Orchestral extravaganza for Galway’s CELLISSIMO Concerto Gala

Orchestral extravaganza for Galway's CELLISSIMO Concerto Gala
RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Three cello concertos will be rolled into one staggering concert later this month, with Music for Galway’s CELLISSIMO Concerto Gala.

A legacy event of Galway 2020, CELLISSIMO will see the RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by David Brophy in concert with three international cello soloists, performing three very different works.

“We could not be more excited about this concert,” says Finghin Collins, Artistic Director of CELLISSIMO.

“Ever since witnessing the premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Wind in My Hair in October 2018, we have been eagerly awaiting this moment.”

“What a treat to have Leisureland finally come alive to the sound of the cello and orchestra,” Finghin enthused.

“We are preparing for CELLISSIMO 2024 and this will give Galway audiences the chance to hear the magic of this instrument in its full glory.”

The concert will take place at Leisureland in Salthill on Wednesday, May 11 at 8pm, with tickets available online from Music for Galway.

Naomi Berrill – in bar with cello. Photo Credit: Stefano Casati

Kicking off the night before the main event will be Galway native Naomi Berrill, returning from her home in Florence for a one-of-a-kind-performance.

She will be giving a breathtaking performance of a further Music for Galway CELLISSIMO commission, Bill Whelan’s Fragments for solo cello and voice.

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will then perform with the three cello soloists for the three concerto bonanza, two of which were specially co-commissioned by MfG with the Cello Biennale Amsterdam.

The first, Julia Wolfe’s Wind in my Hair, received its premiere at the CBA 2018, and will be getting its second ever second performance as part of CELLISSIMO.

Koranyi Jakob. Photo Credit: Anna-Lena Ahlström

Swedish star cellist Jakob Koranyi, an avid campaigner for the environment, is travelling green from Sweden to Galway in order to perform this piece.

Gerald Barry’s Cello Concerto receives its world premiere at this concert featuring Galway’s own Adrian Mantu.

BBC Young Musician Competition winner Laura van der Heijden finishes off this remarkable concert with the Elgar Cello Concerto, a favourite in the repertoire.

Laura Van Der Heijden. Photo Credit: Stephane Crayton

For those interested in the background of the two new works, a link to a video recording of a conversation between the composers led by MfG artistic director Finghin Collins will be sent on the day before the concert.

“This evening is going to be a treat for anyone who enjoys cello and orchestral music,” says Anna Lardi, Festival Director of CELLISSIMO.

“Though the iconic Elgar Cello Concerto is famously associated with Jaqueline du Pré, Laura has made this most beautiful and noble work her own in many performances in Europe and further afield”.

“And it will be exciting to hear her take of this with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and David Brophy here in Galway.”

CELLISSIMO is an eight-day International Cello Festival that celebrates “this fabulously versatile instrument with its extensive range, noble sound and curvaceous body!” – as artistic director Finghin Collins puts it

The festival features both local and international artists, and takes place against the breath-taking backdrop of the region that is Galway City and County.

The idea for CELLISSIMO was developed by Finghin Collins and festival director Anna Lardi as Music for Galway’s (MfG) major signature event to contribute to Galway 2020.