The best classical performances to see this week

Irish mezzo soprano Tara Erraught comes to the National Concert Hall

Friday 14

Tara Erraught (mezzo soprano), RTÉ NSO/Gavin Maloney
NCH, Dublin, 8pm €20-€45/€18-€40.50
If your pocket stretches you can head abroad to catch Irish mezzo soprano Tara Erraught as Nicklausse in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Met in New York in September and October, in Richard Strauss's Die schweigsame Frau at the Bavarian State Opera in November, or back at the Met as Hansel in Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel in December and January. If it doesn't — and of course even if it does — you can also find her at the National Concert Hall in arias by Mozart, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Bellini and Rossini. The RTÉ NSO is conducted by Gavin Maloney, replacing the advertised Ramón Tebar.

Sunday 16

Ansgar Wallenhorst (organ)
St Michael's Church, Dún Laoghaire 8pm €12 087-9048190
Classical music gets a bad rap when it comes to notions of interpretative freedom and particulary the whole area of improvisation. There is, of course, a lot of contemporary music that embraces improvisation. But it is organists who most frequently choose to display their skills as improvisers.

German organist Ansgar Wallenhorst (above), director of music at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Ratingen, is a prize-winning improviser. At St Michael’s he’s playing works by Bach, Brahms, Grigny, Langlais and Vierne, interleaved with three improvisations, the first a Fantasia and Fugue, the second a Diptyque grégorien, and the last an Esquisse symphonique on submitted themes.

Tuesday 18

David Power, Malcolm Proud
Church of the Assumption, Tullamore 8pm €10
Uilleann piper David Power (below) and harpsichordist and organist Malcolm Proud have become a musical item. Their collaborations cross the musical divide between classical and traditional, with the pipes even venturing into Mozart and Kevin Volans's arrangement of the South African childen's song Umzi watsha (The House is Burning). Power and Proud will be performing at St Michael's Church, Dún Laoghaire on Sunday, August 6th, and at St Canice's Cathedral during Kilkenny Arts Festival on Monday, August 19th.


But they can be heard before then in the Church of the Assumption in Tullamore. The church was destroyed by fire in 1983, rebuilt in 1986, and its 1965 Frobenius organ came as a generous gift from the Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen (the Danish capital’s Evangelical-Lutheran cathedral) when that church acquired a new organ. It was installed in Tullamore in 1995.