Black Angles to be heard in St Nicholas’

BLACK ANGLES, one of the darkest and most challenging pieces of music ever composed for a string quartet, will be performed by ConTempo during the Galway Arts Festival.

The ConTempo Quartet will perform Black Angles in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, on Saturday July 24 at 8pm. On the night they will be joined by the world renowned Israeli percussionist Chen Zimbalista.

This will be the first time the piece, by American composer George Crumb, has been performed in Galway. It was originally written in 1970 and was inspired by avant garde and electronic music, as well as by the Vietnam War.

Crumb did not originally intend for Black Angels to refer to the war, but he began to associate the work with Vietnam towards the end of its composition. “I came to recognise that there was something of the feeling of that strange time,” he has said. “That’s when I called it music in tempore belli, in time of war.”

Over the last 40 years, the piece has gained a global cult following and is widely recognised as one of the most challenging ensemble pieces ever written.

“ConTempo are hugely excited to be given the opportunity to perform this piece,” says ConTempo cellist Adrian Mantu. “We are delighted that the arts festival have agreed to include it in this year’s programme. We are also truly looking forward to playing with Chen Zimbalista whose vibrant performances we have enjoyed and admired for some time.”

Chen Zimbalista’s stage performances have been described as explosive, energetic, and riveting. At the arts festival with ConTempo he will perform Concerto for Marimba and Strings by Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro. He will also play a selection of percussion solos from his current repertoire.

Tickets are available from the festival box office, Galway Tourist Office, Forster Street, and

Learn percussion with Chen Zimbalista

During his visit to Galway, Zimbalista will also present a masterclass for Galway musicians on Saturday July 24 at 11am at the Galway Education Centre.

The workshop is open to all, the general public, musicians, and particularly percussionists, and will focus on solo and chamber music playing.

Places are limited for this one off event and places are on a first come first served basis. Class fee is €10.



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