By the time she was ten she had performed in major concert halls throughout Europe and North America, including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. For her Sligo recital Chloë will be joined by one of Britain’s most respected and versatile pianists, Danny Driver.
Other concerts in the series include a recital by soprano Rachel Croash who will be accompanied by the National Concert Hall’s Rising Star for 2014, pianist Nadene Fiorentini, and an experimental opera “The Last Siren” by former Con Brio programme director, composer Ian Wilson. Inspired by the Greek story of the Sirens, Ian’s one singer opera explores the themes of isolation, loss and the line between memory and delusion.
The Series opens with a concert by The Vanbrugh Quartet on Friday, October 16.
The concert takes place in The Model and tickets which cost €20 (students €10 on the night) can be obtained from The Model, phone (071) 914 1405 or online at www.themodel.ie