Artist residency with guitarist Redmond O’Toole

11 May 2017

“O’Toole’s recital was absorbing, partly because of the instrument, but above all because of the player’s natural artistry”

The Irish Times

Music Network is delighted to announce a new partnership with The National Opera House and Wexford County Council for its 2017 Artist Residency.  The residency centres on an exciting concert series featuring  a wealth of international and Irish musicians. Curated by guitarist Redmond O’Toole, it includes Wexford Sinfonia Orchestra, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, traditional Irish musicians Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, Iranian-born and Dublin-based brothers Shaháb and Sháyán Coohe, soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Italian classical guitarist Oscar Ghiglia and the International Guitar Quartet.  In conjunction with the concert series a Learning and Participation programme has been developed that will engage with a range of community groups. Full details at

Commenting on the residency, Redmond O'Toole said, 

"The residency has given me a chance to invite and collaborate with some of the most interesting and inspiring musicians that I have met so far in my career in one of the best venues in the country. There is naturally a strong focus on the guitar, but my interest in Irish and world music also feature. I tried to create a series of concerts that would be unique, unusual and exciting for the audience but at the same time would help me develop as a musician".

The Music Network Artist Residency Programme 2017 was developed to provide the selected musician with access to resources to curate a concert series in collaboration with Wexford County Council Arts Office and The National Opera House.  

According to Sharon Rollston, Music Network CEO,

“It is intended that the residency will positively intersect with Wexford County Council and The National Opera House’s music development plans and   the work of a range of community music groups, making high quality live music accessible to more people in Wexford and further afield  while supporting the career development of musicians”.

Launching on Saturday 24th June, the residency concert series will open with a very special concert featuring Wexford Sinfonia performing together with Redmond O'Toole, as he takes on Rodrigo's mighty Concierto de Aranjuez.  The orchestra will also be joined by the RTÉ ConTempo String Quartet, one of Ireland's and Europe's leading musical ensembles, for Vaughan Williams' spectral, haunting Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. In the second half of the programme comes Schubert's massive Symphony No 9, composed when he was only 31 years old and nicknamed 'The Great' because of its musical ambition, its thematic ode to Beethoven and, finally, its stunning impact on audiences.  A programme guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Tickets €20 available at Tel. 053 912 2144/

Redmond O'Toole has been hailed as Ireland's premier classical guitarist. He was the first to adopt Paul Galbraith’s  ‘Brahms guitar’.  This ground breaking instrument and technique uses an 8-string guitar in the position of a cello.  He has performed at major concert halls and events throughout Europe such as Passau International Guitar Festival, Germany, Irish National Concert Hall, Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall and Hallein Guitar Festival, Austria. He has performed as soloist with orchestras such as BBC Ulster and the Irish Baroque and has toured extensively as guitarist for legendary Irish group ‘The Chieftains’. He is a former member of the critically acclaimed Dublin Guitar Quartet.

Wexford Sinfonia Orchestra was formed in 1993 with Fergus Sheil as conductor. In September 1998 Alan Cutts took over the position when Fergus went to Scotland to work with Scottish Opera. On his return, in December 2002, Fergus once again took on the job of directing the Sinfonia. Wexford Sinfonia is unique in Ireland, as it is the only amateur symphony orchestra based in a country town. The players come from all walks of life including professional musicians, students, farmers, school teachers, etc., all dedicated to performing orchestral music to the highest possible standard. The orchestra has not only provided a stage for many talented young Irish soloists, but it has also been privileged to have played with internationally known soloists such as Finghin Collins, Lynda Lee, Orla Boylan and Sinead Campbell, to name but a few as well as performing internationally in France and Portugal.

Since its formation in Bucharest in 1995, the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet has performed world-wide in prestigious venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, Berliner Philharmonie, Palazzo del Quirinale Rome, Carnegie Hall and the Opera House Tel-Aviv. The ensemble has won numerous international prizes, taking first prize at competitions in Munich, Rome and London, and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre including Emma Johnson, Yuko Inoue, Hugh Tinney, Chen Zimbalista, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe. The Quartet has broadcast widely on RTÉ, BBC, TVR Romania, France Musique Radio, RAI Italy, ORF Austria and Sat3 Germany, and has made recordings including music for Steven Spielberg’s drama Band of Brothers; Universal with British clarinettist Emma Johnson; Quartz, music by Osvaldo Golijov; and Spiccato Junction featuring the Irish traditional musicians Máirtín O’Connor, Garry O’Briain and Cathal Hayden.




Wexford Sinfonia with Redmond O’Toole and the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet (Ireland/Romania)
Saturday 24th June, 8pm
O’Reilly Theatre, The National Opera House, Wexford
Tickets: €20
Booking: Tel. 053 912 2144/


Ralph Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis - with RTÉ ConTempo Quartet
Joaquín Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez - Soloist Redmond O'Toole, Guitar
Franz Schubert - Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944 (Great)

Details of the Music Network Artist Residency Concert Series here.