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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Keeping the Beet alive

Wednesday, 18th November, 2020 5:40pm

Cork’s keeping it classy this winter as the Triskel Arts Centre prepares to celebrate 250 years since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven with a series of special concerts.

The series, which continues the partnership between Triskel and the National String Quartet Foundation, will see four concerts streamed online from the heart of Cork city between now and mid-December.

It all kicks off tomorrow (Friday) with veteran Cork-based Vanbrugh Quartet who, having gone their separate ways in 2017, have reunited for this very special event which is clearly close to their hearts.

So close in fact, that they are playing a second concert on 4 December, completing the first half of this unique series.

The quartet has been active since 1986 and has played close to 3,000 concerts worldwide as well as releasing more than 30 CDs of repertoire ranging from the complete Beethoven quartets to many contemporary Irish works.

Making up the quartet are Keith Pascoe, Elizabeth Charleson, Simon Aspell and Christopher Marwood.

Next up on 11 December is the Ficino Quartet who, led by founder and Artistic Director Nathan Sherman, will perform one of the more contrasted concerts in the series with Beethoven’s Quartet in C minor Op.18, No.4 and Quartet in F major Op.135.

Ficino Ensemble was set up in 2012 as a flexible group aiming to perform popular chamber music alongside lesser known works that they feel deserve to be appreciated.

Nathan will be joined by Ficino members Elaine Clark, Lynda O'Connor and Ailbhe McDonagh for the concert.

To finish the series on 18 December, the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s charismatic leader, Katherine Hunka, will be joined by three of Cork’s finest musicians, Marja Gaynor, Cian Ó Duill and Aoife Nic Athlaoich.

Together they will perform Beethoven’s quartets Op.18 No.5 in A major, followed by Op.95 in F minor.

The series, which is presented with the support of the Arts Council, RTÉ and Cork City Council, will be streamed online from Triskel Arts Centre at 8pm on each of the four dates.

“This year has been one of changes but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to music and artists, and we’re delighted to honour Beethoven during this anniversary year,” said Tony Sheehan, Artistic Director at the Triskel.

“We may not be together in person but we know the community that has built up around our classical music series will join us virtually for four beautiful concerts.”

Renowned cellist Christopher Marwood, director of the National String Quartet Foundation also added that the foundation is committed to bringing chamber music to audiences throughout Ireland.

“This is especially important in a year which has seen such an upheaval of the live music profession,” he said.

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