Music in Monkstown is the brain-child of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra's principal clarinetist and Monkstown resident John Finucane, supported by other enthusiastic local music lovers. After three incredibly successful years, MIM will back from 8 - 10 September 2017 for its fourth festival.
Our aim has always been to offer to the people of Monkstown and surrounding areas chamber music of the highest international standard and this year is no exception. Five fantastic concerts, each with a different outlook on the world of music and each one brought to your doorstep!
Music in Monkstown is not simply a three-day festival in September. It aims to provide an ongoing programme of outstanding quality chamber music concerts in Monkstown throughout the year. 2017 kicked off with a concert of music for harp, viola, flute and clarinet on May 21st, featuring the world premiere of Irish composer Ina Boyle's Three Ancient Irish Poems.
Music in Monkstown is grateful to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Arts Council for their invaluable ongoing support.
Monkstown is one of the loveliest remaining villages in the Dublin area, with many amenities to hand. It has plenty of appealing shops, good places to eat and drink and the ambiance is one of relaxed elegance. Already a popular venue for classical music concerts, we are delighted to bring Monkstown its very own music festival.
Monkstown Parish Church
The venue for all our Music in Monkstown concerts, Monkstown Parish Church was redesigned by the prolific 19th century church architect John Semple, who also created the Mansion House's Round Room in Dublin city centre. The church was a particular favourite of Sir John Betjeman, the British Poet Laureate and church historian who served as Press Attache with the Britisch Embassy in Dublin in the early 1940s. For him Monkstown Parish Chruch, which he visited frequently when staying with Gate Theatre founder Lady Wicklow who lived nearby, was on of the best examples of Semple's work around the city's suburbs.
Belfast-born Michael McHale has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading pianists and has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.
He has performed as a soloist with the Minnesota, Hallé, Moscow Symphony and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, the London Mozart Players, and all five of the major Irish orchestras, and performed at the Tanglewood Festival, Wigmore Hall, London, Berlin Konzerthaus, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Lincoln Center, New York, Symphony Hall, Boston and Pesti Vigadó in Budapest. 2016/17 performances include concerto performances with the City of London Sinfonia and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Florida, and a début concert at the Tokyo Spring Festival. Future engagements include a début in the Dublin National Concert Hall's International Concert Series performing the Schumann Concerto with the City of London Sinfonia.
His critically acclaimed solo album, The Irish Piano, was released in 2012 by RTÉ lyric fm and selected as ‘CD of the Week’ by the critic Norman Lebrecht. More recent solo releases include Schubert: Four Impromptus on Ergodos, Miniatures and Modulations on Grand Piano, and a first orchestral album, Irish Piano Concertos, featuring works by John Field and Philip Hammond with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Courtney Lewis, supported by a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His discography also includes releases on Delos, Nimbus Alliance, Champs Hill, Lorelt, Louth CMS and six duo recital albums on Chandos with clarinettist Michael Collins. Upcoming projects include a recording of Strauss’s ‘Burleske’ with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Chandos, and a first album with the McGill/McHale Trio on the Cedille label, featuring world premiere recordings and special narrations by Mahershala Ali.
Winner of the Terence Judd / Hallé Award in 2009, Michael was also awarded the Brennan and Field Prizes at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, the 2005 Camerata Ireland/Accenture Award, and in 2016 a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, and his teachers and mentors include John O’Conor, Réamonn Keary, Christopher Elton, Ronan O’Hora and Barry Douglas.
Michael collaborates regularly with Sir James Galway, Michael Collins, Patricia Rozario, Dame Felicity Lott, the McGill/McHale Trio and Camerata Pacifica.
Eimear McCarthy Luddy
Eimear McCarthy Luddy is a Dublin born mezzo-soprano currently studying her Masters in Music Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the tutelage of Owen Gilhooly. She was awarded distinction in her Diploma in Music Teaching and Performance (RIAM), in addition to a Diploma in Community and Group Music Teaching (RIAM) and a Bachelor of Music majoring in vocal performance (University of Birmingham). In 2016 she was awarded second prize in the Irene Sandford Award for Singers at the RIAM, as well as the Canon McLoughlin Cup and the W.P. Gilbert Cup at Sligo Feis Ceoil. She was also awarded a place in the Young Musicians Programme at Clandeboye Festival with Camerata Ireland. She engaged in regular solo and chamber recitals during her term as Resident Artist with the Vivre Musicale chamber collective, in addition to a performance in Dublin Castle with the RIAM Chamber Orchestra to celebrate the Dublin City of Literature Festival. Her operatic roles at the RIAM include Mrs. Beane in Siobhán Cleary’s Vampirella, Mistress of the Novices in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Il Destino in Cavalli's L'Ormindo, and Grasshopper/Hen in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen.
Clodagh Kinsella is currentlystudying for a B.A. in Vocal studies in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is studying with Lynda Lee and repetiteurs Dearbhla Collins and Andrew Synnott.
Concert appearances include Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Britten’s War Requiem, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore with RIAM Chorale. Solo concert appearances include Haydn’s Stabat Mater, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Clodagh is a multiple prize winner in both Sligo Feis Ceoil , Arklow Feis Ceoil and the ESB Electric Ireland Feis Ceoil. She has sung in lunchtime and evening recitals in Dublin, Drogheda and Wexford, and she has performed at various venues across Ireland including The Round Room at the Mansion House, Trinity Chapel, the National Concert Hall, The National Opera House, Jerome Hynes Theatre, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral.
Clodagh has performed with numerous societies as a soloist such as Carlow Choral Society, Enniscorthy Choral Society, Bray Choral Society and Wicklow Choral Society, just to name a few.
Operatic Roles include Second Soprano in Tirsi e Clori, Monteverdi(RIAM), Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflote, Mozart (RIAM) and Enfant in Werther, Massenet (Opera in the open). She has also participated in masterclasses with Ann Murray, conductor Roy Laughlin and Soprano Susan Bullock.
Dana Tanase started her music studies in Romania, Bucharest at the age of 15 years old in the National College of Music,George Enescu. She is currently studying Vocal Studies with Kathleen Tynan in her second year of her degree course at The Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Competition prizes include RIAM “The Best Vocalist” of the year and “Young Musician of the year” trophy at the Malahide Competition, in April 2014. And First prize, “The Ruth Beare Perpetual Cup” at The Vocal Adult Classical Competition and “Newpark Music Festival Senior Perpetual Trophy” at The Newpark Festival in Dublin, May 2014.
In Bucharest she has performed concerts in venues such as the Romanian Athenaeum, Operetta and Musical Theater “Ion Dacian” and many others.
She has performed and toured across Europe including recitals in Paris (2010), at the Romanian Embassy, Venice (2009) at The Military Centre, Bruxelles (2010) at The Romanain Embassy. Tours in the south of Italy, in the summers of 2010, 2012, 2013.
She has performed as a soloist with Orchestra in 2011 at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest with the George Enescu College Orchestra, conducted by Eugen Popovici.
A former organ scholar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College Dublin, David Adams studied in Freiburg (with Ludwig Doerr) and Amsterdam (with Piet Kee and Ewald Kooiman), winning prizes at international competitions in Speyer, Lüneburg, Dublin and Bruges.
Since his début recital at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, at the age of 16, he has performed throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe, and is a regular guest at major international festivals. He regularly appears with all the Irish orchestras and is much in demand as an ensemble player in the fields of early and contemporary music. As a conductor he has worked with the Ulster Orchestra, English Touring Opera, Opera Theatre Company, the Orchestra of St Cecilia and the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He has premièred many new works including numerous compositions written specially for him. In addition to solo organ CDs recorded on the organs of Trinity College and the National Concert Hall Dublin, he has recorded for Naxos, Black Box and Wergo.
David Adams has taught at conservatories in Freiburg, Berlin and The Hague, and at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and Trinity College Dublin, and now lectures at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He gives masterclasses and lectures at home and abroad, and has been a juror for many national and international competitions. In 2007 he was awarded a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam for his work on Max Reger and Karl Straube. David is organist of Christ Church Taney and St. Nahi’s in Dublin.
PALESTRINA BOYS CHOIR
The Palestrina Choir had its origins in a boys’ choir formed in the 1890’s by Dr. Vincent O’Brien, then a music teacher at St. Mary’s Place Christian Brothers School in Dublin. It was at a performance of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli at St. Teresa’s Carmelite Church in Clarendon Street in 1898 that this choir, and its gifted director, first came to the attention of Edward Martyn.
Martyn was born to a family of Catholic landed gentry in Tulira Castle, Co.Galway in 1859. He was educated in Belvedere College, Dublin, Beaumont College, Windsor and Christ Church, Oxford. He is perhaps better known for his involvement in the Irish Literary Theatre, later to become the Abbey Theatre, which he co-founded in 1898 with W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and George Moore. However, his interest in establishing a national theatre was matched, if not exceeded, by his interest in the reform of liturgical music in Ireland. During his university days, he traveled extensively in Europe, where he was struck by the quality of the choirs he heard in the great cathedrals there. He was determined that the Catholic Church in Ireland should have music of an equivalent standard.
In particular, he wished to promote the music of Palestrina which was espoused by Pope Pius X as a standard to which liturgical music should aspire. Between 1898 and 1902, Martyn worked tirelessly to establish the choir at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, offering an endowment of £10,000 (in current terms about £800,000) on condition that Dr. O’Brien was appointed choirmaster. The agreement was signed on November 26th, 1902, and the Palestrina Choir was constituted and installed in the Pro-Cathedral on January 1st, 1903.
In the century since its foundation, the Choir has had seven Directors. Dr. Vincent O’Brien, director until his death in 1948, was succeeded by his son, Oliver. In 1978, Fr. Seán O hEarcaigh took over the baton from Oliver O’Brien. He was succeeded in 1982, by Ms. Ite O’Donovan and in 1996 by Comdt. Joseph Ryan. Ms. Órla Barry was then director for five years before being succeeded in 2002 by the current director, Ms. Blánaid Murphy.
The RTE ConTempo Quartet
The RTE Contempo Quartet is currently Irelands National Television & Radio Broadcasters Quartet in Residence and is also the resident quartet on the West Coast of Ireland in the Galway Music Residency. Praised as a “fabulous foursome” (Irish Independent) and noted for performances which are “exceptional” (The Strad) and “full of imaginative daring” (The Irish Times), RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has forged a unique place in Irish musical life.
Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the quartet has performed more than 1,800 concerts world-wide in 46 countries, including prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall; Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; St Martin-in-the-Fields; Berliner Philharmonie; Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome; Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. ConTempo have had the honour to meet and play in front of world personalities such as Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, EU Ministers, Michael D. Higgins, Hollywood stars and Nobel Prize winners. The ensemble has won a record of 14 international prizes (including Munich, Rome, Berlin, Prague and London) and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. Collaborations with other distinguished quartets have also been a feature, such as the Amadeus, Arditti, Vanbrugh, Casals and Endellion.
Clarinettist John Finucane, who has been Principal Clarinet with Ireland’s RTE National Symphony Orchestra since 1995, has also had an active career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor in Ireland and abroad. Described by Gramophone magazine as ‘an outstanding virtuoso’, on the release of his CD “Clarinet Variations,” he has worked with the Ulysses Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Irish Film Orchestras. He has appeared regularly on radio and on television programmes, including RTE’s The Symphony Sessions and Britain’s The South Bank Show. He has a particular affinity to chamber music and has worked with many groups, including the Ysaye, the Navarra and the Vanbrugh Quartets.
John Finucane is also a conductor of note, having studied with Janus Furst and Albert Rosen amongst others, and has regularly conducted the highly regarded RTE Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and Opera Theatre Company. He was one of the founders of the Dublin Chamber Orchestra and has been the Musical Director of the Hibernian Orchestra for nearly thirty years. Despite his hugely busy life as a performing artist and conductor, John has found the time to join the faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. His many tours have included China, as a soloist as well as with the National Chamber Ensemble of Ireland and Academy Chamber Ensemble performing to sell-out audiences. John recently finished conducting the music for a forthcoming film, Storm in the Stars – with music by Amelia Warner, arranged and orchestrated by Nathan Klein, and recorded in Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. This follows conducting the music for a John Boorman film called “In My Country” in 2004.
He is a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.
Since winning first prize at the Tomassoni International Piano Competition, Cologne in 2001, Lance Coburn has performed in Austria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Israel, Russia, United States, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Korea as both concerto soloist and recitalist.
He has performed with the Central Florida , the Israel and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the RTE National Symphony and Hibernian Orchestras in Dublin, and most other Australian Orchestras. With the WDR – Cologne Orchestra, one critic described his performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto thus: “Coburn approached the grandiose work….with the vigour of a classically-inspired artist”.
In the Bonn International Beethoven Festival, critics described his five-sonata recital as – “refreshing….uncompromising….unacademic….” In the Accademia Filharmonica Concert Series – Verona , Italy – the critics said – “Coburn’s piano playing is characterised by an undoubted technical mastery…[which]…allowed us to experience precious moments of tonal exploration”.
Blessed with a dazzling technique and innate musicianship, and a charismatic performance flair, Lance also broadcasts frequently for radio Deutsche Welle, BBC Radio 3, Lyric fm ( Ireland ) and ABC FM ( Australia ).
He has given master classes for music festivals in Australia, in the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide and in the Tyalgum Festival in Queensland. In 2006 he presented a lecture recital in Dublin ’s Royal Irish Academy of Music on Carl Vine’s solo piano works, a composer whose works he has a close affinity with.
Lance has also been the recipient of many other first prizes, including the Hephizibah Menuhin Scholarship, the inaugural Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, and the Australian Young Performers’ Award (Keyboard Section), culminating in a performance of Liszt’s 1st Piano Concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, in the Sydney Opera House, which was also broadcast live across Australia on ABC Television.
Beginning his studies in his homeland of New Zealand, Lance furthered them in Australia, the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire – Moscow and finally with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
He enjoys an active freelance career as a solo performer, chamber musician and accompanist. He is also a full-time staff member of the keyboard faculty in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Lance lives in Dublin with his wife and two children.
May 2017 Concert Performers
LISA DOWDALL, viola
Having studied in the UK, Holland, Limerick and Switzerland, Lisa Dowdall has returned to her hometown of Dublin to join the revolution in changing the attitude towards classical music in Ireland. It all began for Lisa when she first performed with the Crash Ensemble in its US Debut in 2007 in Merkin Hall. She became excited by the musical ethos behind Crash and the relentless enthusiasm of its members towards the music. The energy of the ensemble and its audience opened up a new philosophy to Lisa in how to present concerts. Lisa has since set up the Irish Chamber Music Society to spread this idea of chamber music throughout Ireland in all its forms from early music throughclassical to hardcore contemporary, experimenting with new musical genres, art forms and venues.
Lisa’s teachers have included Roger Bigley at the Royal Northern College of Music, Marjolein Dispa at the Amsterdam Conservatorium, Bruno Giuranna at the University of Limerick and the Conservatorio Svizzerra Italiana with masterclasses from Yuri Bashmet, Nobuko Imai, Thomas Reibl, Isabel Charisius and Milan Skampa. She is a string resident at the Britten Pears Programme in where sheis generously supported by ‘Aldeburgh Residencies’. Lisa plays a 1820 John Furber Viola which she was able to buy after receiving bursaries from Musician’s Benevolent Fund, the Kathleen Trust and the Lynn Foundation. Lisa also plays with two bows by modern Irish makers, Noel Burke and Robert Pierce.
Lynda Lee, soprano
The Irish soprano (and mezzo-soprano), Lynda Lee, studied singing with Dr Veronica Dunne in Dublin. During her studies she was recipient of many national vocal awards and she was also a prizewinner at the International Belvedere Competition in Vienna. In 1993 she represented Northern Ireland in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She was a prize-winner at the International Belvedere Competition in Vienna.
Lynda Lee made her professional début with Opera Theatre Company in 1992 singing the role of Irene in George Frideric Handel‘s Tamerlano. She went on to perform with all the Irish opera companies and she performs regularly with the RTÉ orchestras in a wide variety of repertoire. In 1997 she was invited to perform the title role in G F Handel‘s Agrippina at the Händel Festival in Karlsruhe. She was subsequently invited to perform many other G F Handel roles at the Halle Händel Festival for which she received two awards for “Performance of the Year” from the international opera magazine, Opernwelt.
Lynda Lee spent three years, from 1998 to 2001, on contract with Oper Leipzig. She performed there the roles of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Elizabeth (Tannhäuser), First Lady (The Magic Flute) and the title role in Robert Schumann‘s Genoveva. During this time she continued to perform a variety of oratorio and concert repertoire at the Dresden Festival and the Philharmonie in Berlin. She has also sung with Wexford Festival Opera, Opera Ireland, Opera Northern Ireland and Opera Theatre Company. In 2001 she returned to Ireland to sing the title role in Erismena (Cavalli) for Opera Theatre Company. The production was subsequently invited to the Buxton Festival, the City of London Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival. In Februarty 2003 Lynda performed Alban Berg‘s Seven Early Songs with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, as part of the RTÉ Music Division’s Second Viennese School Weekend.
Lynda Lee’s commercial recordings include G F Handel's Messiah with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Bach’s St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) in the acclaimed Jonathan Miller dramatisation, The Irish Ring for Naxos and The Children of Lir (Cassidy) with the London Symphony Orchestra
“A lush fruity voice, formidable technique and an imposing actress. She rightly dominated the opera with her virtuoso performance”. Opera Magazine
Andreja MALIR, harp
Andreja began her studies with Sheila Larchet-Cuthbert before going on to study at the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands with Edward Witsenburg. She has been Principal Harpist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra since 1988 (one of the youngest ever to be appointed). Throughout her career Andreja has enjoyed considerable success in the fields of solo, chamber and concerto performances both at home and internationally, throughout Europe, America & China Her most favourite musical memory to date wasstepping in at short notice to perform Scheherazade with the Kirov Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.
More recently Andreja completed an accredited course from U.C.L.A. through screen training Ireland in Film Scoring and recorded an album of some of her own works and traditional melodies for harp and orchestra ‘Through the Mirror of Sound’. Subsequently she was commissioned by RTE lyric fm to compose a song cycle for soprano and harp on a setting of poems by W.B. Yeats.
BILL DOWDALL, FLUTE
Dublin born William Dowdall, one of Ireland’s leading musicians, combines a busy career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher.
He trained in Cleveland, Ohio, where his teachers included Maurice Sharp of the Cleveland Orchestra, and his interest in new music was sparked by Donald Erb, composer in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music. On returning to Ireland at the age of 21 he was appointed principal flute of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. From 1979 to 2004 he was principal flute of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed professor of flute at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2004.
He has given over 50 solo performances with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and Irish Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared at all the major festivals in Ireland.
He has been a member of the Daedalus Wind Quintet, Ulysses Ensemble, and the Ulysses Wind Quintet which was a prize-winner in the Colmar International Chamber Music Competition in 1980. As a chamber musician he has also guested with the RTÉ Vanbrugh and Parisii string quartets.
Solo performances abroad have taken him around Europe, and to the USA, China, and New Zealand, and Australia. His work has been broadcast extensively by the Irish public service broadcaster, RTÉ, and he has also broadcast on BBC radio and television, Australian Television, and Shanghai Radio.
In addition to a wide ranging repertoire, his interest in contemporary music led him to develop a workshop based on contemporary solo flute music by Irish composers, which has been presented in Europe, United States, New Zealand, and Australia to considerable acclaim. He has introduced Irish audiences to new works from the international repertoire, and has actively promoted the music of Irish composers abroad. Many Irish composers have written works for him and he premiered a new work by John Buckley for flute and orchestra with the RTÉ NSO and toured with it around Ireland in 2006 and performed it again with the NSO in January 2009.
In the last two years alone he has given 8 world premieres of works by Irish composers and has espoused the flute music of composers such as Bernstein, Boulez, Takemitsu, Henze, Varèse, and Maxwell Davies in Ireland. He recently gave the Irish premiere of Takemitsu’s “I Can Hear the Water Dreaming” with the RTÉ NSO.
As a solo artist he has made critically-acclaimed recordings for Goasco, Naxos, Marco Polo, Black Box, and Celestial Harmonies labels and is currently involved in a project with Atoll Records to record Irish and New Zealand works for solo flute and flute and electronics.
He plays on a platinum flute by Brannen, a wooden flute by Abell, a Louis Lot dated 1891 and an alto flute by Eva Kingma.
Clarinettist John Finucane is the founder and director of Music In Monkstown.
John, who has been Principal Clarinet with Ireland's RTE National Symphony Orchestra since 1995, has also had an active career as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor in Ireland and abroad. Described by Gramophone magazine as 'an outstanding virtuoso', he has also worked with the Ulysses Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Irish Film Orchestras. He has appeared regularly on radio and on television programmes, including RTE's The Symphony Sessions and Britain's The South Bank Show. He has a particular affinity to chamber music and has worked with many groups, including the Ysaye, the Navarra and the Vanbrugh Quartets.
John Finucane is also a conductor of note, having studied with Janus Furst and Albert Rosen amongst others, and has regularly conducted the highly regarded RTE Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and Opera Theatre Company. He was one of the founders of the Dublin Chamber Orchestra and has been the Musical Director of the Hibernian Orchestra for nearly thirty years. Despite his hugely busy life as a performing artist and conductor, John has found the time to join the faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. His many tours have included China as a soloist as well as with the National Chamber Ensemble of Ireland and Academy Chamber Ensemble performing to sell-out audiences.
He is a D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist