Music for Galway is very pleased to announce that pianist Finghin Collins, one of Irelands finest classical musicians, is taking on the role of Artistic Director for the coming two seasons. He succeeds Jane O’Leary who was a founding member and driving force of Music for Galway for over three decades. She is stepping down as Artistic Director at the end of January to focus on her own work as composer.
Finghin is absolutely delighted to have been appointed: I’m looking forward very much to putting together some exciting programmes for the upcoming seasons. In particular I wish to continue the excellent work done by Jane O’Leary over so many years in Galway and hope that my contribution will in some way measure up to what she has achieved. I hope that the variety and diversity of the programmes we present will appeal to a large cross-section of society and that people of all walks of life will come to savour the music we offer. … We need culture and music more than ever to provide an outlet for our emotions, an escape from the daily routine. There is nothing quite like live music, performed in the flesh before us, to provide this comfort, to inspire us and to open our minds and our hearts.
Delia Breathnach, chair of Music for Galway welcomes Finghin wholeheartedly: We are thrilled to have been able to secure the services of an artist of such calibre. Music for Galway is continually evolving and looks to Finghin to lead the organisation in new and challenging directions. We look forward to working with him on the seasons ahead.
Finghin Collins is well known to Galway audiences, and indeed has been performing in Music for Galway concerts since his teens. He was born in Dublin and studied with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and with Dominique Merlet at the Geneva Conservatoire. He established his international reputation by winning the 1999 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition. Since then he has performed with leading orchestras such as the Chicago, City of Birmingham and Houston Symphony Orchestras, the Seoul, London, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras and many more. During the 2012/13 season he completes his three-year tenure as Associate Artist of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, rounding off his cycle of the complete Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos. He also performs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and gives recitals, chamber music performances and masterclasses in the UK, USA, France and Switzerland. His recordings of Schumann’s piano music for Claves Records in Switzerland have received widespread acclaim, including Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine in 2006. His most recent recording for Claves of works by Stanford with the RTE NSO has also been very well received, and was Editor’s Choice in May 2011. Finghin Collins has been Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival since its inception in 2006, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dublin International Piano Competition.