Music Network Announces Autumn Season 2012

10 July 2012

Music Network today announced an exciting line-up for its Autumn Season 2012 with a diverse programme of talented Irish and international artists. Irish audiences will have the chance to experience the very best in international chamber, jazz and traditional Irish music in venues throughout Ireland at affordable prices.  Music Network tours are funded by the Arts Council and are presented in association with RTÉ lyric fm.

Describing what’s on offer, Music Network CEO Sharon Rollston explains, This season we've put some unsung instruments in the spotlight. In September sit back and watch the sparks fly as We Banjo 3 – maestro Enda Scahill and young guns Martin and David Howley – take you on a rollercoaster ride through banjo history from ragtime to reels.  Then it’s off to Paris as the dazzling clarinet of Evan Christopher and his ensemble Django à la Créole merge gypsy swing and New Orleans jazz with a touch of Cha Cha Cha thrown in for good measure.”

She continues, “A century ago, the Vatican declared that the saxophone ‘gave reasonable concern for scandal’. After hearing the magnificent saxophone quartet, on our November tour, you’ll realise the real scandal is how neglected this wonderfully versatile instrument has been by classical composers until relatively recently. Finally, the viola often plays second fiddle to its higher pitched relative the violin, but in our last tour of the season the balance is redressed as Nobuko Imai, one of the world’s foremost violists, pairs with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet in what promises to be one of the highlights of the year.”

Tickets for all regional concerts are available from individual venues around the country.  Single tickets for all Dublin concerts with the exception of RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet/Nobuko Imai are €15 (€10 conc. for students and over 65s) or €40 for a family ticket. The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet/Nobuko Imai concert at Christchurch Cathedral is this year’s Music Network Gala concert and single tickets are €20/ €15(concession). Season tickets are available at €60 each (€40 conc.) or €150 for a family season ticket.  Tickets can be purchased by calling Music Network on (01) 671 9429 or booking online at

[Editors: please note that detailed touring dates and concert programmes follow.]

Music Network Presents

We Banjo 3 (Ireland)

11 - 29 September 2012


Enda Scahill, banjo

Martin Howley, banjo

David Howley, banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals


“We Banjo 3 are terrific. There really isn’t a better way to say it. Wonderful musicianship of the first order. Best of all, they are different.” Bill Margeson, Irish Music Writer

“Enda does things on the banjo which should be impossible.” Irish American News


The banjo has been likened to Marmite - you either love it or hate it. But when the remarkable We Banjo 3 hits the vellum and virtuosity takes flight, any doubts about this much-maligned instrument are swept aside in a wave of verve and sheer joie-de-vivre.

Winners of the Music Network Young Musicwide Award, the trio from Galway combine Irish music with Old-Time American, Ragtime and Bluegrass influences, revealing the banjo’s rich legacy from its roots in African and minstrel music through to the Irish traditional sound pioneered by Barney McKenna.

A member of the Brock McGuire band, banjo wizard Enda Scahill has won four All-Ireland titles, guested with the Chieftains, recorded with Ricky Skaggs, and toured with Frankie Gavin and Stockton’s Wing. In We Banjo 3, he has teamed up with Ireland’s hottest young banjo players, brothers Martin and David Howley, with over 10 All-Ireland titles to their names.

On Tour:  Tuesday 11 September DUBLIN (The Coach House, Dublin Castle, 8pm), Wednesday 12 September BRAY (Mermaid Arts Centre, 8pm), Thursday 13 September CASTLEBAR (Linenhall Arts Centre, 8pm), Friday 14 September NEWBRIDGE (Riverbank Arts Centre, 8pm) Sunday 16 September TRALEE (Siamsa Tíre, Town Parks, 8pm), Sunday 23 September CLIFDEN (Station House Theatre, 10pm), Friday 28 September BAILE MHÚIRNE (Ionad Cultúrtha, 8:30pm), Saturday 29 September TIPPERARY TOWN (Tipperary Excel Centre, 8pm)



Music Network Presents

Django à la Créole (USA/Australia/UK/France)

10 -18 October 2012


Evan Christopher, clarinet

David Blenkhorn, solo guitar

Dave Kelbie, rhythm guitar

Sébastien Girardot, bass


“Simply spellbinding.”  The Times, London

“Not only the greatest jazz clarinetist alive, but one of the greatest of all time.” Ahmet Ertegun (founding chairman of Atlantic Records) on Evan Christopher

When Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans flooded in 2005, displaced musician Evan Christopher headed for Paris with little more than a clarinet, a suitcase full of clothes, and an inspired idea: to spice up the ‘hot club’ sound pioneered by Django Reinhardt with the rhythms and flavours of New Orleans jazz.

The result is Django à la Créole, a delicious mêlée of gypsy swing, New Orleans collective improvisation, and what Jelly Roll Morton called the ‘Spanish tinge’, the seductive rhythms and sounds of Cuba, Brazil and the Caribbean. It’s a winning formula: since the group’s debut in 2007, Django à la Créole has performed worldwide to great acclaim, while its debut album was awarded the Sunday Times Jazz Album of the Year 2010.

Christopher’s freewheeling clarinet sings, whoops and sighs over the pulsating rhythms provided by three of the world’s finest gypsy jazz ambassadors. For over 20 years, rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie has propelled such jazz giants as Fapy Lafertin, Roby Lakatos, Bob Wilber and Lollo Meier, while David Blenkhorn and bassist Sébastien Girardot are regulars on the European festival circuit, playing alongside the likes of Harry Allen, Lillian Boutté, Leroy Jones and Eddie Locke.

On Tour:  Wednesday 10 October DUBLIN (The Grand Social, 35 Lower Liffey St, 8pm), Thursday 11 October AN DAINGEAN / DINGLE ( An Lab, Sr. Eoin/John St, 8pm),  Saturday 13 October BRAY (Mermaid Arts Centre, 8pm), Sunday 14 October DUNDALK ( Anaverna House, Ravensdale, 3pm), Monday 15 October CLIFDEN (Station House Theatre, 8pm), Tuesday 16 October CARRICK-ON-SHANNON (The Dock, 8:30pm), Wednesday 17 October LETTERKENNY (Regional Cultural Centre, 8pm), Thursday 18 October DROGHEDA (Droichead Arts Centre, 8:30pm)



Music Network Presents saxophone quartet (Germany)

6 -13 November 2012


Ruth Velte, soprano saxophone

Alexander Doroshkevich, alto saxophone

Christoph Enzel, tenor saxophone

Annegret Schmiedl, baritone saxophone


“The audience was swept away by the rhythmical verve, the virtuosity and the acoustic brilliance displayed by these young musicians.”  Wittlager Kreisblatt, 2009


The saxophone is a curious beast: sounding one minute like an oboe, the next like a trumpet, a French horn or a violin. Place four in the hands of the saxophone quartet, and the effect is both magical and wondrously musical. Ravel – who reportedly said, ‘My string quartet should sound like a saxophone’ – would have approved.

Since its inception in 2005, the saxophone quartet has built a unique and thrilling repertoire, collaborating with composers such as Sophia Gubaidulina, Helmut Lachenmann, Walter Zimmermann and Fabien Lévy as well as performing works by the likes of Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.

A favourite with audiences and critics alike, the group has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, performing in such prestigious venues as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic and Osaka’s Izumi Hall. En route it has picked up a slew of awards, including First Prize and the Grand Prize of the International Chamber Music Competition for New Music in Cracow, Poland, the German Music Competition Award and Switzerland's Classical Music Award.


J. S. Bach, Italian Concert

Philip Glass, String Quartet Nr3 (Mishima)

György Ligeti, 6 Bagatelles

David Fennessy, Neon

Astor Piazzolla Histoires, du Tango

On Tour:  Tuesday 6 November DUBLIN (Goethe Institute, 37 Merrion Square East, 8pm), Thursday 8 November WATERFORD (The Large Room, City Hall, 8pm), Friday 9 November DROGHEDA (Droichead Arts Centre, 8:30pm), Saturday 10 November BIRR (Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, 8pm), Sunday 11 November NEWBRIDGE (Riverbank Arts Centre, 8pm), Monday 12 November CLIFDEN (Station House Theatre, 8pm), Tuesday 13 November GALWAY (Aula Maxima, NUI, 8pm)


Music Network in association with RTÉ presents

RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet with Nobuko Imai

25 November - 6 December 2012


Nobuko Imai, viola

Gregory Ellis, violin

Keith Pascoe, violin

Simon Aspell, viola

Christopher Marwood, cello


“Imai's stature is revealed in her beautifully exact double stopping, perfect rhythmic poise, and the way she searches out and presents the true character of each piece. Great viola playing!” Gramophone

“This committed ensemble feels more galvanised and exciting than ever” The Strad on the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet.


Music Network’s final tour of the season brings together the internationally-acclaimed RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet with the sensational Nobuko Imai, regarded as one of the most outstanding violists of her generation.

Noted for her flawless technique and warm, expressive tone, Imai has performed as a solo artist with many of world’s finest orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, and the London Symphony. As a chamber musician, she has been a member of the much-lauded Vermeer and Michelangelo Quartets in addition to collaborating with a veritable who’s who of international stars including Yo-Yo Ma, Gidon Kremer, Midori, Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman.

Based in Cork as Resident Quartet to RTÉ for over 25 years, the national treasure that is the Vanbrugh Quartet needs no introduction to Irish audiences. The ensemble enjoys a thriving international career, performing at such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall, New York.


Beethoven Quintet Op.29

Brahms Quintet Op.111

John Kinsella Dialogue

On Tour:  Sunday 25 November BANTRY (Bantry House, 3pm), Monday 26 November CASTLEBAR (Linenhall Arts Centre, 8pm), Tuesday 27 November ROSCOMMON (Roscommon Arts Centre, 8pm), Wednesday 28 November LISTOWEL (St John’s Theatre and Arts Centre, 8pm), Thursday 29 November CORK (Curtis Auditorium, Cork School of Music, 8pm), Friday 30 November DUBLIN (Christ Church Cathedral, 8pm), Saturday 1 December DUN LAOGHAIRE (Pavilion Theatre, 8pm), Sunday 2 December LETTERKENNY (Regional Cultural Centre, 8pm), Tuesday 4 December BELFAST (The MAC), Wednesday 5 December DERRY (The Great Hall, University of Ulster at Magee), Thursday 6 December ARMAGH (The Market Place)