Music Network presents a world-class tenor and guitar duo

22 October 2019

Music Network presents a world-class tenor and guitar duo on tour to Waterford, Tralee, Dublin, Kilkenny, Castleconnell and Clifden.

Ben Johnson (tenor) and Sean Shibe (guitar) will perform a fascinating love-themed programme that connects music, poetry and people across centuries.


Music Network presents tenor Ben Johnson and guitarist Sean Shibe on a six-date tour to Waterford, Tralee, Dublin, Kilkenny, Castleconnell and Clifden from 21st-27th November 2019.

This world-class duo will perform a fascinating love-themed programme that connects music, poetry and people across centuries. Beginning with the 16th century love songs of Dowland, Rosseter and Morley, the programme stretches on to the grand, yearning Romanticism of Schubert and Beethoven, to Walton’s 20th century masterpiece Anon in Love, and as far as Lawra, a new Music Network commission from Brian Bolger receiving its premiere performances on this tour.

Fresh from winning the Concept Album of the Year award at the October 2019 Gramophone Classical Music Awards, Sean Shibe is a young Scot who has taken the world by storm in recent years. Equally at home in whatever genre he turns his hand to, Shibe has never set boundaries on the scope of his musical exploration.

One of the busiest young tenors in the chamber music and opera worlds, Ben Johnson is a multi-award winning recitalist and owner of one of the most beguiling voices around. Johnson won the Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013 and is also a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent.

Later in the season, Music Network’s Spring 2020 touring programme features an exciting traditional line-up with Galician piper Anxo Lorenzo alongside acclaimed Irish instrumentalists Dónal O’Connor, Jack Talty and Jim Murray in January, high-octane jazz harp inspired by the legendary Alice Coltrane from the Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet in February, a thousand years of music condensed into just two hours by Garth Knox’s brilliant Saltarello Trio in March, top-notch Russian violin and piano duo Alena Baeva and Katia Skanavi in April, and compelling Americana from 10 String Symphony in May.

Ticket prices range from €10-€25, depending on the venue, and special offer ticket bundles are available for Dublin concerts. 


21st — 27th November

Ben Johnson, tenor
Sean Shibe, guitar 


JS Bach Suite in E minor, BWV996 | Walton Anon in Love | Brian Bolger Lawra (Music Network Commission) | A selection of folk songs and songs by Dowland, Rosseter, Morley, Beethoven, Schubert & Giuliani 

Thurs 21 Nov | The Edmund Rice Chapel, Waterford €17 / €15 / €5 on the door 7.30pm Promoted by Waterford Music
Fri 22 Nov | Siamsa Tíre, Tralee €16 / €14 (+ bkg fee) 8pm 066-7123055 /
Sat 23 Nov | Royal College of Physicians, Dublin 2 €25 / €20 (includes refreshments) 7.30pm 01-4750224 / Promoted by Music Network
Sun 24 Nov |The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle €15 / €10 / €5 (+ bkg fee) 4pm 086-1777017 / Promoted by Music in Kilkenny
Tues 26 Nov | All Saints Church, Castleconnell €15 / €10 8pm 061-953400 / Promoted by Limerick Culture and Arts Office, Limerick City and County Council
Wed 27 Nov | Station House Theatre, Clifden €15 / €12 on the door 8pm 095-21699 / (info only) Promoted by Clifden Arts Society

For more information on this tour:
For more information on the musicians: Ben Johnson / Sean Shibe
For video: Ben Johnson / Sean Shibe
For images:

Music Network tours are funded by the Arts Council. Music Network is a national music touring and development organisation, whose mission is to make high quality live music available and accessible to people throughout Ireland.

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For further media information please contact:
Muireann Sheahan Music Network | 01 4750224 |


NOTES: About the performers

Acclaimed tenor Ben Johnson represented England in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 and won the Audience Prize. A former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and 2008 winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, Johnson was formerly an English National Opera Harewood Artist and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent. Recent operatic highlights include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, both for Opera Holland Park, as well as a celebrated run as Alfredo in La Traviata, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, all for English National Opera. As well as participating in a Music Network tour with guitarist Sean Shibe, he will be performing Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro with Grange Festival in their 2019 season, and Britten Serenade with English Chamber Orchestra. 

Johnson is a dedicated recitalist, performing regularly with Graham Johnson, James Baillieu, Roger Vignoles, and Tom Primrose. With Johnson, he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Ruhr Klavier Festival in Germany and Aldeburgh Music, and the duo have recorded songs by Poulenc for Hyperion records. Baillieu accompanied his acclaimed debut album Britten Canticles with Signum Records.

Sean Shibe is “one of the foremost guitarists” of his generation. In April 2018 he was shortlisted in the Young Artist and Instrumentalist categories in the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards, becoming the first guitarist to receive the RPS Award for Young Artists in May 2018. In 2017 Sean Shibe’s debut solo album release on Delphian Records was met with critical acclaim and won him a shortlisted nomination in the BBC Music Magazine ‘Instrumental Award’ category. Dreams and Fancies is a recording that explores the fruits of Julian Bream’s history of commissioning in the 20th century alongside music by Dowland, and was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone as well as BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice. softLOUD, his second outing on Delphian, won the Concept Album of the Year award at the Gramophone Awards in October 2019. It is an “uncompromisingly monumental” (The Scotsman) programme of radical contrasts that showcases virtuosity at both extremes. softLOUD looks ambitiously forward, with a mix of electric and acoustic, early and modern, whose contradictions and challenges speak to our own times.