Exciting times for ConTempo and expanded Galway Music Residency

The ConTempo Quartet (pictured) will perform Beethoven’s Op 132 at The Kenny Gallery, Liosbán, on Saturday at 1pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The ConTempo Quartet (pictured) will perform Beethoven’s Op 132 at The Kenny Gallery, Liosbán, on Saturday at 1pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

OVER THE past decade, audiences in Galway city and county have grown hugely fond of The Galway Ensemble in Residence – ConTempo String Quartet.

They have brought the residency programme from its birth in 2003 to its present position today where it fills a key role in the community and in many education programmes countywide. Now, the residency is getting an exciting re-launch which will see the programme of events expanded with guest residencies from a wide range of top-class musicians across a range of genres.

The ConTempo String Quartet remain as the Galway Ensemble in Residence and will be very much at the heart of the newly rebranded Galway Music Residency, continuing to perform for and teach hundreds of audience members and students.

As their residency enters its eighth year this tradition of excellence in string quartet playing will continue and be expanded upon with the addition of a number of short residencies with brass, wind, and vocal musicians.

These guest artists will work with local students and musicians, collaborate with ConTempo, provide performances in the on-going programme of community work, and add further lustre to the Galway Music Residency project as it evolves.

The residency is delighted that renowned Irish singer Deirdre Moynihan will be the first guest artist in this programme, launching The Galway Music Residency and returning in June with Irish guitarist Alec O’Leary.

As part of the ongoing collaboration with the Galway Arts Festival, the renowned Israeli percussionist Chen Zimbalista will be in Galway to work and perform with ConTempo and to give a percussion master class.

The outstanding Dutch ensemble, the Calefax Reed Quintet, will take time out from international touring to be in residence in Galway this September and October and there will also be a St Patrick’s Festival residency in March 2011.

The re-branded Galway Music Residency will be officially launched today at Sheridan’s On The Docks, where ConTempo will be joined in performance by Deirdre Moynihan. Programme details for the year ahead are also being announced, comprising an exciting array of concerts, workshops, community events, and the continuation of such popular strands as the Lunchtime @ the Library series.

These free monthly performances take place on the first Tuesday of each month from 1.10pm to 1.50pm in the Galway City Library, St Augustine Street.

What is perhaps most impressive about the relaunched, expanded, Galway Music Residency is that the programme has been put together in spite of ConTempo having their funding cut by €40,000 this year due to the economic downturn.

Looking forward to the year ahead, the ConTempo quartet of Bogdan, Ingrid, Andreea, and Adrian are united in declaring.

“It is with great pleasure that we invite Galway, our favourite audience, to join us in exploring a new repertoire,” they say, “and enjoying the renewed energy of our residency.”

Galway audiences will doubtless be delighted to take up that invitation.

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