About the festival

I am delighted to welcome you to the West Wicklow Festival 2017. 

I had the privilege of growing up as a farmer and pianist in Ballyknockan, on the glistening Blessington lakes. In 2011, I moved to London to pursue my Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, and subsequently have travelled extensively to many great festivals all around the world.

With every new festival I attended I could no longer ignore my desire to establish a festival in my native Wicklow, and finally this year, 2017, it is happening! This festival will bring the riches of wonderful artists from Ireland and abroad to West Wicklow, for the enjoyment of all-comers. Russborough House, one of Ireland’s most beautiful Palladian houses, is a fitting venue with its intimate surroundings and its long history and association with music.

My sincerest hope is that this festival can be one of which the people of West Wicklow can be proud.

See you all there!

Fiachra Garvey,
Founder and Artistic Director

“Russborough House was the obvious choice of venue for our inaugural festival, with its stunning surroundings and the well documented love for music for which the Beit family was renowned. Sir Alfred was a keen amateur pianist and both he and Lady Beit were avid concert and opera patrons. I hope they would be proud that such an event is being hosted in their magnificent home.”

Fiachra Garvey,
Founder and Artistic Director

For our inaugural event we are thrilled to announce performances by Quatuor Zaide, Ducasse Trio, Rachel Kelly and Fiachra Garvey. These musicians are all internationally renowned, and represent a wonderful mixture of Irish and European talent. We are so honoured to have such dear friends and eminent musicians to christen this festival.

As ECHO (European Concert Halls’ Organisation) Rising Stars the Quatuor Zaide have performed in such prestigious venues as London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein, Theatre des Champs-Elysees Paris and New York’s Merkin Hall. They have received rave reviews for their concerts and recordings and are one of the most exiting quartets touring on the international scene. The quartet toured Ireland extensively in 2015 and we are thrilled to have them coming to join us in Wicklow.

The Ducasse Trio are recent YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) finalists and have been Musicians Company and Concordia Foundation artists since 2014. The trio have toured Ireland, UK, France, Switzerland and Italy and are constantly praised for their innovative approach to music and their passion to bring the works for violin, clarinet and piano to wider audiences. Each member of the trio is in constant demand as a soloist and chamber musician. We are particularly excited to invite the trio for our inaugural event and we are sure that they will bring excitement and colour!

Rachel Kelly and Fiachra Garvey have known each other since they were budding young musicians entering the Feis Ceoil. Rachel and Fiachra collaborated during their college years at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and this will be the first time they have performed together since Rachel was accepted onto the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist’s programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Rachel’s voice has been praised for its rich sensuality and glowing warmth. Rachel has worked with many eminent conductors including Evelino Pidò, Emmanuel Villaume, Sir Antonio Pappano and Alexander Joel. She is undoubtedly a new star of the opera world and how lucky we are to have her joining us.

Fiachra Garvey has been applauded for his infectious enthusiasm and technical comfort. He was 1st Prizewinner at the Jaques Samuel Competition, London and made his Fazioli and Wigmore Hall debuts as a result. Fiachra has also been a prizewinner at Dublin AXA, EU Prague and was 2011 Rising Star of the NCH Dublin. Concerto appearances have included Janácek Philharmonic, RTE Symphony and RTE Concert Orchestra. We are delighted that Fiachra has successfully established a festival in his native Wicklow, fulfilling a long-held ambition.




The artists


‘The Ducasse Trio perform with an exciting sense of creativity and spontaneity and are all excellent individual players‘

Hailed for their innovative and unique approach to music,the Ducasse Trio was formed in 2010 when they met at the Paris Conservatoire. They have performed extensively around Europe and have been awarded numerous awards including the Worshipful Company of Musicians Award, Concordia’s Barthel Prize and were finalists in YCAT 2016 at Wigmore Hall.



As a young well-established quartet, the Quatuor Zaïde won several international quartet competitions, they are regularly invited to the best festivals and concert halls in the world and collaborate extensively with distinguished worldwide known musicians.



Fiachra Garvey is a pianist currently based between London and Ireland. Fiachra graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2013 with 1st class Honours and Distinction in the Master of Arts Degree in Music Performance. This follows a 1st class Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in September 2011 and a 1st class Honours DipMus (performance and teaching) from the RIAM in 2008. In May 2009, Fiachra was the top Irish prizewinner at the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, being awarded the Brennan Prize and the McCullough bursary.



Rachel Kelly is a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme where she attracted considerable attention for her portrayals of Zaida, conducted by Evelino Pidò, Javotte, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Mercédès, conducted by Alexander Joel, and Pisana, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Her performance as Mirinda in Kasper Holten’s L’Ormindo conducted by Christian Curnyn was singled out by Opera Today for its “rich sensuality of voice” and “glowing warmth”, her appearance as the Cat in El gato con botas at the Linbury Theatre was described by The Telegraph as “a special delight” and she earned unanimous praise for her Proserpina at London’s Roundhouse.



Mozart: String Quartet no 16 in Eb major, K428 (Quatuor Zaide)
Milhaud: Suite op. 157b for clarinet, violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)
Khachaturian: Trio for clarinet, violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)


Schumann: String Quartet no 3 in a minor op. 41/3 (Quatuor Zaide)
Ives: Largo for clarinet, violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)
Bartok: Contrasts (Ducasse Trio)

Mozart: String Quartet no 4 in C major K157 (Quatuor Zaide)
Arutiunian: Suite for clarinet, violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)
Shostakovich: 5 pieces arranged for clarinet, violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)
Stravinsky: Suite from L’histoire du soldat for clarinet,violin and piano (Ducasse Trio)


Brahms: Piano quintet in f minor op.34 (Quatuor Zaide/Fiachra Garvey)

Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne (Malurous qu’o uno fenno / Pastourelle / Bailero / L’Antoueno)
Debussy: Trois Chansons De Bilitis (La flute de Pan / La Chevelure / Le tombeau des Naiades)
Duparc: Au pays ou se fait la guerre / Extase
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise


Strauss: 4 songs op. 27 (Ruhe, meine Seele / Cacilie / Heimliche Aufforderung / Morgen)
Rossini: La Cenerentola: Nacqui all’affano e al pianto….Non piu mesta
Herbert Hughes: Selection of Irish songs

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The West Wicklow Festival is sincerely grateful for the generous support from the following:


An anonymous donor

Apollo Foundation

(the private charity established by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit)

Brian Kingham

“Congratulations to Fiachra Garvey in creating The West Wicklow Festival, a wonderful echo of the County’s long tradition and love of music and the performing arts. It is fantastic to welcome so many talented young artists to what will surely become a major annual fixture for Irish music lovers.”




Russborough House & Parklands
Co. Wicklow
W91 C640

Light refreshments available from Brambles Café.

Hospitality Partner

Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort
For lodging and pre-concert dining.