William Butt, Rosalie Curlett, Martin Johnson and Ailbhe McDonagh on tour this October

Photo: Mark Stedman

Image: Photo: Mark Stedman

Music Network presents four masterful cellists – William Butt, Rosalie Curlett, Martin Johnson and Ailbhe McDonagh on a six-date nationwide tour, 10th – 15th October. The quartet will perform in venues in Bray, Clifden, Listowel, Castlebar, Dublin and Waterford.

With its sonorous tone, swan-like elegance and an expressive range that gives the human voice a run for its money, no other instrument manages to play on our heart strings quite like the cello. Music Network’s second tour this autumn will highlight this wonderful instrument. Audiences can look forward to marvellous arrangements of works by Bach, Beethoven and Bartók, Piazzolla’s sultry Libertango, Mozart’s beautiful Ave Verum Corpus, a fiery exchange between two cellos in Barrière’s popular Sonata in G Major, Debussy’s uber-romantic Clair de lune and Gershwin’s jazz-infused favourites from Porgy and Bess. Contemporary music for this unusual combination will be well catered for in Ailbhe McDonagh’s own Cellango and a new Music Network commission by Conor Linehan.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said: “We are delighted to present this outstanding Cello Quartet as part of our National Touring Programme. Well-known individually for their superb playing, on this occasion audiences will have a unique opportunity to hear all four musicians performing together for the first time.”

A member of the Esposito String Quartet and Senior Cello Teacher at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, William Butt has performed and broadcast all the major cello concerti for RTÉ and the BBC. Highly praised for his performances of the formidable solo sonatas of Ligeti and Kodály, he has recorded the suites by Britten and Bach for Warner Classics.

Holding a full-time position with the Ulster Orchestra, Rosalie Curlett has performed regularly with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Hallé Orchestra. Recordings include releases under the Chandos and Deutsche Grammophon record labels.

Martin Johnson joined the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in 2000, where he was subsequently appointed Section Leader and regularly features as a soloist. His performance of the world premiere of Frank Corcoran’s Cello Concerto with the RTÉ NSO and the subsequent recording released on the RTÉ lyric fm label received widespread critical acclaim.

Ailbhe McDonagh performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, and is also an established composer. Keenly interested in performing contemporary music, Ailbhe collaborates with many composers worldwide and has recorded several CDs of contemporary music. Ailbhe joined the cello faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2010.

Join William Butt, Rosalie Curlett, Martin Johnson and Ailbhe McDonagh on their six-date Music Network tour from 10th – 15th October.