Team Galway scoop the national IYMA Award for the second year!

The latest album from Irish Youth Music Awards ‘IYMA Volume 10’ was released today featuring 10 young musicians and bands including Galway band ‘Liquid Space’. IYMA is a youth music education programme for ages 12 to 19 and provides work experience for it is organised by Youth Work Ireland who will host a concert tomorrow Saturday at Munroe’s Galway (doors open 2pm). Last year’s album stormed the Irish charts, entering at number 5, and everyone is encouraged to buy the new album before October 12th in order to repeat this success and promote the future of the Irish music industry.

Music for Galway launches 2017/18 programme!

Music for Galway launched a diverse and ambitious programme for the coming year, with a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar contributors!

On Tuesday 5th September the crowds gathered at the PorterShed to hear about what Music for Galway has in store for the coming season. Launching the programme, president of the Galway Chamber of Commerce Maurice O’Gorman noted "We are delighted to be hosting the launch of the exciting MFG season at the PorterShed.  We believe that creativity is the heart of business innovation, and coupled with ambition, innovation is the engine of growth. In today’s fiercely competitive, fast-paced global economy, creativity is not only an important source of building a competitive advantage, but it also is a necessity for survival." Indeed, this hub of creativity and innovation was chosen for MFG’s launch, as a number of its events will take place here.

For a detailed list of events, visit: www.musicforgalway.ie

Let’s dance!

This year Music for Galway celebrates many of the links between music and dance. The two forms have been closely linked since time immemorial and it's a great opportunity to present music which incorporates dance forms or rhythms and to collaborate with dancers from Galway and beyond. From the season opener with Jean Butler and Neil Martin to the Tango Night in October; from Daria van den Bercken's dance-inspired solo piano recital to Gwendolyn Masin's dance-inspired violin spectacular (one of the events at the PorterShed), from the ConTempo Quartet's dance-themed programme to Kilkenny Camerata's Piper and the Faerie Queen. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra returns in April with a terrific programme including Beethoven's beloved Seventh Symphony, described famously by Wagner as "the apotheosis of dance", we have a lot of music throughout the season to get your feet tappin

Composer residency

Young Irish composer Sam Perkin will feature many times in the season. He presented a new choreography at the season launch of his piano work Nesting Doll in collaboration with Stephanie Dufresne and the Galway Dance Project. MFG has commissioned solo piano work (yes, a suite of dances!) for Nathalia Milstein's recital in February.  He will also be working on film scores with film students at the CCAM GMIT as well as performing his piece Pause with ConTempo Quartet.

From PRODIGY to BELOVED

The 2018 Midwinter Festival will follow on from the PRODIGY theme of last January's festival to focus on music composed by composers in love. Music by the great Romantics Brahms, Wagner and Schumann (Robert and Clara), along with other musical love letters by Beethoven, Schubert, Janáček, Britten and Schoenberg, will move us all with their ardent expressions of love.  The BELOVED festival will also feature an afternoon recital of popular love-inspired arias and duos from the world of opera as well as two talks by eminent musicologist Richard Wigmore and the screening of Peter Schamonis Spring Symphony.

New Season, new activities

We are excited about the prospect of Galway 2020 and have started to work on our big project CELLISSIMO, the first edition of the Galway Cello Festival Triennale, and have recruited some extra help in the office to facilitate that. Luthier Kuros Torkzadeh is making a cello out of woods sourced entirely in Galway County and Eamonn Dunne and Paddy Hayes are documenting his work on film. The quest for a music/dance centre continues as part of a wider group including the Galway Music Centre and Galway Dance Project. This season sees collaborations with ‘old’ partners Galway Early Music Festival, Galway Music Residency, Schola Cantorum, the RTE NSO, the Irish Baroque Orchestra as well as firsts with the Galway Dance Project and Cúirt International Festival of Literature, with whom we are very pleased to present Play it Again – an evening with ex Guardian Editor in chief Alan Rusbridger and MFG artistic director Finghin Collins.

The SAP Lunchtime series takes flight

Our SAP lunchtime series moves this year to NUI Galway, in partnership with the Arts in Action programme and takes place every last Wednesday of September, October, November and of the first three months of 2018. The aim of this series is to reach out to new audiences, to present concerts in a more relaxed manner thus encouraging students, but also parents with young children, people with intellectual disabilities to attend. In terms of music, artistic director Finghin Collins has selected a mix of solo and ensemble performances including classical music, guitar, world and jazz. Artists are asked not only to play but also to talk about their programme and to interact with the audience.

PorterShed Sessions

If you can’t make the lunchtime, thanks to further support from KPMG, DAVY and RDJ, MFG can offer a repeat performance of these concerts on the same days at the PorterShed. Drop in at 6pm sharp and unwind from the day’s work with some wonderful live music.  Admission to both Lunchtime and PorterShed Sessions is free.

The Galway Music Residency announces 5-year partnership with NUI Galway

Pictured at the Galway Music Residency's autumn launch were (l-r) Michael Cuddy (Chair of GMR), Jane O'Leary (Board Member) and President of NUI Galway, Jim Browne. On Sunday 27 August last, the Galway Music Residency (GMR) announced a 5-year partnership with NUI Galway, with the University becoming its Education Partner. The partnership will give Galway Music Residency an important role in the provision of expertise in the field of music to staff and students at the University, through collaboration on academic programmes and performances. Launching the partnership at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, emphasised the history of the relationship between the two organisations spanning well over a decade: “As we formalise and cement our partnership, we look forward to a host of performance and education programmes that will continue on campus as both organisations look toward the new BA in Music, which will commence at NUI Galway in September 2018.” The President also launched GMR’s September–December season. Featuring favourite series such as Lunchtimes with ConTempo, 3 Saturdays: 3 Kinds of Music, ConTempo Countywide and Contempo/Raneous, a series of cross-genre partnerships, the programme promises to delight Galway audiences of all ages and locations in the autumn and winter months. Other highlights will include the world premiere of composer Amanda Feery’s new piece for String Quartet and Uilleann pipes, co-commissioned by Galway City Council, on 17 November at 8.30pm in the Black Gate Cultural Centre. This event will be the second in GMR’s new series entitled Music & Musings, which is dedicated to contemporary Irish compositions and features both performance and conversations with composers and artists. Just in time for Halloween, ConTempo quartet will perform a live score at a screening of Nosferatu – the 1922 silent film depicting the story of Dracula. This unique event, taking place in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway on 26 October at 7.30pm, is sure to give you that spooky feeling. Education will continue to play a significant part in the Galway Music Residency’s activities, with ConTempo Quartet working with Apprentice Ensembles, primary and secondary schools students and students from NUI Galway and GMIT in the coming months. Chair Michael Cuddy also highlighted the Galway Music Residency’s partnership with Sym-Phonic Waves, a new youth orchestral project for the west of Ireland conceived under the Galway2020 Capital of Culture Bid. The launch, supported by Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Thomas Woodberrys and Masterchefs, closed with a presentation of eight unique portraits of the members of ConTempo Quartet by artist Brian Bourke. The artist has sketched the quartet over a number of years and marked the launch by gifting eight of the final pieces to the quartet.

Pictured at the Galway Music Residency's autumn launch were (l-r) Michael Cuddy (Chair of GMR), Jane O'Leary (Board Member) and President of NUI Galway, Jim Browne.

On Sunday 27 August last, the Galway Music Residency (GMR) announced a 5-year partnership with NUI Galway, with the University becoming its Education Partner. The partnership will give Galway Music Residency an important role in the provision of expertise in the field of music to staff and students at the University, through collaboration on academic programmes and performances. Launching the partnership at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, emphasised the history of the relationship between the two organisations spanning well over a decade: “As we formalise and cement our partnership, we look forward to a host of performance and education programmes that will continue on campus as both organisations look toward the new BA in Music, which will commence at NUI Galway in September 2018.”

The President also launched GMR’s September–December season. Featuring favourite series such as Lunchtimes with ConTempo, 3 Saturdays: 3 Kinds of Music, ConTempo Countywide and Contempo/Raneous, a series of cross-genre partnerships, the programme promises to delight Galway audiences of all ages and locations in the autumn and winter months.

Other highlights will include the world premiere of composer Amanda Feery’s new piece for String Quartet and Uilleann pipes, co-commissioned by Galway City Council, on 17 November at 8.30pm in the Black Gate Cultural Centre. This event will be the second in GMR’s new series entitled Music & Musings, which is dedicated to contemporary Irish compositions and features both performance and conversations with composers and artists.

Just in time for Halloween, ConTempo quartet will perform a live score at a screening of Nosferatu – the 1922 silent film depicting the story of Dracula. This unique event, taking place in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway on 26 October at 7.30pm, is sure to give you that spooky feeling.

Education will continue to play a significant part in the Galway Music Residency’s activities, with ConTempo Quartet working with Apprentice Ensembles, primary and secondary schools students and students from NUI Galway and GMIT in the coming months. Chair Michael Cuddy also highlighted the Galway Music Residency’s partnership with Sym-Phonic Waves, a new youth orchestral project for the west of Ireland conceived under the Galway2020 Capital of Culture Bid.

The launch, supported by Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Thomas Woodberrys and Masterchefs, closed with a presentation of eight unique portraits of the members of ConTempo Quartet by artist Brian Bourke. The artist has sketched the quartet over a number of years and marked the launch by gifting eight of the final pieces to the quartet.

Creative Director of Galway 2020 appointed

Chris Baldwin.jpg

Chris Baldwin has been appointed as Creative Director of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture and will take up his appointment with immediate effect. He will be responsible for the delivery of the programme of events for 2020 for Galway City and County. Chris is a performance director, curator and writer. Most recently he was Curator for Interdisciplinary Performance for Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture 2016 (Poland). He studied acting, theatre and music and is also a permaculture designer. He has extensive international experience having worked in Spain, UK, Poland, Bulgaria and Germany. He brings a wealth of knowledge and partnerships to Galway and believes we have a significant opportunity to do something very special for Galway 2020 and to deliver an exciting and energetic programme working with local artists and communities and national and international artistic collaborations.

Seed funding announced for development of Cultural Hub and Performance Space at Dyke Road

Galway City Council has been granted seed capital of €3m from the European Union for the development of a Cultural Quarter at the Dyke Road car park. The briefing document for the tender process is well underway and consultants, Reid & Associates are preparing the necessary brief to invite expressions of interest to redevelop the site. There is potential on the site for the creation of 200,000 square feet of commercial space including office and retail space, a cultural hub including a performance and event centre and a quadrupling of existing car spaces.

NUI Galway Drama Centre named Ireland's favourite new building

Congratulations to the new O’Donoghue Centre for Theatre, Drama and Performance at NUI Galway, which has been voted Ireland’s favourite new building. It was the Public Choice in this year’s RIAI Irish Architecture Awards.

The O'Donoghue Centre is an exciting new home for the arts in Galway. As well as teaching spaces and studios, the building includes a 120-seat theatre with retractable seating and LED lighting.

Read more about the award:

Philadelphia Choir and Orchestra visit Galway

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious schools. It’s Youth Choral and Orchestral Ensemble has received many honours. The ensemble performed at the restored Gothic Chapel at Kylemore Abbey this afternoon and will play at St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church tomorrow at 11am.  The 28 member chamber choir perform contemporary and modern choral music while the two equal voice choirs sing popular song.

Hannah Kiely appointed CEO of Galway 2020

Hannah Kiely.jpg

Clarinbridge native Hannah Kiely is an experienced CEO with 25 years in leadership positions. A graduate of NUI Galway, GMIT and the Institute of Directors of Ireland, she is a former CEO of HC Financial Advisers, a former President of Galway chamber and a former board member of Galway Arts Centre. She is well known for her long association with Cope Galway, the homelessness and domestic violence charity.

Hannah’s task is to deliver the programme and vision for Galway’s European Capital of Culture in 2020. She will be responsible for creating the environment to enable the artistic director to deliver a truly unparalleled experience.

Coole Music Orchestra Festival marks its 10th anniversary

The award winning Coole Music Orchestra Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary today with a series of afternoon and evening concerts in the Gort Community Centre south Galway. This year’s theme was ‘Count Me In’. 250 young musicians of all ages playing with orchestras from Sligo, Cork, Galway, Dublin, Ennis, Kilbride. Athenry, Charleville, Headford and Gort performed music from the soundtrack to the Harry Potter films, pieces from Les Miserables, works by Handel and Strauss and arrangements of traditional Irish music. The orchestras were also joined by Irish dancers from the Gavin Dance Academy.

Coole Music was founded by Katharina Baker, is a registered charity, has 200 students of all ages and levels and 14 teachers. It is funded by student fees and fundraising. For the last 12 years it has been based at Gort Community School. The 40 strong Youth Orchestra is the most senior of its six orchestras which accommodate all ages from young children to Leaving Certificate students.

German born Katharina moved to Ireland in 2002 with her Kinvara born husband after she graduated with a masters in music from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm specialising in violin, ensemble conducting and education. She was shocked when she realised what little support there was in Ireland for young people wishing to study classical music. Music schools in Sweden have received government funding since the 1960s. Classes are free or cost very little and every village has a music school so music is accessible to everyone.

Funding Allocation for Upgrades of Galway Facilities for Arts & Culture

The government’s Arts & Culture Capital Scheme is to provide a total of €9m to 56 cultural organisations across the country. Galway’s Town Hall Theatre, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, has been allocated €118,000. This will enable it to commence a €250,000 upgrade (including lighting, projecting, security and access projects) as it prepares for Galway 2020. Galway City Museum has been allocated €180,000 and grants have also been awarded to Thoor Ballylee and Glenamaddy Arts & Historical Co-op Society.