A famine ship and a grand piano seem unlikely co-stars. Add in a distinguished Hungarian diplomat, a pale young man in concert tails and a flock of starlings perched in the rigging as unwitting extras and the scene looked like a setting of a classy spy thriller. I was on the Dunbrody moored on the River Barrow, Co Wexford for the launch of the 13th New Ross Piano Festival. This year, there is an emphasis on Hungarian repertoire and artists in the weekend concerts. This year, artistic director with his formidable team are scheduling some jazz piano events. Heavyweight on the international scene Enrico Pieranunzi will be in New Ross on Wednesday. Check him out on the video above.
I was pleased to meet chairman, John Kissane who said he particularly loves the chamber music element of the festival. There are loads of attractive programmes and an impressive roster of emerging and established talent in daytime and evening concerts. Check out the details on the festival website www.newrosspianofestival.com. After a few well chosen words by the Hungarian Ambassador, Istvan Phally, there was a little piano music from Sean Morgan Rooney and director of the festival Finghin Collins. As the last notes faded out over the river Barrow, the starlings with a whoosh abandoned the riggings and flew away,. no doubt to return to St Mary's Church when the festival proper begins.