The best classical music gigs happening this week

Francesco Cilluffo brings an all-Russian night to Dublin while Beethoven hits Galway

Wednesday, 15th

RTÉ Concert Orchestra/Francesco Cilluffo
National Concert Hall, Dublin

Italian conductor Francesco Cilluffo, recently appointed principal guest conductor of Wexford Festival Opera, has picked some attractive, low-lying fruit for his first concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

It’s an all-Russian evening, opening with the fizz of Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla Overture, and following with two of Prokofiev’s most delectable works, the suite from Aleksandr Faintsimmer’s 1934 comic film, Lieutenant Kijé, and ending with selections from the ballet Romeo and Juliet, which dates from the following year.

Friday, 17th

Midwinter Festival: Beethoven
Galway, Town Hall Theatre, until Sunday


The 2020 celebrations of Galway as European Capital of Culture don’t officially get underway until February.

Even the lone sheep from the image on Galway 2020’s home webpage knows that the year starts in January. Music for Galway certainly does and there’s a three-day, Beethoven-themed Midwinter Festival to prove it.

Friday has string quartets and the Septet from the ConTempo Quartet and friends. Saturday brings French pianist Cédric Tiberghien in solo piano works and the Piano and Wind Quintet. And Sunday afternoon has Tiberghien teaming up with Russian violinist for violin sonatas and variations.

Everything is from the composer's early period, the earliest work (Variations on Se vuol ballare) completed when he was 22, the latest (the Kreutzer Sonata) when he was 32. There are free talks by Richard Wigmore on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.