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  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
  • Westport Festival of Chamber Music
Welcome

Established in 2013, Westport Festival of Chamber Music takes pride in bringing the finest musicians from Ireland and across the globe to Westport, County Mayo, every September. Like many other festivals this year, we've had to migrate our activities to the virtual world. That said, we have big plans for September 2021 - we'll be announcing the programme in the new year.

In the meantime we're delighted to present the first in a series of interviews with some of the musicians that were due to feature in this year’s festival. The interviews have been conducted by Irish Times music critic, Michael Dervan. 

The arts world in general (and performance arts in particular) have been sorely affected by the current situation. We’ve witnessed a major shift from the physical to the online world in terms of the opportunity to perform. In light of this, we felt that it might interesting and illuminating to get a perspective from musicians on the various ways in which the ongoing pandemic has impacted on them, both professionally and personally.

Our first interview is with oboist and conductor Nicholas Daniel. He has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, performing a huge range of repertoire from Bach to Xenakis. His recording of concertos by Vaughan Williams and James MacMillan was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Premiere Award in 2016. And he is also Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen in Germany and at the Guildhall School of Music in London.

As a chamber musician, Nicholas is a founder member of the award-winning Britten Sinfonia, the Haffner Wind Ensemble and the Britten Oboe Quartet. He is principal oboist of Camerata Pacifica, California’s leading chamber music ensemble (whose artistic director Adrian Spence hails from Newtownards);  he was also appointed as an OBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music.

To listen to Nicholas click here

We're also delighted to present a musical message to our audiences all the way from Budapest. Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Dora Kokas (cello) were due to have performed in Westport this year but send their best from Hungary.

Dora is a prize-winner of several international competitions including most recent 1st prize at the ‘Hamburg-Debut’ International Competition, 2nd prize at the 23rd International Johannes Brahms Competition in 2016, two special prizes at the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in Budapest 2014 September. In 2015 she received the Gundel Artist Prize and became a winner of the Junior Prima Prize later that year. In December 2014 she won the Liszt Academy Soloist Competition prize.

Maxim enjoys a busy career as a conductor as well as playing the viola. He is a recipient of various awards, including the Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award. He is also a prize-winner at the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions. 

We then move from the Danube to the Liffey to feature our next-generation artist, Dublin-based Antonia Huang. Born in Ireland in 2000, Antonia started piano at the age of five, studying with the Chinese Pianist Li Qi. After moving from Guangzhou, China back to Ireland in 2013, she studied first with Deirdre Doyle, and then with Hugh Tinney at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). Antonia is a multiple prizewinner at the Feis Ceoil, having won the Senior Concerto (Harty) and Recital (Heneghan) cups amongst others, she was the winner of the Teissier Award of €7500 in RIAM in 2017.

To listen to Dora and Maxim click here, to listen to Antonia click here (Beethoven - ‘Tempest’ Piano Sonata no. 17 in d minor, first movement) and here (Ravel - La Valse).
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