Saturday 19 September 2020

CorkHi18°| Lo11°

Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Guess who's Bach in town?

Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 3:10pm

If you were to take a stroll past City Hall this week, you just might hear one of the nation’s finest orchestras rehearsing for a very special online performance.

Early next month the Esker Festival Orchestra will perform and record a beautiful programme of music to be streamed from Leeside.

Conducted by its founder Peter Joyce, the Galway-based ensemble will treat both local and global audiences to a programme featuring pieces from Gustav Mahler, Anton Webern and Sebastien Bach.

Due to Covid-19, the orchestra was forced to reduce in size, facing Peter Joyce with the challenge of putting together a performance programme that would be both historically accurate and suitable for chamber orchestra.

“The giant orchestras we are used to today are a relatively new phenomenon,” explains Peter.

“It’s been fascinating to research the historical precursors of today’s limitations and to build a programme that can work with a smaller ensemble.

“On the one hand, in Bach’s time, orchestras were rarely larger than 20 musicians, and in the early 20th century, as with the Mahler and Webern, there was a movement of arranging works for large orchestras so that they could be performed by smaller ensembles.

“In some ways this allows us to connect more directly with the music and opens up new horizons for interpretation.”

The ensemble will bring together some of Ireland’s highest calibre of young professional musicians, not to mention a strong contingent from Cork including violinist Hugh Murray, celloist Yseult Cooper Stockdale, pianist Ellen Jansson and percussionist Alex Petcu.

The Esker Festival Orchestra, which is entirely run by its members, was set up in 2014 to provide a high quality, beneficial and meaningful musical opportunity for young emerging musicians from all across Ireland.

The performance will premiere online on 6 September at 6pm and will be available on the Esker Festival Orchestra website, Facebook, and YouTube.

This evening (Thursday), in the lead-up to the event, there will be a live question and answers session on the Esker Festival Orchestra Facebook page with Peter Joyce and the members of the ensemble all set to take part.

The session will focus on the transition from student to professional musician and feature information about the pieces and the rehearsal process.

Questions can be submitted either by private message on social media or via email at

The Esker Festival Orchestra is supported by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, The Arts Council, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Cork City Council and CIT Cork School of Music.

Full details of the performance can be found at

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message