First Ever Chamber Music Festival in Westport

Being held in two beautiful venues – Westport House and Holy Trinity Church

Chamber Music Festival held in Westport House and Holy Trinity over the weekend of the 6th September 2013

The first Westport Festival of Chamber Music will be held on 6-8 September 2013. Both Westport House and Holy Trinity Church are perfect venues for classical music performances, providing a most appropriate setting for a music festival in the picturesque historic town of Westport, this first festival will have Irish musicians, who are highly successful on the international stage, performing in various small ensemble arrangements. Violinist Catherine Leonard and pianist Hugh Tinney are the artistic directors and they will be joined by the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet and guitarist Redmond O’Toole. Starting on the Friday night the Leonard and Tinney Duo will open the festival with Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, the RTE Vanbrugh Quartet will play Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet with Redmond O’Toole and Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet with Hugh Tinney. In Holy Trinity Church on Saturday evening, the Duo will perform Sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms and the second half of the concert will be devoted to a tribute to Fritz Kreisler including many of the musicians’ favourites. On Sunday afternoon members of the Quartet will join the Duo in duos and trios by Mozart and Brahms. There will be an annual Invitation concert for young musicians and this year violinist Mairead Hickey and pianist Gary Beecher from Cork have been selected by the artistic directors. They will play works by Schumann, Sarasate and Debussy in Holy Trinity Church on Saturday at noon.

Catherine Leonard and Hugh Tinney have given recitals in Holy Trinity Church over the past few years and are delighted with the prospect of being joined by their guest musicians in the Chamber Music Festival, such an appropriate venue for music, as well as in the majestic Westport House, host venue to the Westport Music and Food Festival on the 28th & 29th June 2014. They are regarded as Ireland’s foremost violin and piano duo, performing together in Ireland and internationally since 1999. Pianist Hugh Tinney says: “I’m looking forward hugely to this opportunity to bring wonderful chamber music to the beautiful settings of Westport, where the entrancing sounds of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms in live performances can add to the wide range of arts and activities available to residents and visitors alike”.

Catherine has been Principal Artist of Camerata Pacifica in California for the past nine years as well as performing as soloist with many top orchestras. Since winning major international piano competitions in Italy and Spain, Hugh Tinney has performed in more than 40 countries. Also winners of a major competition, the London International String Quartet Competition in 1988, the RTE Vanbrugh Quartet perform around the world as well as being resident quartet for RTÉ and in University College Cork. Redmond O’Toole is an unusual classical guitarist, with an 8-string guitar which he plays in the cello position.

Neil Mooney, Westport Chamber Music Festival Chair says “The committee is enjoying great support and encouragement from other arts local arts organisations and we anticipate a big welcome from music lovers for this addition to the music calendar in Ireland.”

The Westport Chamber Music Festival is grant aided by The Arts Council and Westport Town Council. Patronage and donations will also play a significant part in establishing and continuing a world-class chamber music festival. Full details and on-line booking are available on or from the Festival Manager, Madeleine Flanagan at

Tickets are available to personal callers in the Clew Bay Hotel.

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