Great Music in Irish Houses: this week’s classical highlights

Also: Billionaire orchestra Würth Philharmoniker, and Pipeworks at Christ Church

Würth Philharmoniker
NCH, Dublin Tuesday June 12th 8pm €34.50-€69.50

The details of the Würth Philharmoniker's foundation says it all. "The Würth Philharmoniker was formed in 2017 by Reinhold Würth and his wife Carmen, to be resident orchestra of the concert hall within the newly established venue, Carmen Würth Forum." In other words Reinhold Würth is a billionaire with his own concert hall and his own orchestra. The orchestra's Irish debut at the National Concert Hall features Maxim Vengerov as soloist (in Bruch's First Violin Concerto and Saint-Saëns's Introduction and rondo capriccioso, both conducted by Stamatia Karampini) and as a conductor (in Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony). The concert opens with the Overture to Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus.

Great Music in Irish Houses Festival
Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin Tuesday June 12th 7pm; and other venues until Sunday

The Great Music in Irish Houses festival gets under way at the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin with a concert by tenor Robin Tritschler and the Sacconi Quartet. The programme includes works by Haydn and Shostakovich as well as the Irish premiere of Jonathan Dove's In Damascus. Later concerts are by Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe (Rathfarnham Castle, Wednesday 13th, and Irish Waterways Dublin Docklands Office, Saturday 16th) and the Van Kuijk Quartet (National Botanic Gardens, Friday 15th). Clarinettist Carol McGonnell is the festival's busiest performer. She appears with the Modigliani Quartet (Killruddery House, Thursday 14th), teams up with the Van Kuijk and others in a programme that includes Schubert's Octet (Dublin Castle, Saturday 16th) and gives a solo clarinet recital (at the Airbnb International Hub, Hanover Quay on Sunday 17th). The Sunday concert is part of a Dublin Musical Saunter that also includes concerts by soprano Anna Devin and pianist Hugh Tinney.


Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Wednesday June 13th 7.30pm €15/€12; and other venues until Sunday

This year's Pipeworks festival is a celebration of the last 100 years of the French organ and choral tradition. It opens with a Debussy-related programme at Christ Church Cathedral from David Adams, and continues the Debussy connection at the Unitarian Church on St Stephen's Green on Thursday 14th with a programme involving dancer Emily Kilkenny Roddy with Fergal Caulfield (organ and piano), Martin Johnson (cello) and Adele Johnson (viola). Friday 15th brings the Choir of St Bartholomew's Church under Tristan Russcher and organist Andrew Johnstone to Whitefriar Street Church. Saturday 16th sees the Irish premiere of Thierry Escaich's First Organ Concerto coupled with Saint-Saëns's Organ Symphony from David Leigh and the RTÉ NSO under David Brophy at St Patrick's Cathedral. And the closing concert by Thomas Ospital at St Michael's Church, Dún Laoghaire, adds improvisations to a selection of works by Alain, Purcell, Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor