By Dan Walsh in New Ross
The ancient deck of the Dunbrody Famine Ship, showpiece of New Ross tourism, was the appropriate setting for the launch of the 16th New Ross Piano Festival this evening by Senator Malcolm Byrne. The festival runs September 21st-25th and will bring large numbers to the town.
Senator Byrne spoke about the importance of music to get everyone back to festivals again, he described the New Ross Piano Festival as a wonderful event with a superb programme that should appeal to audiences and said it was an honour to formally launch the festival and he wished it well.
Artistic Director and pianist Finghín Collins thanked Senator Byrne for his “very wonderful words so eloquently expressed” and he saluted Malcolm for fighting so much for the arts during the awful time that was Covet! “He agitated strongly for the reopening of the arts that lagged behind other forms of community living and it was great to have a voice in the Senate,” he concluded.
Festival Administrator Connie Tantrum welcomed invited guests to the outdoor launch on board the Dunbrody Famine Ship and thanks was expressed to Cllrs Bridín Murphy and John Fleming, New Ross District Council officials, sponsors and loyal supporters of the festival.
Ms. Tantrum also offered remembrance of the late Jimmy Fitzgibbon who passed away this week and was the first Chairman of Music for New Ross. Sympathy is extended to his family and friends.
Following a pleasant reception and launch speeches guests were treated to short piano performances from Alexandra Keane and Finghín Collins.
The New Ross Piano Festival runs September 21st-25th in St. Mary’s Church featuring renowned pianists Máire Carroll, Finghín Collins, Dmytro Choní, Tamara Licheli, Jonathan Plowright, Francois-Xavier Poizat and Craig Taborn with the Albion Quartet and Origin Story.
Tickets are for allocated seating except for Wednesday evening and Friday noon concerts. Tickets will also be available for each concert at the venue. Call St. Michael’s Theatre Box Office on 00353 51 421255 or book tickets online – www.newrosspianofestival.com