Stunning line up for The Barrow River Arts Festival

Founded and curated by long time Irish residents, Swiss violinist Maya Homburger and English bass player Barry Guy, the Barrow River Arts Festival presents is a weekend of classical music, improvisations, theatre, poetry and visual art in two beautiful settings along the River Barrow.

Founded and curated by long time Irish residents, Swiss violinist Maya Homburger and English bass player Barry Guy, the Barrow River Arts Festival presents is a weekend of classical music, improvisations, theatre, poetry and visual art in two beautiful settings along the River Barrow.

The opening concert of the 2013 Barrow River Arts Festival is on Friday, April 19 at 8.30pm in the early 13th century Duiske Abbey in Graiguenamanagh with the vocal group The Hilliard Ensemble performing a programme entitled “Memoria Italiana” - settings of texts by Dante and Petrarch by composers such as Cipriano de Rore and Dufay.

From Duiske Abbey the festival moves to the ancestral home of the Kings of Leinster - Borris House, Co. Carlow where, at 3.30pm on Saturday, April 20 the world renowned Swiss cellist Thomas Demenga performs two Bach solo suites and his own composition “EFEU ”. Two more Swiss musicians appear at the Festival on Saturday afternoon with Barry Guy – pianist Katharina Weber and percussionist Balts Nill.

This ‘Hommage à Györgi Kurtág’ is an opportunity to hear original compositions Játékok (Fun & Games) by Hungary’s greatest living composer alongside improvisations based on these works from the Weber/Nill/Guy trio. At 8.30 pm Saturday’s programme finishes in

the ballroom of Borris House with Conor Lovett presenting his masterful interpretation of Molloy by Samuel Beckett.

A second appearance of the Hilliard Ensemble takes place on Sunday 21 April in an afternoon concert with the Homburger/Guy Duo in works by Dunstable, Janequin, Castello, Biber and Guy. Later on Sunday evening at 7pm the international award-winning ensemble Camerata Kilkenny performs J.S. Bach’s harpsichord concerto in D minor with Malcolm Proud and C.Ph.E. Bach’s virtuosic cello concerto in A major with Thomas Demenga.

After the concert Malcolm Proud’s latest CD (J.S. Bach’s six Partitas for Harpsichord) on the Maya Recordings label will be launched by the distinguished Irish composer Gerald Barry.

On Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm the Festival pays tribute to the late poet Dennis O’Driscoll with readings of his poems by Marcella Riordan and contributions by Dennis’ brother Declan and fellow poet and friend Peter Sirr.

Throughout the Festival an exhibition of recent works on paper by the celebrated Irish painter Hughie O’Donoghue will be on view in the ballroom of Borris House.

For more information call 059 917 2400 or see www.gbshawtheatre.ie

The Festival is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, The Embassy of Switzerland in Ireland, the E.U. Presidency Cultural Programme, RTE and Markant-Stiftung (Switzerland)