Audiences set to be wowed by world-class pianists at New Ro…


The New Ross Piano Festival will play host to some world-class pianists from September 20 to 24 at St Mary’s Church.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival promises to be the Irish premiere of a newly-commissioned music inspired by the
Dunbrody Famine Ship.

When it comes to the classical aspect of the piano repertoire, this year there is a lot of Rachmaninov, on the 150th anniversary of his birth. Sergei Rachmaninov was born on April 1 1873 into a family of the Russian aristocracy which had a strong musical tradition.

Interestingly, his paternal grandfather had taken lessons from the Irish composer John Field. He showed precocious musical talent from the age of four, and over his lifetime composed much well-known music.

Lucy Parham is bringing the actor Tim McInnerny to perform Elegie, a musical journey through Rachmaninov’s life and compositions. Readers may know Tim from his appearances in Blackadder and Game of thrones amongst numerous other TV and film roles. One of Britain’s finest pianists, Lucy Parham applies her sensitivity and imagination not only to concertos and recitals, but also to portraits in words and music of such composers as Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and now Rachmaninov.

Cellist Alexander Chaushian will join with Yevgeny Sudbin, who has been hailed as one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century,  to perform Rachmaninov’s Sonata for cello and piano.

In the opening main concert on Friday evening there will be two lovely Rachmaninov works. Cellist Alexander Chaushian will play the Vocalise with Finghin Collins, the Festival Artistic Director. Yumeka Nakagawa, the young winner of the Clara Haskil piano competition, will be joined by Alexander and the violinist Mirijam Contzen to play the Trio Elegiaque, a piece
that is said to be influenced by his admiration of Tchaikovsky.

Another festival highlight is Kit Downes, who is a BBC Jazz Award winning, Mercury Music Award nominated solo recording artist for ECM Records. Kit performs solo pipe organ and solo piano concerts – as well as playing in collaborations with saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, composer Shiva Feshareki, saxophonist Ben van Gelder and with the
band ‘ENEMY’ (with Petter Eldh and James Maddren).

Earlier that day Belfast man, Scott Flanagan will give a lunchtime gig in the church. He will be joined by familiar faces, Dave Redmond on bass and Kevin Brady on drums. Scott will also be playing solo in the Dunbrody at 11 and 3, for two free sessions.
Ellen Jansson is no stranger to New Ross and is one of Ireland’s foremost pianists. Ellen will be speaking and
playing to second level music students and also giving a free public recital on Friday, September 22, at noon.

Canadian Meagan Milatz is coming over to play the Canadian composition about the Dunbrody. She will also play a solo recital on Saturday at noon as well as taking part in each evening concert.
Mirijam Contzen on the violin will join Alexander Chaushian for the usual chamber music element of the Piano Festival.

20 young piano students from the South-East will also perform a concert as part of this year’s festival.



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