Chamber Choir Ireland’s new season is a veritable mix of classical and contemporary programming and nowhere is this better seen than in our flagship series Before Bach and After, which bookends our performing year.
Artistic Director Paul Hillier has artfully pulled together this celebration of the traditional motet while also delivering a thrilling array of contemporary compositions which relate to a wider exploration of what the ‘motet’ has been and what it might be today. The four concerts feature compositions by Bach, Isaac, Palestrina, Schütz, Anne Boyd, Julia Wolfe and David Fennessy amongst others and will take place in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny and Limerick from September 2018 – June 2019. Exemplary of the breadth of choral possibility, this nuanced series is only a part of what we feel is one of Chamber Choir Ireland’s most exciting seasons to date.
Re-staged as part of New Music Dublin: Defrosted, we are joined by the Irish Chamber Orchestra for the first of two collaborations this season, the first with the distinguished composer Sir James MacMillan at the helm as conductor for the Irish premiere of his glorious Stabat Mater, a work described by the Financial Times
as ‘ethereal writing for solo and ensemble voices’. Also during New Music Dublin: Defrosted and on Culture Night, the future choral composers of the land will have their new compositions performed by CCI, closing off another wonderful year of Composers in the Classroom, our second-level composition project delivered across the island in association with Contemporary Music Centre.
The year comes to a close with a concert in the glorious Christ Church Cathedral, featuring a wonderful array of festive compositions by Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Britten, Herbert Howells, a grouping of traditional carols and Tallis’s beautiful Latin Mass for seven voices, based on the Christmas Introit Puer Natus est Nobis. As always, we advise early booking to ensure your helping of Christmas Choral Cheer!
The New Year heralds the return of our popular lecture series Choral Music in Ireland: History and Evolution, which we deliver in partnership with Learning and Participation, National Concert Hall. Curated by Dr Stuart Kinsella, the series will cover a variety of topics stretching from Moore’s Melodies to RTÉ’S Choral Bloom in the 1980s; there will be plenty for attendees to get excited about, doubtless leading to some animated discussions!
In March, renowned Norwegian Conductor Grete Pedersen will join us for the first time for a thrilling contemporary programme including works by Kaija Saariaho and Ørjan Matre in partnership with New Music Dublin 2019.
This season’s new initiative is An Island Sings, a collaboration between Chamber Choir Ireland, Association of Irish Choirs, Poetry Ireland and the National Concert Hall. A commissioning project for massed adult community choirs, it will see 300 participants join Chamber Choir Ireland for a very special performance in the National Concert Hall for a new work composed by Elaine Agnew written to a text by Jessica Traynor. A true celebration of the colourful, vibrant choral scene that exists in Ireland today.
We’re delighted, again, to collaborate for a second time this season with our dear friends in the Irish Chamber Orchestra as we join them for performances of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 ‘Lobgesang’ (Hymn of Praise) in Dublin and Limerick.
This season also sees us further develop our Learning and Participation programme with Composers in the Classroom, Choral Sketches, Axis: Sing as well as other smaller events throughout the year.
As always we are indebted to the Arts Council / an Chomhairle Ealaíon for their continued support, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery Fund and Dublin City Council, together with all our Friends and Chamber Choir Ireland Society members. Thanks too, to our partner promoters throughout the Island enabling us to take our work around the country.
We are also very grateful to you for your support throughout the year as our audience and friends. Please do digest the contents of our season, mark your diaries, and join us for another wonderful choral music journey.
CEO Chamber Choir Ireland