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 kicks 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.
May 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