Carol McGonnell’s Young Musicwide Concerts

Carol McGonnell’s Young Musicwide Concerts

Carol McGonnell, clarinet with Catherine Leonard, violin and Finghin Collins, piano

Tour Dates

Music Network is delighted to announce a series of concerts around Ireland featuring Irish clarinettist Carol McGonnell from September 17 – 27.  The New-York-based clarinettist was the winner of Music Network’s 2003 Young Musicwide Award—Music Network’s professional development scheme to assist and promote a selected group of young Irish professional musicians.  Joining Carol in concert will be two stalwarts of the Irish classical music scene, violinist Catherine Leonard and pianist Finghin Collins.  This stellar trio will perform Bartók’s Contrasts, Trio by Milhaud, Three Romances, Op. 94 for clarinet and piano by Schumann and the world première performance of Kevin Volans’ Double Take for piano and clarinet, commissioned by Music Network with funds from the Arts Council’s Commissions Award.  These concerts are sponsored by the Arts Council and presented in association with The Irish Times and with RTÉ lyric fm.  Further information from

Carol McGonnell was born in Dublin and received her bachelors degree in music at Queens University. Carol is currently based in New York City from where she is pursuing a busy career performing in Europe, Asia and throughout the US.  She has most recently performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and has made an RTÉ programme with that same orchestra featuring the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.  She is a founding member of the Argento New Music Project. Carol has performed with contemporary ensembles including Ensemble Modern, the American Contemporary Ensemble, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and Ensemble Sospeso. 

In September 2003 Carol was asked to perform at the opening concert of the Zankel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in a group to become known as the Zankel Band.  She continues to perform regularly in Zankel with this ensemble collaborating with some of the worlds leading musicians including David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Peter Serkin.  Here she has also worked closely with Dawn Upshaw, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Oliver Knussen and composers such as Elliott Carter, John Adams and John Harbison.  Carol has been performing at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont for the past two years.

Violinist Catherine Leonard is quickly developing a distinguished international career.  Her numerous awards include the Heineken Violin and Bow, the Ford "Ka" Classical Musician of the Year, First Prize Friends of the Concertgebouw "Concours" in the Netherlands, the Ulster Bank Bursary and a Fulbright Award for studies in America.  She has performed extensively in Europe, in the USA, Canada and Australia, both as soloist and chamber musician.  In Ireland, Catherine performs as soloist with the RTÉ

National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Ulster, and major music festivals, such as the West Cork and the Vogler festival in Sligo.

In the United States, Catherine has recently been appointed to a Principal Violin chair for the California based chamber music ensemble, Camerata Pacifica.  After successful participation at last summer’s City of London Festival on BBC Radio 3, she returned this July, playing with clarinettist Martin Frost, cellist Christian Poltera and pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips.  She will play Ian Wilson’s 1st violin concerto with the Ulster Orchestra in the autumn and returns to the Wigmore Hall with Charles Owen following her successful début there in 2004.  In additional she will premiere Wilson’s “from the Book of Longing” for violin and piano, at her forthcoming Wigmore Hall recital, and will give its American premiere at recitals in Los Angeles this autumn.

Since winning first prize at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Vevey, Switzerland in 1999, Dublin-born pianist Finghin Collins enjoys a busy career that embraces Ireland, Europe and the United States. He has already performed with such prestigious orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, garnering consistent praise from critics and public alike.  Finghin has performed right across Europe in such prestigious venues as Symphony Hall Birmingham, Wigmore Hall London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (both halls), Théâtre du Châtelet and Salle Cortot Paris, Salle Molière Lyon, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Palao de la Musica Valencia, Philharmonic Hall Warsaw and the Auditorium Stravinski Montreux.  He also performed recently at Carnegie Hall, New York.  Closer to home, Finghin is kept equally busy, playing with all the Irish orchestras and at major festivals throughout the country.

In February 2006 Finghin makes his début at the Lincoln Center, New York, performing a recital at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the Great Performer Series.  The music of Mozart features prominently in his concert plans for 2006, the 250th anniversary year of Mozart’s birth, including concerto performances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Ulster Orchestra, the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Cecilia.  For further information on all Finghin's concerts and recordings you can visit his website at


Bartók Contrasts
Milhaud Trio
Kevin Volans Double Take for piano and clarinet (world première)
Schumann Three Romances, Op. 94 for clarinet and piano
Stravinsky Soldier's Tale

On Tour: Sat 17 Sept Bray (Mermaid Arts Centre, 8pm), Sun 18 Sept Blanchardstown (Draíocht, 8pm), Tues 20 Sept Clifden (Church of Ireland, 8pm), Thurs 22 Sept Ennis (Glór, 8pm), Fri 23 Sept Sligo (Model Arts & Niland Gallery, 8pm), Sun 25 Sept Tralee (Siamsa Tíre, 8pm), Tues 27 Sep Kilkenny (Watergate Theatre, 8pm)

"McGonnell's playing is impeccable in technique and tone, precise in expression and always shapely . . . both astonishing and utterly absorbing."

- Irish Times