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Birr Festival of Music 2023 expands to a five-day festival across the May Bank Holiday Weekend from Thursday 27 April - Monday 1 May.

Our packed festival programme includes some outstanding events starting with our Opening Night Gala on Friday evening. It will mark 10 years of the Trench Award with past award winners returning to Birr for this special celebration concert, curated by Niall Kinsella.

Bruno Caproni, Julian Evans and special guest Sandra Oman will bring you An Enchanted Evening, we'll explore the planets and stars with Birr Young Voices and Birr is also the inspiration for Musical Time Travellers.

 

In between, we'll have more concerts in local schools, masterclasses, some pop-up performances for all to enjoy and of course The Trench Award 2023.

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* Booking fees will apply at time of purchase

MUSIC FOR LIFE

Thursday 27 April 
St Brendan's Community School, Birr

Friday 28 April 
Coláiste Naomh Cormac, Kilcormac

Senior music students gain an insight into what it means to be a successful professional musician. Acclaimed baritone Bruno Caproni and concert pianist Julian Evans present music and stories from their international careers.

 

Past Trench Award recipients now developing their careers in concert, opera, orchestra and other ensembles, will also give performances followed by Q&A sessions.

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MEMORIES IN MUSIC

Friday 28 April | 2pm
Birr Community Nursing Unit

Musicians and singers perform classic songs and melodies, bringing musical memories to residents, day-care clients and staff.

OPENING NIGHT GALA

Friday 28 April | 8pm
Birr Theatre & Arts Centre
€20/18*

An exciting performance of quartets, trios, duets and solos showcasing the immense talent of past Trench Award recipients. Including music by Mozart, Purcell, Massenet, Strauss.

Featuring Amy Ní Fhearraigh* (soprano), Carolyn Holt (mezzo- soprano), Ben Gannon (oboe), Mollie Wrafter (violin), Philip Keegan (viola), Aoibhin Keogh Daly (cello), Aidan Chan (piano) and Peter Regan (piano).

* Amy replaces Sarah Brady who sadly cannot be with us due to illness. We wish her a speedy recovery. 

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A LUNCHTIME OF SONG

Saturday 29 April | 1pm
Craughwell's Courtyard
€16* (including light lunch)

A plethora of music from the worlds
of movies, musicals and jazz - a concert that really has something for everyone.


Featuring Heather Fogarty (mezzo-soprano),
Philip Keegan (tenor), Matthew Mannion (baritone) and Peter Regan (piano).

AN ENCHANTED EVENING

Saturday 29 April | 8pm
Birr Theatre & Arts Centre
€20/18*

Internationally-acclaimed duo, Bruno Caproni and Julian Evans are joined by special guest soprano Sandra Oman, long considered one of the finest singers of her generation. Featuring the music of Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Liszt, Ravel, Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein. A great programme of popular operatic solos, duets, piano solos and beloved Broadway musicals.

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MUSIC IN BIRR CASTLE

Sunday 30 April | 3pm
For Festival Patrons & Sponsors

In the historic Music Room of Birr Castle, a celebration of music by female composers including Nadia & Lili Boulanger, Lisa Lehmann and Madeleine Dring.


Featuring Carolyn Holt, Matthew Mannion, Martina Rosaria O’Connell, Ben Gannon, Mollie Wrafter, Aoibhin Keogh Daly, Aidan Chan and Niall Kinsella.

THE TRENCH AWARD 2023

Sunday 30 April | 7.30pm
Birr Theatre & Arts Centre
€18/16*

Six singers and musicians of the future each perform a 15-minute programme of their choice. All are pursuing professional careers in performance and were selected by an international panel.

 

Recipients of The Trench Award, Birr Lions Club Bursary, the Canto Al Serchio Prize (for voice), the Audrey Chisholm Award (for instrument) will be announced. An Audience Choice and Musical Futures Bursary may also be awarded. Accompanist | Dearbhla Brosnan

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MASTERCLASSES

Monday 1 May | 11.00am - 1.30pm
Birr Theatre & Arts Centre
Free

Observe the Trench Award finalists in vocal and piano masterclasses given by Bruno Caproni and Julian Evans.

 

Open to all; music students and teachers are especially welcome!

EXPLORING THE PLANETS & STARS

Monday 1 May | 1.30pm
Church of Ireland, Oxmantown Mall
Free

Inspired by the rich astrological heritage of Birr Castle & Science Centre, children present songs, art and poetry created over the past fourteen weeks.

 

A collaboration with Birr School of Music. Gregory Ward (choral director), Sophie Ward (accompanist) and Emma Behan (visual artist).

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MUSICAL TIME TRAVELLERS

Monday 1 May | 3pm
Church of Ireland, Oxmantown Mall
€14/12*

Moving through centuries of composers to the present day and including newly-commissioned music by composer Claire Meehan, inspired by lines from
the poem, BIRR, by
Rita Kelly: ‘This place, this Birr, peopled by those who still consider the stars’.

 

Featuring Arthur Greene (organ) and Kevin Meehan (violin).

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