LCMS – The Gathering –19-20 June 2020

The Louth Contemporary Music Society’s annual midsummer festival has quickly established itself as an event of prime importance, not only in Ireland but internationally. Composers and performers from around the world are drawn to Dundalk by the qualities of enthusiasm and attention they meet from a growing local audience.

Next year’s instalment, “The Gathering”, runs from the evening of Friday 19 June for a little over 24 hours and goes further than ever before, welcoming Cuba’s foremost composer Leo Brouwer. Half a century ago, Brouwer was the favoured guitarist of the leading German composer Hans Werner Henze. He brings to “The Gathering” a selection of his own pieces, for solo guitar and quartet, music deeply steeped in Cuban traditions. The Gathering will feature a world premiere of Brouwer’s Irish Landscape with Rain.

“The Gathering” takes its name from a string quartet by the exciting Greek-Canadian composer Christos Hatzis. This will be played by Ireland’s own Esposito Quartet, on a programme that also includes music by Kevin Volans (his classic White Man Sleeps, African rhythms and patterning reimagined for strings).

Pascale Criton, whose hovering music made a big impression at last year’s festival, returns with a piece for the French guitar duo Lallement Marques. They also play one of the foundation stones of Helmut Lachenmann’s utterly different, utterly persuasive work, Salut für Caudwell (honouring the English socialist writer Christopher Caudwell, killed at the age of 29 in the Spanish Civil War), as well as a piece by the Lachenmann pupil Mark André, whose music reaches a strange and entrancing stillness.

The German violinist Carolin Widmann lends her top virtuosity and expressive drive to a programme of new and recent solo pieces including a new work by Gloria Coates, pursuing her own fascinating course through her eighties. The festival closes with voices: the Vox Clamantis choir of Estonia, singing music by Arvo Pärt, more Volans and a new piece by Siobhán Cleary.

Funded by the Arts Council, Create Louth and RTE’ Supporting the Arts.
Festival only tickets on sale here