|Waterford Music Committee members Elizabeth Twohig, Pat Grogan , me , Jim Walsh, Eamonn Phelan photo John Power|
September has been a busy month as I prepare to return to teaching commitments. I have also been working on PR for Waterford Music, a society dedicated to bringing the very best performers of the classical music world to perform here in Waterford, something they have been doing for 73 years. The Large Room is a fantastic venue and the acoustic is perfect. I have been struck by how genuinely delighted overseas performers have been to discover it. It is about the same size as the Wigmore Hall in London, the premier London venue where most of our visitors have performed. A new series opens Thursday with an evening of violin and piano duos with Finghin Collins and Elizabeth Cooney dedicated to the memory of founding member William Watt. Details of all eight recitals have now been confirmed and are on the website. www.waterford-music.org
We had a very jolly time with Mayor John Cummins who graciously came along to help us with our launch photocall. Although not a pianist himself, he tells me that his aunt, Sr Redemptoris was a renowned piano teacher at the Mercy Convent and introduced many young players to the pleasure of playing piano.
Waterford-Music has just released details of their Autumn series of chamber music recitals at the Large Room, City Hall. September sees the arrival of two major figures of the international piano scene to release magical sonorities from one of Waterford’s treasures- the house Steinway at The Large Room at City Hall. Acclaimed Irish pianist, Finghin Collins arrives on September 17th and French virtuoso, Phillipe Cassard follows a week later on 24th September.
Secretary of Waterford-Music Vincent Byrne explains- ‘Following their highly successful summer tour including a sold-out Galway Arts Festival recital, violinist Elizabeth Cooney and Finghin Collins join us at The Large Room to perform a programme of works by Schubert, Szymanowski and Elgar. Cooney wowed a Waterford audience at the WIT Sports Hall earlier this year when she joined the RTE NSO on their tour. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear this terrific player in a more intimate chamber music setting in the excellent acoustic at City Hall. Collins is one of Ireland’s leading pianists and a great favourite of Waterford Music since his first appearance here in 1997 when he stood in at short notice for the indisposed Russian pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy. It is a busy time for Collins who directs the forthcoming New Ross Piano Festival amongst many other engagements. ‘We are delighted to have this wonderful Irish duo to open our Autumn schedule’ said Byrne.
A week later on September 24th, Phillipe Cassard arrives on the Mall for a solo piano recital. Since winning the very first piano competition a quarter of a century ago, the French virtuoso has gone on to establish himself in the first rank of the world’s great pianists, much admired for his mellifluous tone and subtlety of phrasing.
The French accent continues when the ladies of the brilliant Quatour Zaïde, arrive in Waterford for an October date. The quartet’s daring and élan has garnered them many prizes at international competitions since their formation a mere five years ago. The distinguished Austrian cellist, Florian Kitt brings our 2015 proceedings to a close in November with a wonderful diverse 20th century programme.
Pat Grogan, treasurer of WM reports that during the Summer, a major figure of the piano world visited Waterford. But his name probably won’t ring a bell. ‘Ulrich Gerhartz is a master technician who travels the world working on pianos for manufacturers Steinway. We are delighted to report that Mr Gerhartz gave our house Steinway C a tip-top rating’ said Mr Grogan.
Tickets are keenly priced at €15 and we have great value season ticket deals available with a family subscription of €150 for 8 recitals which is fantastic value to hear artists of international standing. Our mission is to continue to bring the best Irish and international classical performers to perform in Waterford and we are already looking ahead to our 75th season next year said Pat Grogan.You can hear the Steinway C piano played by superb soloists in the elegant Georgian assembly room, The Large Room at City Hall on September 17th and 24th September. All recitals begin at 8pm www.waterford-music.org