Kilkenny Arts Festival 2017
11th to 20th August 2017
Artistic adventures in Ireland's medieval city
Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city each August. For ten days, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.
From the beginning, classical music has been at the core of the programme, featuring globally acclaimed artists such as Victoria de los Angeles, Alfred Brendel, Jordi Savall, Steven Isserlis, Dawn Upshaw, Nigel Kennedy and Joshua Bell among many others. Last year, the Festival presented its most ambitious musical project to date: Beethoven's complete string quartets and piano concertos in 12 concerts across ten days. The Festival has also frequently showcased Kilkenny's exceptional local tradition of baroque performance, not least through the performances of Camerata Kilkenny (which was founded at the Festival in 1999) and its co-founders, violinist Maya Homburger and organist/harpsichordist Malcolm Proud. True to our vision of championing excellence without regard for musical genres, 2014 also saw the Irish debuts of the Basiani Ensemble (Georgia), the Early Opera Company (UK), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italy) and La Chiva Gantiva (Colombia).
Over the decades the Festival has staged major open-air productions of Shakespeare, and has recently built on this tradition, hosting from 2012-14 annual residencies by Shakespeare’s Globe in the historic Castle Yard, Ireland’s finest open-air theatrical space. Other theatre artists presenting work at the Festival in recent years have included the legendary Peter Brook and a residency by the Free Theatre of Belarus.
Poetry has also featured prominently since the early years in the 1970s, when Seamus Heaney acted as literary curator and brought some of the world’s finest poets to Kilkenny, including Robert Lowell and Sorley Maclean. Last year, former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins was the Festival’s poet-in-residence, while extraordinary performance poet Kate Tempest gave the Irish premiere of her new album.
Follow us atUnder the artistic direction of Eugene Downes from its 2014 edition onwards, the Festival has further enriched its music programme with major series focussing on a single composer, and also through The Marble City Sessions, a new cross-genre series of unique musical collaborations featuring a range of artists-in-residence, hosted and co-curated by the great Irish traditional musician Martin Hayes. In residence last year were - among others - extraordinary new Irish-music group The Gloaming, jazz master Bill Frisell and cult folk singer Sam Amidon.
Schedule (more shows to be added....)
Friday 11th August
Saturday 12th August
Sunday 13th August
- Concert: Quatuor Mosaiques perform Schubert's Late String Quartets & Quintet Programme III - St John's Priory, John St - 1pm, €19/17
- Reading: Stephen Rea in Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis - Watergate Theatre, Parliment St - 4pm, €25/22.50
- Concert: Ensemble Marsyas perform Handel's "The Arrival of Mr Handel" - St Canice's Cathedral, Coach Road - 7pm, €35/31.50/30/27
- Theatre: Lemon Bucket Orkestra present "Counting Sheep - a Guerrilla Folk Opera" - The Hub at Cillín Hill, Dublin Road - 8pm, €26
- Concert: Iestyn Davies & Thomas Dunford perform "Behold A Wonder Here: Dowload Songs & Airs" - St Johns Priory, John St - 10pm, €25/22.50
Monday 14th August
Tuesday 15th August
Wednesday 16th August
Thursday 17th August
Friday 18th August
Saturday 19th August
Sunday 20th August