Louth Contemporary Music Society’s midsummer festival returns to share beguiling and ever-glowing new music
Louth Contemporary Music Society has announced the programme for its midsummer festival, “Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed”, which will run on 17 and 18 June 2022 in Dundalk, County Louth. The festival for new music, which will be bookended by three world premieres, is returning after a three-year gap.
Founded in Louth by Eamonn Quinn in 2006, the festival has transformed the Irish border town into a world-class centre for contemporary classical music. Previously, LCMS has commissioned Sir John Tavener, David Lang and Terry Riley, and has featured performances from musicians such as Philip Glass.
“Nothing has Changed. Everything has Changed” – that’s the title. Nothing has changed: we’re still here, aren’t we? But everything has changed. Our relationships have been tested. We’ve seen more of life’s fragility. Art can help – especially new art, that has lived through these experiences with us.
With a great line-up of world-renowned composers and soloists, from Ireland and beyond, the festival opens on Friday 17 June at St Nicholas Church of Ireland in Dundalk with a repeat performance of Linda Caitlin Smith’s “Meadow” for three string players. LCMS released a recording in 2020 of this miraculous wander through green pastures of harmony, and it’s become an international hit.
On the same programme are world premieres of new works by Irish composer Andrew Synnott and by one of the foremost composers in England and internationally, Gavin Bryars, whose music always comes from off-centre to take you by surprise. Among the ace performers are the outstanding Irish string quartet, the Esposito, and the breathtaking soprano Juliet Fraser.
The next day’s events start at lunchtime, in St Nicholas Church of Ireland, where Australian singer Mitch Riley and French pianist Vanessa Wagner will pull in at 1pm for their acclaimed performance of “O Mensch!”. You just have to witness this wild and intimate portrait of Nietzsche by the leading French composer of today, Pascal Dusapin.
The festival closes that evening at the same venue with the Vox Clamantis choirof Estonia, who will present the world premiere of Siobhán Cleary’s “Storm in Devon”, and perform Arvo Pärt’s LCMS commission “The Deer’s Cry”, music by the younger Estonian composer Helena Tulve, Lou Harrison’s ecstatic “Mass for St. Cecilia’s Day”.
Tickets for the festival can be found here.