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 (...)

‘It has been a particularly gruelling competition, with a higher proportion of players striving to make an impression through sheer volume than I remember from any previous year.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

I experienced a real shock to the system last Thursday. The Ulster Orchestra was at the National Concert Hall for a first Dublin appearance at the (...)

John Wilson, principal conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, during rehearsals at the National Concert Hall. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

When I meet John Wilson, it is late in the afternoon, and he has just done six hours of rehearsals for a Gershwin gig with the RTÉ Concert Orchestr(...)

The cello sonata as we know it today was effectively created by Beethoven in the two virtuosic Sonatas, Op 5, he wrote in 1796 for the King of Prussia(...)