Galway Early Music Festival

May 22 2020 - May 24 2020
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Contact details


Various Venues, Galway City, Galway,
T: +353 46 19039

From May 22-24 enjoy the best of medieval, renaissance and baroque music in Galway, the liveliest medieval city in Europe! A packed weekend of concerts, workshops, exhibitions and street music, with international and Irish artists.

Galway Early Music celebrates its 25th festival in Galway’s year as Cultural Capital of Europe. The theme of the Festival ‘Passaggio: Music Journeys in Time and Space’ echoes Galway 2020’s themes of language, landscape and migration. Musicians are a very peripatetic lot – the composers that feature in the programme travelled the length and breadth of Europe, and even as far as the middle east and South America. They travelled by foot and boat, through Alpine passes and across Irish bogs. They wrote in Latin and in their own languages: Latin, Irish, German, French, Spanish, et alia. In their travels they experienced new cultures, and in turn influenced those cultures with new musical ideas and new instruments.

With an eye on Ireland and its interactions with Great Britain and Europe, the festival concert highlights include:

• Schottenklöster: Chant for St Patrick, St Brigid and St Killian, which Irish monks brought to the monasteries in Germany that they established in the 12th century, known as the Schottenklöster (Irish Cloisters).
• The Kingdom of Ireland: A tale of two musical cultures in Ireland in the period when Ireland was colonised and ruled by Kings and Queens of England
• Songs of the Crusades: songs of exhortation, praise and sadness – a thoughtful reminder that no war is ‘holy’.
• On the Road to Hell: a light-hearted musical journey from celestial to infernal realms, with a pause for earthly delights along the way, featuring much travelled composers, many of whom had connections with Ireland.
• Abendmusik 3: Over the Alps: the Irish premiere of Johan Rosenmüller’s (1619-1684) Vespers, and contemporary composer Sean Doherty’s Hail! Gladdening Light. (In association with Resurgam and Music for Galway)

With six concerts in 3 days, this will be an immersive experience. In addition to the concerts the festival includes a renaissance dance workshop, a workshop for oud and lute players, a Music Instrument Makers exhibition and a talk and demonstration of the a unique musical instrument found in an archeological dig in Ireland.

Performers include Siobhán Armstrong (early Irish harp & baroque harp) and The Irish Consort; Ars Choralis Coeln (director Maria Jonas); Amra Chant Choir (director Dr Ann Buckley); Enea Sorini (vocals & percussion); Peppa Frana (oud); Resurgam Chamber Choir (director Mark Duley; The English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble; The Alphabet Baroque Club of San Francisco with guest Ruth Cunningham of Anonymous 4; The Youth Ensemble of Kiili Estonia; and Simon and Maria O’Dwyer of Ancient Music Ireland.