Cellist Norah O’Leary from Ensemble Dagda with students from St Brendan’s NS Bantry at the launch of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry, Co Cork. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Mairéad Hickey, Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey: I play trad as well, so that has given me a slightly different, more open outlook on music (...)

Benjamin Hulett: soloist sounded at all times as if he owned the music.

The Irish public, it seems, can never get enough of Handel’s Messiah. It’s bankable for choral societies at any time of the year, though the tradition(...)

The wonder of Mark Padmore’s singing is not to do with beauty of tone, although there is plenty of that – it’s to do with the pliability of line

The highlights of last week’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival were vocal. And English tenor Mark Padmore was responsible for both: Schubert’s Winter(...)

‘Left Behind’ is a set of songs marking the Rising through poems by Simon O’Connor (above), which imagine 1916 and its fallout through the experiences of the wives of the rebel leaders. Photograph: Eric Luke

The landmark musical celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising was a specially commissioned cantata. Brian Boydell’s A Terrible Beau(...)