Galway ConTempo Quartet

ConTempo Quartet was formed in 1995 while its members, Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicola and Bogdan Sofei were still at university. The name they chose, ConTempo, reflects their emotional, unbounded and vibrant musical style.

Bogdan Sofei (violin), Ingrid Nicola (violin), Andreea Banciu (viola) and Adrian Mantu (cello).

Bogdan Sofei (violin), Ingrid Nicola (violin), Andreea Banciu (viola) and Adrian Mantu (cello).

Encouraged by their parents to love music, all four members of ConTempo attended the George Enescu High School of Music in their home town of Bucharest, Romania and went on to study at the National University of Music Bucharest. Following fellowships in Canada, UK and Spain, they completed their research on Beethoven's String Quartets at the Royal Academy of Music in London. For over 20 years, ConTempo has performed around the world, won many prestigious prizes and collaborated with artists of the highest calibre, in addition to their international film, television & radio work.

ConTempo have been based in Galway since 2003 when they won the international competition to become the Galway Ensemble-in-Residence. In 2014 ConTempo won the European competition to become RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence.

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Frank Naughton, tenor

A native of Galway, Frank started his singing career while at school in St Joseph's ("the Bish"). He later joined the Galway Music Society & performed many lead roles. In his late twenties Frank decided to pursue a professional career as a classical tenor. His debut album 'The Power Within' was released to great acclaim in 2003. Subsequent albums 'Ovation' and 'Come What May' were released in 2006 & 2008. The latter reached Number 5 on HMV's Lyric FM RTE Classical Chart.

Regular performances include private & charity events and concerts at Galway's Town Hall Theatre, UniversityConcert Hall Limerick, Cork Opera House, National Concert Hall Dublin, Bailey Allen Hall Galway & Millenium Forum Derry. Frank is a long term supporter of Cancer Care West and a founder member of Galway Music Centre.

Máirtín O'Connor, traditional musician

A traditional Irish musician and an Irish button accordionist from Galway, Máirtín began playing at the age of nine. He was a member of the original orchestra of the world renowned Riverdance. His career has included memberships of traditional music groups including Skylark, Midnight Well, De Dannan & he toured as a guest with The Boys of the Lough. His first solo album 'A Connachtman's Rambles' established him as a solo musician and proved a major critical success.

Other albums include Perpetual Motion (1990), Chatterbox (1993) andThe Road West (2005). The Máirtín O'Connor Band features Cathal Hayden, Seamie O'Dowd and Jim Higgins who have brought their attractive & charming music all across Europe, United States & Canada. In 2015 Máirtín was awarded the Gradam Ceoil Award for musician of the year. He is a founder member of Galway Music Centre.

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Brendan O'Connor, conductor

Dr Brendan O'Connor is a marine scientist and graduated from NUI Galway in 1981. He is founder member and Managing Director of AQUAFACT International Services, a Galway-based marine consultancy. From 1969 to 1981 he sang with and conducted the University choir, during which period it won several prizes at the Cork International Choral Festival.

In 1982 Brendan was invited to conduct the then newly-established mixed voice a capella choir Cois Cladaigh and remains its director and principal conductor. The choir initially focused on music from the Renaissance and the 20th century and now focuses more on contemporary music. It has commissioned several new works from Irish and international composers, has had considerable success in Cork and other festivals in Ireland, has toured extensively in Europe and released four CDs. Brendan has also adjudicated at national and international choral festivals and has been presented with many awards for his contribution to music including Galway Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, Galway Person of the Year Award and NUI Galway Alumni Award. He is a founder member of Galway Music Centre.