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Ortús Chamber Music Festival 2019 1st – 3rd March 2019



The Ortús Chamber Music Festival 2019  will afford audiences a rare opportunity to hear a performance of Messiaen’s seminal Quartet for the End ofTime. It will be the final piece performed by Michael McHale on Piano, Jessie Grimes on Clarinet, Patrick Rafter on Violin and Ortús Co Artistic Director, Sinéad O’Halloran on Cello at First Fruits Arts Centre in Watergrasshill in Co. Cork on Saturday March 2nd at 8pm.  The forth year of this increasingly prestigious festival, other venues include the Aula Maxima in UCC,  Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh and CIT Cork School of Music.

Oliver Messiaen was one of the major composers of the 20th Century who was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II. The wit and beauty of hisQuartet for the End of Time belies the fact that it was composed and performed for the first time while he was a prisioner. Messiaen himself played the piano with clarinetist Henri Akoka later recalling “people listened raptly with thoughts turning inward, even those who may have been listening to chamber music for the first time.” The concert took place on January 15th, 1940,  when it was bitterly cold, outside the hut there was snow on the ground, but the audience drew warmth from the music.

Co Artisic Director, Mairéad Hickey, will perform with William Hagen on violin, Timothy Ridout, viola, Ella van Poucke, cello and Michael McHale on piano at the opening concert on Friday March 1st at 8pm in the Aula Maxima in University College, Cork, where they will perform the Dohnanyi piano quintet no.1 in C minor Op.1 and the Schumann piano quintet in E flat major.

In the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh at 2pm on Saturday, March 2nd, the programme includes Sean Doherty’s No Go for Uilleann Pipes and String Quartet and the final concert for the 2019 Ortús Chamber Music Concert in CIT Cork School of Music Curtis Auditorium at 3pm on Sunday, March 3rd  will feature works by Stravinsky, Hans Gal and Brahms.

Mairéad and Sinéad have, once again, brought some of the most talented musicians of their generation to perform in Cork and programmed an event with broad appeal.  The Ortús Chamber Music Festival 2019 delivers at every level and should not be missed.

Tickets are available on, at Pro Musica in Cork City, or at the door. Ortús Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, and all other supporters and friends.

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