About The Festival

Welcome to the West Wicklow Festival 2019


Time has flown since the inaugural Festival in 2017 and preparations are now well underway for the 2019 Festival to be held at Russborough House and St Mary’s Church Blessington from the 15th-19th May.

This year’s programme celebrates two important themes.

Firstly, 2019 marks the second centenary of the birth of perhaps the world’s most significant woman composer, Clara Schumann. To honour her legacy we feature arguably her greatest work for solo piano, the Variations, Op 20 her stunning 3 songs op 12 and the poignant 3 Romances for violin and piano op 22.

The Festival is also proud to recognise other significant Irish and international women composers and so will feature works by Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Rhona Clarke, Rhoda Coghill and Joan Trimble. The 2019 programme further includes seminal works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, Dvorak, Gershwin, Janacek, Kreisler, Liszt, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schumann, Strauss and more! Too many highlights to choose from!

Secondly, by way of contrast, 2019 also marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). To commemorate this important anniversary, the Festival is delighted to have commissioned two new works, one from prominent Irish composer Sam Perkin and the other from young British composer Lilly Vadaneaux.

It is with great pride and excitement that I welcome Elena Urioste, Tom Poster, Quatuor Voce, Trio Atanassov, Lauren Fagan and Duo Játékok to West Wicklow and sincerely hope that they enjoy their experiences in Ireland! To have such eminent, world-renowned musicians in Wicklow is a rare privilege and I can safely say we are all in for an incredible treat.

I am also thrilled that we will continue our partnership with the National Concert Hall, Dublin to bring an inspiring, innovative and interactive education and outreach programme to our younger audience and to the next generation of musicians and music lovers!

I am hugely excited about our third festival which will build on the enormous success of previous years.

I very much look forward to seeing you in May!

Fiachra Garvey
Founder and Artistic Director




The Artists


1st prizewinner at the 2012 Jaques Samuel Competition, London, Fiachra made his Fazioli Auditorium (Italy) and Wigmore Hall debuts in 2013. Fiachra is a prizewinner of the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition (Brennan Prize and McCullough Bursary), EU Piano Competition Prague (concerto finalist), 3rd Soirees-Concours Internationales de Piano a Collioure, France (Audience award) and received the 2011 “Rising Star” award from the National Concert Hall Dublin, which subsequently led to a series of concerto and solo debuts.

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Fiachra Garvey graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2013 with 1st class honours and distinction in the MA in Music Performance. This follows a 1st class honours B.A. in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2011 and a 1st class honours DipMus (performance and teaching) from the RIAM in 2008.

1st prizewinner at the 2012 Jaques Samuel Competition, London, Fiachra made his Fazioli Auditorium (Italy) and Wigmore Hall debuts in 2013. He has also been a prizewinner at AXA Dublin International Piano Competition (Brennan Prize and McCullough Bursary), EU Piano Competition Prague (concerto finalist), 3rd Soirees-Concours Internationales de Piano a Collioure, France (Audience award) and Feis Ceoil Dublin (Morris Grant Bursary and Mabel Swainson award). The National Concert Hall Dublin awarded Fiachra the “Rising Star” prize in 2011, which subsequently led to a series of concerto and solo debuts.

Concerto appearances include Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with the Janáček Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra /Cambridge Symphony Orchestra / UCD Symphony Orchestra, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Grieg with the RTE Concert Orchestra, Prokofiev no 3 with the RIAM Symphony Orchestra and Grieg with the Hibernian Orchestra.
Recent highlights include the first solo recital at Google Dublin, a series of solo and two piano recitals in Japan, a tour of China including giving masterclasses at the Beijing Conservatory of Music, as well as appearances at Spoleto Festival Italy, St. John’s Smith Square, St. Martin in the Fields, Brighton Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Wigmore Hall London and The Geneva Festival, Switzerland.

Upcoming major concerts include Poulenc’s double piano concerto with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, a residency at Snape Maltings Aldeburgh and the complete works by Beethoven and Bach for cello and piano in 2019 at the National Concert Hall.

Fiachra’s debut CD “For the Piano”, under the Lyric FM label, was released in 2012: “brings a deep and infectious enthusiasm, combined with insight and technical comfort.” (Sunday times). His second CD, a live performance from Wigmore Hall, was released in 2014.

Fiachra is the Founder and Artistic Director of the West Wicklow Festival, Ireland, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dublin International Piano Competition.


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Violinist Elena Urioste was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2012 to 2014 and a first-place laureate in both the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition. She has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Boston Pops; the New York and Buffalo philharmonics; and the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Austin, Charleston, Richmond, and San Antonio symphony orchestras. Abroad, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Edmonton Symphony, Würzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok and MAV orchestras.

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She has performed regularly as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and has given recitals in such distinguished venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sage Gateshead in Newcastle, Bayerischer Rundfunk Munich, and the Mondavi Center at the University of California-Davis. Recent highlights have included debuts with the LA Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestra of Opera North; return performances with the Cleveland and Hallé Orchestras and the Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras; a recital debut at the Kennedy Center with pianist Michael Brown; and a series of live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts from England’s Roman River Music Festival.

This season sees a debut with IRIS Orchestra with Michael Stern conducting, as well as three separate concerto and chamber music appearances in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. As first-place laureate in both the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition, Elena debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium in 2004 and has returned frequently as soloist. She has collaborated with acclaimed conductors Sir Mark Elder, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Eschenbach, and Robert Spano; pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Dénes Várjon, and Ignat Solzhenitsyn; cellists Peter Wiley, Colin Carr, and Carter Brey; violists Kim Kashkashian and Michael Tree; and violinists Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, and Cho-Liang Lin. An avid chamber musician as well as soloist, Elena has been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Moab, and Sarasota Music Festivals, as well as Switzerland’s Sion-Valais International Music Festival, the Verbier Festival’s winter residency at Schloss Elmau, and is a regular at the Roman River Music Festival in Essex, England. She performs extensively in recital with pianists Michael Brown and Tom Poster.

Miscellaneous accomplishments include first prizes at the Sphinx and Sion International Violin Competitions; an inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence presented by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (they immediately bonded over their matching red formal wear); spreads in Latina and La Revista Mujer magazines; and the 2015 Brooklyn Film Festival’s Audience Choice and Best Original Score awards for But Not For Me, the independent feature film in which Elena acted as the lead female role. Her second album, Echoes, a recital disc with Michael Brown, was released on BIS Records in October 2016; a disc of violin and piano miniatures with Tom Poster will be released on the same label in 2018. Elena is the co-founder and artistic director of Intermission Sessions & Retreat, a program that combines music and yoga; and the founder and artistic director of Chamber Music by the Sea, an annual summer chamber music festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Elena is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Joseph Silverstein,Pamela Frank, and Ida Kavafian. She completed graduate studies with Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School. Other notable teachers include David Cerone, Choong-Jin Chang, Soovin Kim, and Rafael Druian.

The outstanding instruments being used by Elena are an Alessandro Gagliano violin, Naples c. 1706, and a Nicolas Kittel bow, both on generous extended loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

In addition to being a devoted musician, Elena is a yoga fanatic; voracious reader; lover of delicious food, semi-colons, and corgis; hopeless dreamer; and occasional scarf-knitter. Elena Urioste is under general management with the New York-based firm Sciolino Artist Management (http://www.samnyc.us/), and is represented in Europe by Thomas Hull of Maestro Arts (http://maestroarts.com).


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Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. In demand internationally as soloist and chamber musician across an unusually extensive repertoire, he has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music).
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Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 40 major works. Equally at home in the high-octane virtuosity of Rachmaninov or Ligeti as directing Mozart and Beethoven from the piano, Tom has appeared as soloist with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Thierry Fischer, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Two major new concertos have recently been written for Tom: David Knotts’ Laments and Lullabies, commissioned by the Presteigne Festival; and Martin Suckling’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, Tom makes his debut with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.

Tom features regularly on BBC radio and television and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms. His exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals, and those with which he has enjoyed  close associations include the Aberystwyth, Cambridge, Hatfield House, North Norfolk, Oxford Lieder, Presteigne, Roman River, Spoleto, Two Moors and Weesp Festivals, and IMS Prussia Cove. He is a regular performer at Wigmore Hall, and is pianist of the Poster-Johnston Trio and the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), appearing at the Concertgebouw and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals. Tom enjoys established duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston, and Elena Urioste, with whom he makes his debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2018. He also collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Laura van der Heijden, Steven Isserlis and Huw Watkins, and has performed piano quintets with the Brodsky, Callino, Carducci, Castalian, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets.

Tom is increasingly in demand as a curator and innovative concert programmer. In 2017, he curated and performed in four concerts of French chamber music and song for BBC Radio 3 at the Roman River Festival, and held a major residency at Wilton’s Music Hall, in which he featured as both pianist and composer. He is Artistic Director of the newly formed Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an ensemble with a flexible line-up and a commitment to diversity, whose forthcoming highlights include festivals throughout the UK and a series in Ischia in 2018.
Tom’s critically acclaimed recordings include solo discs for Edition Classics (Light and Shadows) and Champs Hill Records (In Dance and Song); three discs for Chandos with Jennifer Pike and the Doric Quartet; two discs for Sonimage with the Aronowitz Ensemble; Finzi’s Eclogue with Aurora Orchestra for Decca Classics; works by Thomas Ades for EMI; and a duo album with Alison Balsom for Warner Classics. Two discs with violinist Elena Urioste, the first a collection of miniatures (including Tom’s own arrangements) and the second featuring the complete Grieg Violin Sonatas, are forthcoming. Tom also regularly features as soloist on film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for The Theory of Everything.

Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007, and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.

As a composer, Tom’s recent commissions include two pieces for Alison Balsom, Turn to the Watery World! and The Thoughts of Dr May, the latter recorded for Warner Classics; and The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, a chamber opera for Wattle & Daub, which received a critically acclaimed three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2017. A lifelong devotee of the Great American Songbook, Tom’s arrangements of Gershwin, Cole Porter and others have been extensively performed, broadcast and recorded. Tom has also recently appeared on stage as conductor, cellist, recorder player, swanee-whistler and Reciter in Walton’s Façade. His other passions include Indian food, redwood forests, yoga, contrabassoons, bright blue skies, wild freestyle dancing and animals with unusual noses.


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Sarah Dayan & Cécile Roubin | violin
Guillaume Becker | alto
Lydia Shelley | violoncello

Since its inception in 2004, the Quatuor Voce has been recognized internationally as one of the most fascinating string quartets among the young generation, performing worldwide alone or alongside outstanding artists such as Yuri Bashmet, Gary Hoffman, Nobuko Imai and Bertrand Chamayou. In only a few years the quartet received the highest prizes from renowned international competitions, including Geneva, Cremona, Vienna, Bordeaux, Graz, London and Reggio Emilia, and since then has been committed to championing the great repertoire for string quartet.

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In 2013, the ECHO organization named the quartet as ‘Rising Stars’ as a results of which they toured the most prestigious halls in Europe: Konzerthaus (Vienna), Philharmonie de Luxembourg, Barbican (London), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Philharmonie de Cologne, MUPA (Budapest), Gulbenkian (Lisbon), BOZAR (Brussels), Megaron (Athens), Town Hall (Birmingham), Cité de la musique (Paris), Palau de la Musica (Barcelona), Festspielhaus (Baden Baden) and, since, has been invited to perform at the Teatro de la Fenice, Teatro Colón in Bogotá, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall and the Paris Philharmonie.
Their recordings (Mozart’s Flute Quartets, Brahms & Mozart viola quintets) and their most recent one with quartets by Bartok, Janacek and Schulhoff have all been met with high critical acclaim by the international press (The Strad, Télérama, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Diapason, Strings and Bow and Klassieke Zaken).

A new venture also begins in 2017 with the Quartet launching its very own season of concerts at Le Cabaret Sauvage, a decidedly non-classical music venue in Paris. Drawing on the links they have created with dance, cinema, video, popular and traditional, the musicians of the Quartet invite the audience to take part in a unique evening. The key element is their conviction that the experience of going to a concert must be about sharing a passion, a moment where people from all walks of life and all ages can come together to listen, watch, discuss and experience something new in a relaxed and open environment.


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Perceval Gilles | violin
Sarah Sultan | cello
Pierre-Kaloyann Atanassov | piano

“Thanks to an overdeveloped sense of dialogue, [the musicians of the Trio Atanassov] invite us to delve into the depths of the score, and on many occasions, to strike the right chord in us. Confident in their technical skills and their phrasing, they give a noble opulence to the pathos of both works [trios of Smetana and Dvorak]. Their skilful use of dynamics, with large (de)crescendos, sudden contrasts, and meticulous attention to detail, contributes to building shapes of such coherence that it surpasses one’s imagination.” (Diapason, Nicolas Derny, May 2014)

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Trio Atanassov was awarded a Diapason d’Or for its first CD. With these words, Nicolas Derny pinpoints what has become, over the years, the trademark of the ensemble: interpretations subtly merging emotion and clarity.
The element which unites Perceval Gilles, Sarah Sultan and Pierre-Kaloyann Atanassov since forming the Trio in 2007 comes from a common state of mind, based on shared values: integrity, artistic demand, musical curiosity, human simplicity, along with a deep sense of sharing.

These artistic qualities have been acknowledged by the great masters of chamber music coaching the three musicians during their musical training within prestigious institutions (Conservatoire de Paris, Vienna University, ECMA). Christoph Richter, for one, mentions: “This trio bases its interpretations on constant research and ceaseless work, and has a very accurate image of the works within their repertoire.”

The craftsmanship of these three musicians allows for clarity in their playing. Unanimously praised, this clarity has enabled the artists to stand out in major competitions around the world. Winner of the Frankfurt and Graz competitions, the Trio Atanassov was also awarded in other piano trio competitions: in Osaka, Trondheim, Vienna (Joseph Haydn) and Weimar (Joseph Joachim), to mention a few. These awards have paved the road to a career which sees the Trio performing all over Europe, from the Vienna Musikverein to the Alte Oper in Francfort, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Ars Musica Festival in Brussels, the Sofia Philharmony or, in France, the Radio-France Festival in Montpellier as well as the Cité de la Musique in Paris. Recordings of the Trio’s concerts are available on European radio stations (ORF, HR2, RTS Espace 2, Musiq’3, BNR) as well as France Musique, where Frédéric Lodéon gave his Coup de Coeur to their Smetana/Dvorak CD.

Regarding their choice of repertoire, the three musicians’ insatiable curiosity has led them on the most diversified paths. Whether in Haydn’s first trios or in most recent compositions – some of which are dedicated to them -, the musicians show a musical insight that enables them to highlight the features of each work they tackle, according to its proper style. The Trio relies on this eclecticism to create programs where works from different periods and inspirations echo around a common theme. Seeking to pass on emotion and knowledge, the Trio Atanassov sees the value of sharing as their deepest motivation: “Moving, surprising & even touching our audience by sharing the emotions we have experienced as we discovered the performed works – these are the things we most fervently believe in.”


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After graduating from Covent Garden’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, Lauren Fagan has developed into one of today’s finest young sopranos. Her debut this summer as Violetta in Rodula Gaitanou’s new production of La traviata for Opera Holland Park was met with unanimous critical acclaim for both her richness of tone and compelling stage presence. This season Lauren returns to the Royal Opera House as Woglinde in Keith Warner’s Ring Cycle under Sir Antonio Pappano, as well as making her role debut as Alcina at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe.

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Notable recent highlights have included Roxana (Szymanowski’s Krol Roger) under Antonio Pappano in Rome with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with NHK Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvi, as well as Donna Anna and Musetta (La bohème) for her company debuts with Opera Holland Park and Welsh National Opera, respectively. Further ahead Lauren’s plans include her role debuts as both Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito) and Tatyana (Eugene Onegin).

Equally in demand on the concert stage, recent successes have included joining Sakari Oramo for Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music as part of the First Night of the BBC Proms, Peer Gynt with Orchestre national de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin, and Agnès in concert performances of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, with the Melos Sinfonia conducted by Oliver Zeffman, in London at LSO St Luke’s and also in St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre. This season Lauren sings Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with Symphoniker Hamburg under Eivind Gullberg-Jensen, and with Oslo Philharmonic conducted by Klaus Mäkelä, as well as joining the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for Tippett’s A Child of Our Time under David Hill.

During her seasons at Covent Garden, Lauren not only had the privilege of working with such esteemed conductors as Nicola Luisotti, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Oren, Christian Curnyn, Cornelius Meister, Daniele Rustioni and Ivor Bolton but also developed an extensive repertoire of roles. Her appearances in a number of diverse productions on the main stage, ROH2, and the Linbury Theater included Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore), Lila (The Firework-Maker’s Daughter), Ines (Il trovatore), Sophie (Werther), Jemmy (Guillaume Tell), Lia (L’enfant prodigue), Blue Fairy (The Adventures of Pinocchio) and Giulia (La scala di seta).


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Nairi Badal | piano
Adélaïde Panaget | piano

It was in 2007 that Nairi Badal and Adélaïde Panaget officially formed their duo and, on the advice of Claire Désert, performed a contemporary piece by Kurtág: Játékok. This work which would crystallise their harmony together consists of short lyrical miniatures that are meditative, full of feeling and sensitivity. Jatekok, meaning “game” in Hungarian, an idea that would become their signature.

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Winners of two major international piano duo competitions, in Rome in 2011 and Ghent in 2013, trained by N. Angelich, B. Engerer and even the Artemis Quartet, they have built up a repertoire that reflects their dynamism and expressiveness. Their first album, Danses (Dances), released under the Mirare label in 2015, has been unanimously hailed by the press and the duo is going to present it at major festivals and on great classical music stages: the Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron, Les Folles Journées in Nantes, the Warsaw Opera House, the Cité de la Musique (City of Music) in Paris, Flagey in Brussels, the Dvorak Museum in Prague, the Borsellino Theatre in Sicily, and even the Auditorium Del Massimo in Rome.

Their second album, titled The Boys and released in 2018 through Alpha Classics, is a tribute to the American piano duet of Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale. They intertwine elements of the modern and classic repertoires. Adélaïde and Naïri aim to enlarge the melomaniacs array of music and to draw their curiosity. Thanks to this new setlist, they have been invites to play at the Seine musicale in Paris, at the Pisno festival in Lille and also in Belgium and China.

Invited to play by the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Malaisia Orchestra, Guatemala Orchestra and the Sinfonia Varsovia, they have had more and more musical encounters. Beyond performing classical pieces in front of well-informed audiences, Duo Jatekok like to share their love for an art form which is sometimes not easily accessible for the majority of people. They thus take many opportunities to connect with the public in original ways, whether through taking the mic to explain the origin of a piece or a composer’s history, performing the Nutcracker with sand artist Marina Sosnina, or even bringing the Little Prince to life together with the actor Julien Cottereau.

Nairi Badal and Adélaïde Panaget find a way to reach audiences who recognise their sincerity, unaffectedness, talent and authenticity. Jatekok: playing the piano, four hands, two pianos, classic, contemporary, with the public, with other musicians, and other artists. The essence of the Duo is the playing itself.


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Sam Perkin is a composer of new orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral music. He completed an Artist Diploma in composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, France, last year, after being awarded a BMus and Masters in composition from CIT Cork School of Music, Ireland.

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His latest commission is for La Côte Flûte Festival, Switzerland, a new work entitled “Twitter” for Flute Choir and Smartphones. He has also recently completed a large-scale work entitled “Grey Area” for Ensemble and Street Skateboarding Film, for Crash Ensemble, for performance at Engage Arts Festival. His work has been performed by American contemporary-violin specialist Miranda Cuckson, and new music pioneers The Fidelio Trio amongst others. He has also been commissioned by highly respected orchestras and soloists such as Finghin Collins and The Irish Chamber Orchestra.

He won the prestigious Prix Salabert for Composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, and he was recently awarded The Next Generation Bursary in 2017 from The Arts Council of Ireland. He was composer-in-residence and The 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras in Dublin, and at ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings. He will be undertaking residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre as part of his Next Generation Award, and with Crash Ensemble in 2018/19. He has collaborated with festivals such as New Ross Piano Festival, Gregynog Festival – Wales, Ortús Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

His 365 Variations on a Gesture, an attempted self-cure for tinnitus, received three standing ovations in Dublin, Limerick and Cork last year. In his Violin Concerto “Voice”, a moment of audience humming creates an aura like none other for the final cadenza, and his recent work Pause blends the sounds of a slowed-down Irish fiddle with String Orchestra. In 2016 Brother for Solo Marimba and Voices in 6 Languages had its première in Lyon at Festival La Ferme du Vinatier and Festival Les Nuits Sonores.


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Lilly Vadaneaux has been composing since the age of six, and currently studies composition with Paul Whitmarsh at the Guildhall School of Music Junior Department, where she also studies piano with Stephen Coombs. Lilly is inspired by Renaissance music and Modernist poetry, among other musical and literary influences.

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Lilly especially loves writing for the voice and has recently completed a song cycle for tenor and piano, Cathay, a setting of three poems by Ezra Pound. She also has a strong interest in composing for other art forms including theatre, film and dance, something she looks forward to doing more of in the future. Lilly also loves choral music and sings in two choirs at her school. Two of her choral compositions have received public performances: a setting of the Salve Regina was performed by Icosa Choir in December 2017 and a setting of Emily Bronte’s Fall, Leaves, Fall was sung by The Gesualdo Six in 2016.

Lilly has won numerous composition prizes for her instrumental works, many of which have received public performances. Most recently, Lilly’s Bridge of Sighs won the NCEM Composers Award 2018 and was premiered in October 2018 by The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble at Turner Sims and broadcast on Radio 3. In 2016, she won the Clarinet and Saxophone Society (CASS) Composition Competition with her piece Nocturne, for saxophone and piano, which was performed by Rob Buckland and Fiachra Garvey at the CASS Gala Concert.

The same year, Lilly’s Nocturne no.4 for six-piece ensemble was highly commended in the BBC Proms Inspire Composition Competition. Prior to this, Lilly was the youngest ever winner of the NCEM Composers Award 2013, with her Sarabande in F sharp minor, premiered by baroque ensemble Florilegium at the Bath International Festival and broadcast on Radio 3.

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Fiachra Garvey | Piano

Brahms: Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 21, No. 1
Clara Schumann: Variations Op. 20
Rhoda Coghill: Gaelic Phantasy
Sam Perkin: New Commission


Rachmaninoff: Sonata No 1 in D minor, Op. 28

Elena Urioste | Violin
Tom Poster | Piano

Kreisler: Miniatures (Preghiera; Songs My Mother Taught Me; Midnight Bells)
Clara Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 22
Dvorák:  Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 57


Janacek: Violin Sonata
Amy Beach: Three Pieces, Op. 40
Gershwin/Heifetz: Selections from Porgy and Bess (My Man’s Gone Now; Bess, You is My Woman Now; It Ain’t Necessarily So)

Elena Urioste | Violin
Tom Poster | Piano

West Wicklow Festival & the NCH are delighted to offer this violin & piano duo masterclass with Elena Urioste and Tom Poster to advanced student violin & piano duos.

To apply, please submit your musical CV along with the repertoire you would present in the masterclass no later than 5pm, Friday 3rd May 2019 to education@nch.ie.

Participant fee: €40 per duo (40min)
Observer tickets: €5

Quatuor Voce
Fiachra Garvey | Piano

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 10 in Eb Major, Op. 74 “Harp”
Rhona Clarke: “Edge”


Dvorak: Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81

Family Music Events

Step inside Russborough House and Parklands and discover an immersive musical world suitable for the whole family! Children and their adults can explore the Musical Maze, discover the world of Whistleberry Forest, learn about different musical instruments and even get their faces painted in the playground! Fun for all the family!

Musical Maze | Open from 11am – 2 pm 

Venture through Russborough House’s 200 metre hedge maze, collecting clues and finding musical mysteries and musicians around every corner! In this educational scavenger hunt, children and adults are invited to enter the labyrinth and seek out a series of musical clues and images.  Complete your clue chart, find the statue at the centre – and try not to get lost!  

Whistle in the Wind – A Musical Trail | 11am & 12pm  

Come on a magical musical adventure to Whistleberry Forest! The creatures of Whistleberry Forest have discovered a little tree growing deep in the woods. However, there are no birds singing, no leaves rustling, and no animals scurrying around its trunk.  This delightful musical trail takes children and accompanying adults on an adventure through the forest where they explore musical soundscapes, sing, dance, and help Ornaith the owl, Sorley the snail, and Faolán the frog bring the little tree to life through music. Suitable for children ages 2-6 and their parents/guardians.

Limited places, sign-up sheet located near Russborough’s obelisk on the day.

Micro Concerts & Instrument Demonstrations
Start times: 11am | 12:30pm | 2:00pm

Venture through Russborough House to meet individual musicians and their instruments! Small groups will learn about each instrument’s sound and how it is played, before gathering for a micro concert in the inner chambers of the building.  Unique performances in unique spaces! Designed for 4 – 12 year olds and their families, all welcome!

Limited places, tickets available 60mins before each performance

Please note, children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all events.

Tickets will not be available in advance.  Tickets will be available for collection on site Saturday 18 May from 10am.

Trio Atanassov

Schumann: Fantasiestücke for Trio, Op. 88
Lili Boulanger: D’un Matin de Printemps
Bartok: Dance Suite


Franck Martin: Trio on Irish Folk tunes
Ravel: Trio in A minor

Lauren Fagan | Soprano
Fiachra Garvey | Piano

Clara Schumann: Three Lieder, Op. 12
Rachmaninoff: “To Her” ,”The Rat Catcher”, “The Dream” from Six Romances, Op. 38
Grieg: “Zur Rosenzeit” , “Ein Traum” from Six Songs, Op. 48
Lilly Vadaneaux: The Cloths of Heaven (new commission)
Poulenc: Deux Poems de Louis Aragon
Schubert: Ganymed, D. 544
Strauss: Three Songs – “Meinem Kinde” “Das Rosenband”  “Cäcilie” 
Puccini: “Senza Mamma” from Suor Angelica
Gounod: “Dieu! Quel frisson…” from Romeo & Juliette

Duo Jatekok | Piano duo

Joan Trimble: Sonatina
Brubeck: Points on Jazz


Liszt: Sonata in B minor
Bizet: Carmen-Fantasie

Book Tickets

Book Now

Our tickets are being sold through the National Concert Hall. Please click the link above to book your tickets online. If you would prefer to book over the phone please call the number below.

Box Office: +353 (0)1 417 0000

Special Ticket Offers: 

Festival Ticket: €170 

Get access to every concert at the 2019 West Wicklow Festival by purchasing a full Festival Ticket for only €170. That’s a saving of over €30 versus purchasing individual tickets. Please call the NCH Box Office to book. 

Sunday Festival Ticket: €50 

Get tickets for both Sunday concerts at St. Mary’s Church for just €50! (Individual concert tickets on Sunday are €28 each) Please call the NCH Box Office to book. 


Upon clicking any of the “Book Now” links you will be taken automatically to our booking page on the NCH website.
Should you experience any difficulties please call the box office at the number above.

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Visit West Wicklow

Widely known as The Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow boasts some of the finest scenery along Ireland’s Ancient East. From pristine beaches to the stunning Wicklow Mountains, Wicklow has it all! As Ireland’s premier outdoor destination, Wicklow has an abundance of outdoor activities on offer as well having Ireland’s largest national park, its highest waterfall, its largest mountainous area and its largest man-made lake!

The beautiful area of West Wicklow is home to some of Wicklow’s most scenic areas where the Wicklow Mountains meet the glistening Blessington lakes. Nestled amongst the lakes is the town of Blessington, where the West Wicklow Festival is based. If you’re visiting West Wicklow for the Festival this year, make sure to sample the impressive array of activities, attractions and hospitality available.

For further information about visiting the Wicklow area, please visit visitwicklow.ie.

Russborough House

One of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in Ireland, Russborough House is the home of the West Wicklow Festival and the majority of our performances take place in this stunning location. Built between 1741 and 1755, the house was originally owned by Joseph Leeson, the first Earl of Milltown. It remained in the family for many years, until it was purchased in 1952 by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit in1952. They had bought it to house their considerable collection of art and in 1976 they founded the Alfred Beit Foundation, which continues to manage the property today, although both Sir Alfred and Lady Beit have both passed away.

Sir Alfred was a keen amateur pianist and both he and Lady Beit were avid concert and opera patrons so it is very fitting to have music performed once again in the house. Russborough House is open to the public and in addition to offering guided tours of the ornate interior; there are a great many outdoor activities on its expansive estate.

For more information, please visit http://www.russborough.ie/.

St. Mary’s Church, Blessington

St Mary’s Church is one of the most historic buildings in Blessington with wonderful acoustics and a strong connection to Russborough House. It was built around 1680 and its graveyard is the resting place of Sir Alfred and Lady Beit, members of the Milltown family and “The Highland Lady in Ireland” Elizabeth Smith.

In 2018, West Wicklow Festival hosted a performance by Gavan Ring (baritone) and Fiachra Garvey (piano). The Festival looks forward to two wonderful concerts in St Mary’s in 2019, on Sunday 19th May, bringing the festival to a close.


West Wicklow has a huge variety of accommodation options, from Hotels to B&Bs, Guesthouses to Hostels! We are delighted to recommend the following accommodation for your stay in West Wicklow.

Tulfarris Hotel

This four star hotel and golf resort offers stunning views of the Blessington Lakes and a range of different accommodation options. There is also a great selection of activities available onsite including golf, tennis and beautiful walking trails.

For bookings please call +353 45 867 600 or visit www.tulfarrishotel.com/.

Abhainn Ri – Farmhouse & Cottages

Overlooking the beautiful Wicklow Hills, Abhainn Ri boasts stunning 4* holiday cottages and a 5* Luxury Farmhouse B&B as well as offering a truly Irish Farm Experience. Named after the “King’s River” which flows into the stunning Blessington Lakes, Abhainn Ri is a short drive to Russborough and is the perfect place to stay during your visit to the West Wicklow Festival.

We are delighted to recommend this accommodation to our patrons. For bookings, please visit www.abhainn-ri.com.

June Blake’s Garden

Nestled within June Blake’s internationally acclaimed garden is a wonderfully unique option for visitors to the area. The Cow House and The Turkey House offer luxury accommodation in 2-bed beautifully restored farmhouses. For more information, please visit www.juneblake.ie

The Avon

Situated on the shores of the Blessington Lakes, The Avon offers a variety of accommodation options as well as hosting functions, events and activities for all the family. For bookings, please visit www.theavon.club.

Food & Drink

West Wicklow also has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike when it comes to great food and drink. Whether you fancy something light for lunch, a three-course meal for dinner or just somewhere to sit back and relax with a drink there is an abundance of fine choices.

Situated on the beautiful Russborough Estate, Brambles Café, offers a variety of hot and cold food in a truly marvellous setting. This is the perfect accompaniment to your visit to the West Wicklow Festival and we are delighted to recommend Brambles Café to all our patrons.

Tulfarris Hotel offers a range of dining options with The Lime Tree Restaurant and Elk Bar both serving a wide selection of lunch and dinner options. www.tulfarrishotel.com/.

The Grangecon Café is the perfect place for a tasty lunch and great coffee. It has won numerous awards and is situated right in the heart of Blessington. grangeconcafe.blogspot.com/

Also situated in Blessington town is a local favourite, the West Wicklow House, with a good selection of food and drink in a comfortable, authentic Irish pub. www.westwicklowhouse.com/

Crafternoon Tea

Situated on Blessington’s Main Street, Crafternoon Tea is a unique and welcoming cafe and craftshop. Serving Bewley’s tea & coffee with a selection of home-baked cakes, bread and scones this charming place is well worth a visit. For more information, please visit https://crafternoontea.ie/.

Getting Here

Blessington is approximately 30 minutes drive from Dublin and it is also served by Dublin Bus, Route 65. If you are coming from Dublin City Centre, take the M50, then follow the N81 all the way to Blessington.

If you’re travelling from South Wicklow, follow the M50 to Dublin and take the N81 for the quickest route.

Alternatively, you can take the scenic route through the gorgeous Wicklow Mountains.  

Blessington Lakes

Covering approximately 5,000 acres of water, the Blessington Lakes are man-made reservoirs which were created with the building of the Poulaphouca Dam and hydroelectric station. Boasting the title of the largest man-made lake in Ireland, the Poulaphouca Reservoir is a great base for outdoor activities and there are stunning walking tracks, drives and cycling tracks to be enjoyed all around the lakes. You can also hire boats for fishing expeditions or simply to enjoy the stunning views from the lake itself. For more information, please visit www.visitwicklow.ie.

The Wicklow Way

If you enjoy the outdoors, then Wicklow is the perfect place to get out into the fresh air and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer! The Wicklow Way is part of a nation-wide network of long distance walkways which are self-guided. the Wicklow Way stretches over 127 kilometers and covers all sorts of terrain. For more information, about walking trails in Wicklow please visit www.visitwicklow.ie/the-wicklow-way/.

Blessington Greenway

The Blessington Greenway walk links the historic town of Blessington with the Palladian mansion at Russborough House. The trail starts at Blessington and leads south along the shores of Blessington Lakes and through forest and natural woodland. The Greenway weaves its way along the shores of the glistening lakes, crosses an ancient medieval Ringfort and goes through the forest at Burgage Moyle lane before making its way to Russellstown Bay, adjacent to Russborough House. For more information, please visit www.visitwicklow.ie/item/blessington-greenway-walk/.

Baltinglass Abbey

Founded in 1148 by Dermot McMurrogh, Baltinglass Abbey housed up to 36 Cistercian monks and lay brothers. In the early 16th Century, Baltinglass Abbey was one the richest in Ireland, until the reformation by Henry VIII which saw the dissolution of the order. For more information, please visit www.visitwicklow.ie/item/baltinglass-abbey/.


A little further East from Blessington, you’ll find the historic site of Glendalough which is easily accessible by car and the perfect day-trip before an evening concert back at Russborough House. Made famous by an ancient monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin, Glendalough’s iconic Round Tower, Cathedral and church buildings attract thousands of tourists every year to the area. Set within the stunning Wicklow Mountains National Park, Glendalough (translated as the Glen of the Two Lakes) is an area of outstanding beauty with a multitude of walking trails, including The Wicklow Way.

For more information on the area, please visit wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie/, www.glendalough.ie/ or visitwicklow.ie/.