John O’Conor returns for family concert at Town Hall

Renowned pianist John O'Conor is making a welcome return to Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on Friday March 6 as part of Adventures in Music's fifth anniversary celebrations. Known around the world as ‘a true poet of the piano’, John O'Conor is also the professor of piano for the Royal Irish Academy of Music. On this occasion he will be performing a family concert which not only promises to delight the most avid classical music fan but will also be an inspiration to the younger members of the audience.

Inspiring youthful audiences is just what Adventures in Music has been all about ever since its inception five years ago, as company secretary Anne Weadick recalls: “I’m originally from Canada, but I moved to Galway and soon afterwards had a baby. I then started meeting other young mothers, all of whom were keen to find cultural activities they could bring their kids to. So a few of us got together and started organising classes and concerts. We found these had a great response, both from participating musicians and from parents and children. And over the past five years we’ve managed to grow and develop; for instance we are now part of the National Concert Hall’s Learn and Explore programme which runs workshops for kids aged from six months upwards. The next series of Learn and Explore worskhops will be in May and June.”

In the meantime Adventures in Music is delighted to welcome back John O’Conor, with Weadick also revealing a family connection to the pianist as her mother-in-law Kathleen O’Murchu gave O’Conor his first solo recitals in Ireland when his career was just commencing. “As well as being a musician of the highest standard, John is also very gifted in making classical music accessible and presenting it in such a way that younger people will enjoy it,” she remarks.

Weadick’s enthusiasm for O’Conor’s forthcoming concert is reciprocated by the man himself. “I am looking forward to playing in Galway again,” he asserts. “I used to give recitals there regularly at the beginning of my career when the concerts were organised by Kathleen O’Murchu and it's a nice coincidence that my recent solo performances have been arranged by Kathleen's daughter-in-law, Anne Weadick. I am delighted that Adventures in Music is targeting young people by exposing them to classical music which can be great fun! Giving young people an appreciation of classical music is giving them the gift of an understanding of a great art form that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. I'm also happy that I will have an opportunity to give a masterclass to some young pianists from Galway on the morning after my performance. That should be fun too!”

O’Conor’s programme for the concert features Haydn’s ‘Sonata in B minor Hob XVI No 32’, Schubert’s ‘Four Impromptus D899’, Beethoven’s ‘Six Bagatelles Op 126’, and Beethoven’s ‘Sonata in C Op 53 “Waldstein”’. He discusses the appeal of the pieces he has selected: “The Haydn is one of my favourite sonatas — a strong first movement, a beautiful elegant minuet, and a really fleet-fingered virtuoso finale. The Beethoven Bagatelles are six short pieces which he himself said were the best pieces of this type that he had ever written.

“The Beethoven Sonata is one of his most virtuoso and attractive. It was dedicated to Count Waldstein who wrote him an important recommendation when Beethoven was going to live in Vienna and which was very important in opening important doors for Beethoven's career in Vienna. Quite a wonderful thank-you note!

“The Schubert Impromptus are simply some of the most beautiful and attractive pieces that he wrote for piano and have been a long-time favourite for performers and audiences alike.”

Enjoy the music of Haydn, Schubert, and Beethoven as you've never heard it presented before as O'Conor promises not only to perform to the impeccable standard for which he is so famous, but will also engage with the audience in keeping with his role as Ireland's premier music educator. This is an evening not to be missed so go along, sit back, and enjoy.

The event takes place at the Town Hall, Friday March 6 at 8pm. Recommended minimum age: nine. Tickets: €20 adult/€15 student/€10 child/€50 family ticket (two adults and two children ). Bookings at (091 ) 569 777.



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