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The Galway Early Music Festival, County Galway
May 15-17, 2007

2009 Festival Programme

Full Programme and Ticket Booking Now Available at www.galwayearlymusic.com.

Galway Early Music is delighted to announce that the fourteenth Galway Early Music Festival will take place May 15-17, 2009.

This year's Festival is an exciting voyage to Ireland, Cyprus, Guernsey and other ports of call, sailing through waters alive with mermaids, sirens, sailors and romance. Once again the festival committee has prepared a remarkable programme full of high quality early music performed by the world's foremost musicians who, just for one weekend, will become our musicians in residence and will be giving recitals for adults, concerts for children and workshops for local musicians.

The Harp Consort, led by continuo-wizard and harp virtuoso Andrew Lawrence-King, will range wide over the high seas with their programme designed especially to suit the festival theme - 'The Boatemen: Songs of the 17th century Seas'. Performances by this ensemble of harp, guitar, cornetto, percussion, voice and other instruments have "the spontaneity of improvised jazz and the perfection of state-of-the-art Early Music" and are simply unforgettable.

Steve Player's wonderful dancing adds to their outstanding on-stage energy. Brilliant sound and virtuoso performance coupled with boundless joy; this sums up the other festival early music group - Ensemble Unicorn. It is Ensemble Unicorn who will bring the romance into our voyage with their programme 'The Isle of Aphrodite: Love Songs from the Court of King Janus in Nicosia'.

This unusual programme is based on a single manuscript written between 1413 and 1426, the songs and melodies of which are not to be found elsewhere. We certainly haven't forgotten the Handel and Purcell anniversaries this year - Ireland's own harpsichord maestro Malcolm Proud will pay them a tribute with his programme "Music from the Sceptred Isle".

Malcolm performs on a copy of a Ruckers harpsichord of 1638 in the Chapel of the Poor Clares, Nun's Island. And the festival's final chord will be played by the inimitable and exciting Andrew Lawrence-King who will give a solo concert of historical harp entitled 'The Lament of Tristan' which explores the music surrounding the legends of Tristan and Iseult, a story which started in the island Celtic areas of Europe and traveled far and wide.

After each concert our cosy Festival Club in the House Hotel will open its hospitable doors to all who want to join the performers for a drink and chat. And after the final concert a nice surprise will be awaiting the audience who is welcome to join us for the closing reception.

In addition to the concerts there are workshops with Andrew Lawrence-King and Michael Posch, a schools concert and a special visit by the Kiili Youth Early Music Group from Estonia.

Free events in the pubs, on the streets and canals, and in the City Museum will once again give the Galway Early Music Festival a wonderful atmosphere and will highlight its watery island theme. A fitting theme for Galway City, a city made up of a number of islands joined to the mainland by bridges, guarded at the mouth of the bay by the Aran Islands, and the westernmost city on the island of Ireland.

Become a Friend of Galway Early Music On-Line

Our new website also allows you to become a friend or patron of the Festival by donating money on-line with paypal. If you have enjoyed our Festival in the past and would like to see it continue, go to www.galwayearlymusic.com and click on the donate button. We are grateful to our friends and patrons, without whom this Festival could not continue.

We hope to see you at this year's Festival!

Galway Early Music is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland, Galway City Council and Bord F�ilte/Ireland West TourisGalway Early Music
Caherfurvaus, Craughwell, Co Galway
+353-87-930 5506
www.galwayearlymusic.com