Irish Chamber Orchestra 

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Kilkenny Arts Festival


Kilkenny Arts Festival (11-20 August 2017)

Sat & Sun 12 & 13 August – De Profundis Premiere with Stephen Rea

Saturday 12 August – Death & The Maiden with Katherine Hunka

Wednesday 16 August – Schubert/Widmann Octets

Saturday 19 August – Schubert Great C Major Symphony/The Shepherd On The Rock – Ailish Tynan, Jörg Widmann


Irish Chamber Orchestra

Katherine Hunka Director


Schubert    Death and the Maiden D180 arr. Mahler

Directed by Katherine Hunka, the ICO opens the second year of its Festival residency with Mahler’s orchestral arrangement of Schubert’s masterpiece – a day after Quatuor Mosaïques will have performed the original version. In St Canice’s Cathedral – the ideal venue in which to experience the work in all its visceral power – Death and the Maiden promises to be a highlight of the Festival’s opening weekend.

Saturday 12 August 8.30pm    Black Abbey


Irish Chamber Orchestra

Stephen Rea Actor

Neil Martin Music

DE PROFUNDIS by Oscar Wilde

Between November 1895 and May 1897 Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading Gaol, spending 23 hours a day confined to a cell so small he could touch both sides at the same time. It was not until 1897 that he was given pen and paper, and what he wrote was De Profundis, ‘one of the greatest love letters ever written’ (Colm Tóibín).

Addressed to his lover ‘Bosie’ (Lord Alfred Douglas), and written over the course of two months, De Profundis is an extraordinary testament to strength in adversity. Stephen Rea (who performed Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid: Book VI to great acclaim at the Festival last year) returns to the Watergate to premiere a specially abridged version of Wilde’s epic letter. Featuring a live score composed by Neil Martin and performed by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, this performance of Wilde’s most personal text by one of Ireland’s finest actors promises to be an intensely dramatic and moving experience.

Saturday 12 16.00pm Watergate Theatre

Sunday 13 16.00pm Watergate Theatre


Irish Chamber Orchestra

Jörg Widmann Director/Clarinet


Schubert Octet in F major, D803

Widmann Octet

The highlight of the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s residency at this year’s Festival is a pair of concerts that brings two of Schubert’s key late works into creative juxtaposition with the music of Jörg Widmann, one of Germany’s great living composers. Performed by an ICO ensemble with Widmann on clarinet, this concert presents two radically different, yet complimentary, octets. Schubert’s pioneering work adds double-bass, clarinet, bassoon and horn to the traditional string quartet, enabling him to alternate the intimate tones of chamber music with large-scale orchestral effects in a delightfully light-hearted composition. It’s an approach to which Widmann pays tribute in his own octet, with its Schubertian intrada, anguished middle movement and energetic finale.

Aug 16th Concert 20.00 Black Abbey


Irish Chamber Orchestra

Jörg Widmann Director/Clarinet

Ailish Tynan Soprano


Widmann Free Pieces

Schubert Shepherd on the Rock (Ailish Tynan)

Schubert Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944 (Great)

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s residency at this year’s Festival culminates with a performance of Schubert’s largest-scale masterpiece: the great Symphony No. 9, an astonishingly original work and ‘one of the pinnacles of the symphonic repertoire’. In this rich and varied programme conductor Jörg Widmann pairs Symphony No. 9 with Schubert’s glorious last song cycle, The Shepherd on the Rock (featuring soloist Ailish Tynan) and his own Freie Stücke, ten short pieces that give full rein to his remarkable talent.

Aug 19th 7.30 St Canice’s Cathedral

Concert Dates

  • 20:30, Saturday, August 12, 2017

    St Canice’s Cathedral

    Tickets no longer available

  • 1502911800
  • 19:30, Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    The Watergate Theatre

    Tickets no longer available

  • 1503171000
  • 19:30, Saturday, August 19, 2017

    St. Canice’s Cathedral

    Tickets no longer available


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