Festival Welcome

Music that sounds as its creators imagined it. Musicians who play with rapture and conviction. Concert-goers who take plunges into worlds of sound, far removed from the bustle of everyday life. The Guitar Festival of Ireland makes it all possible and has been doing so since 2004. Since its beginnings the GFI has been transformed from a genre-based festival to a more eclectic series of events that now spans the boundaries of an incredibly diverse instrument. Never afraid to take chances the festival team have, to date, produced an impressive array of the best in live guitar music with ground-breaking collaborations from internationally acclaimed musicians as well as from innovative new artists from home and abroad.

Welcome to the 2018 Guitar Festival of Ireland. The festival, now in its 12th year, is a world-class music event and features a programme of great performances in some of Dublin’s finest venues. This year the festival opens on Thursday 28 June with one of Dublin’s most impressive performing groups – GuitaRIAM. Directed by Marion Hyland this ensemble has been a true festival favourite for many years. In 2013 the GFI commissioned a new work for 16 guitars (April Song), with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland, from the multifaceted guitarist/composer Roland Dyens for GuitaRIAM to perform. This concert sparked such a response from the audience that GuitaRIAM have been something of an annual attraction at the GFI since then. Following this we look forward to hearing a versatile and imaginative young performer described as ‘the next rising star of the classical guitar world’. Italian guitarist Elena Zucchini will perform a lunchtime concert in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. We are very excited to be able to offer this free event in association with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino.

On the evening of Friday 29th of June with his own special brand of virtuosic guitar work Spanish guitarist Marco Socías makes his festival debut. On Saturday 30 June, performing in the National Concert Hall, we see the return of the Moynihan/O’Leary Duo to the festival. London’s Classical Guitar Magazine has referred to the Moynihan/O’Leary Duo as an “authentic and musically profound ensemble”. Join us for this lunchtime concert titled Summer Shall not Fade – a captivating programme of rarely heard music by Joaquin Rodrigo, witty and amorous Seguidillas by Spanish composer Fernando Sor and some sun-shine filled musical delights by Enrique Granados.

Saturday night is trad-night at the GFI. Trad marvel John Doyle will be sharing the stage with the legendary Seamie O’Dowd in a gig that will surely be remembered for many years to come. On Sunday 1 July will showcase more large scale guitar works with amateur group the Wexford Guitar Ensemble (presented in partnership with Music Network, National Opera House and Wexford County Council)  joining forces with the well established and well loved Irish Guitar Quartet. This one will be a real treat for ensemble participant and spectator alike!

And to the final night of the 2018 Guitar Festival of Ireland we have Grammy award winning guitar superstar David Russell performing the closing concert in Christchurch Cathedral giving us all something to talk about for the next year. This is one you won’t want to miss! I would like to thank the Arts Council, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino, The Royal Irish Academy of Music and Dr. Aidan Seery of Trinity College Dublin for their support.

I hope you can make some or all of the events on offer and I promise you will be in for a good night’s entertainment!

Alec O’Leary,
Festival Director.

 

What the press say:

‘Set to be a humdinger of an event with yet another mouthwatering programme crammed with international artists of high repute.’ Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine, London.

‘Workshops, concerts, classes and all kinds of celebrations for one of the world’s greatest instruments.’ Hotpress.

‘Unlike the sequels to Jaws and Rocky the Guitar Festival of Ireland actually gets better every year.’ Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine, London.

‘It is remarkable how the occasion has grown into an event of extravagant proportions with some of the most prestigious names in the guitar world.’ Classical Guitar Magazine, London.

 

Moynihan/O’Leary Duo  Deirdre Moynihan (Soprano) and Alec O’Leary (Guitar) are recognised as one of Ireland’s leading duos. They are an engaging and...

Irish Guitar Quartet The Irish Guitar Quartet is drawn from some of Ireland’s most talented and versatile classical guitarists and is one of Ireland’s...

… a talent of extraordinary dimension. — The New York Times D avid Russell is world renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry, having earned...

Joaquín Rodrigo praised the CD “Elogio de la guitarra”, which includes some of his solo pieces and recorded by Marco Socías in 1997, as follows: “A new...

‘Doyle on guitar has risen to a level occupied by him alone. No one in Irish traditional music is a better guitarist than him right now. His chops, always...

GuitaRiam, the Royal Irish Academy of Music guitar ensemble was formed in late 2011 by its director and head of guitar studies Marion Hyland. The ensemble is...

E lena Zucchini graduated in 2010 with a Master’s Degree from one of the finest music academies in the world, the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel. Described...