Altissimo Quintet
Violins – Joanne Quigley and Paul O’Hanlon 
Violas – Adèle Johnson and Errika Horsley; Cello – Martin Johnson
Tuesday 9 April 2013
The Ballroom, Hotel Meyrick, 8 pm
Brahms: String Quintet Op. 111
Please note change: Stephen Gardner: “Bicycles” (2013) 
Dvorak: String Quintet Op. 97 American
Tickets: €20/€16 (concession) / €6 (full time students) 
Booking: Music for Galway 091 705 962, or Opus 2, 4 High Street, or

Altissimo Quintet, Ireland’s only viola quintet, visits Galway for the first time on Tuesday 9 April at Hotel Meyrick at 8pm. This second last concert of the current Music for Galway series holds a special treat in store with the world premiere of Stephen Gardner’s ‘Bicycles’, an 8-minute piece specially composed for the ensemble.

Altissimo Quintet features some of Ireland’s top string players who particularly encourage Irish contemporary composers to help them broaden the repertoire for this rich musical genre, hence the partnership with Stephen Gardner.

Preceding this world premiere will be Brahms’ String Quintet No. 2. At the time of writing this piece, the composer was seriously considering giving up writing music. However, a friend, Theodor Billroth wrote to him after hearing it rehearsed: ‘Today I heard enthusiastic shouts, “The most beautiful music he has ever composed!” … I have often reflected on the subject of what happiness is for humanity. Well, today in listening to your music, that was happiness.’ His letter evidently didn’t do any harm, for Brahms went on to give us such masterpieces as the wonderful Clarinet Trio Op. 114.

Closing out the evening will be Dvorak’s American Quintet, penned during a very happy time while holidaying in Spillville, a small town in Iowa. Having spent his first season in New York, he wrote with delight: “I was walking in the woods by the stream and heard the singing of birds for the first time in eight months!”  This melodious folk-inspired piece was the result.

Altissimo Quintet gave its first public concert in the summer of 2011, going on to perform regularly in Dublin. 2013 will see them venture further afield. Under new leadership from acclaimed Northern Irish violinist, Joanne Quigley, this year’s performances will be augmented by concerts for the Music for Galway series as well others north of the border. They will also be giving composition workshops across Ireland, North and South, throughout 2014, reaching out to audiences and new composers alike.

Come along and share the happiness that listening to such works performed live by top players can bring.

Music for Galway gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.


Posted on April 1, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on MUSIC FOR GALWAY PRESENTS: OLD WORLD – NEW WORLD.

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