Finding a Voice 2020

by admin on 21/02/2020

05/03/2020 – 08/03/2020 all-day
Various Venues
Co Tipperary

Finding a Voice, Clonmel’s celebration of music by women composers, is back for its third year, from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th March.  So far, music by more than fifty different women composers have featured, from the twelfth century to the present day, and that number is set to grow again this year

From the beginning, Finding a Voice has covered a range of musical eras and genres and this year jazz and traditional music will be featuring for the first time. The opening concert with the CSM Jazz Big Band will include music by Mary Lou Williams, one of the greatest jazz performers and composers, who played with people like Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Thelonius Monk.  Her music will appear alongside that of Christine Jensen and up-and-coming Irish composer, Áine Delaney.

There will be two very special concerts on Friday, 6th March, with the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet and pianist, Aileen Cahill. The lunchtime concert will feature music for viola and piano, played by Andreea Banciu and Aileen, who will perform Rebecca Clarke’s gorgeous Viola Sonata alongside works by Clara Schumann and Amy Beach. That evening, there will be more Amy Beach in the form of her wonderful Piano Quintet, as well as Fanny Mendelssohn’s romantic-era String Quartet and works by Irish composers, Jane O’Leary and Deirdre McKay. 

New York-based, Irish pianist, Isabelle O’Connell, who played in the first Finding a Voice in 2017 and wowed audiences then, will return this year. For the Saturday lunchtime concert, she’ll be joined by the flautist Miriam Kaczor for a gorgeously varied programme of music, from early twentieth century works by Lili Boulanger, to Cuban-American Tania León’s Del Caribe Soy! Then that evening Isabelle will perform a solo concert of music by contemporary composers such as Missy Mazzoli and Mary Koumouymdjian, as well as the world premiere of a new work by Gráinne Mulvey. 

There will be another premiere on Sunday, 8th March, which is International Women’s Day, with the first performance of the winning piece from the competition for emerging composers. The composer and harpist, Anne-Marie O’Farrell, who adjudicated the competition, will give a lunchtime concert of music for pedal and Irish harp, entitled Harp Galactique.  Later that afternoon, the winner of the competition, Rose Connolly, will join multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer Imogen Gunner, for a free concert of original pieces informed by traditional music, jazz, and improvisation.

The final concert will feature the fabulous Irish Baroque Orchestra, directed by Claire Duff in a programme of works by Italian and French composers, with a special emphasis on the music of Isabella Leonarda, the seventeenth-century Ursuline nun who was one of the most successful and prolific composers of her day

The IBO will be giving a free workshop for 12-18 year olds in the run-up to the concerts on Saturday, 29th February, in association with Music Generation in Clonmel.  Over the weekend of the concerts, there will also be a talk by Michael Dervan on violinist Maud MacCarthy and other forgotten women in Ireland’s musical history.  


For full programme details, or to book, visit






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