Saturday 24th November 2018
Regarded as one of Ireland’s most promising musicians, international award winning violinist Patrick Rafter has toured Europe, Asia and America as Concert Violinist, Chamber and Orchestral musician, and currently studies under Maxim Vengerov and Oleg Kaskiv at the International Menuhin Music Academy Switzerland.
Most recently, Patrick was awarded 1st prize at the Valiant International Violin Competition in Switzerland 2016. In 2011 Patrick was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) London, where he graduated with first class honours and was awarded the highest mark in his year group. At RAM, he was concertmaster of the Symphony, Concert and String Orchestra and was also selected as a member of the RAM’s elite string ensemble ‘Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists’ with whom he made his Wigmore Hall debut in January 2015. During his time at the RAM, Patrick was a recipient of a host of awards including the Foundation Award, the Sir Curtis Price Award, Roger and Sarah Bancroft Award and the J E Reckitt Award.
Patrick has performed as a soloist with multiple professional orchestras including RTE Symphony Orchestra, Mannheim Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Kiev Soloists amongst others and this season will see debuts with London Mozart Players, Prague Philarmonia among others. In October 2015, Patrick was personally invited to study under Maxim Vengerov at the International Menuhin Music Academy (IMMA), Gstaad Switzerland and has performed as soloist and concertmaster with IMMA’s elite chamber ensemble.
During his career, Patrick has studied with and performed alongside some of the greatest performers and teachers in the world today, including Maxim Vengerov, Schlomo Mintz, Barry Douglas, John O’Conor, Igor Ozim, Serjei Krylov, Reiner Honeck, Maurizio Fucs and Graf Mourja. He has also worked with some of the leading composers of the world today, such as Arvo Part, and performed with some of the greatest conductors including Semyon Bychkov, Marin Alsop, Sir Mark Elder and Gianedra Noseda.
As a conductor himself, Patrick has directed the RTE Concert Orchestra in the finals of the RDS Feis Ceoil Conducting Competition and has taken choral masterclasses with distinguished names such as Zoltan Pad, Maxim Vengerov and Volker Hempfling. Patrick is incredibly grateful to play on a Georges Chanot violin kindly supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
“belonging amongst the greatest violinists, except for names such as Maxim Vengerov, Itzhak Perlman and Nigel Kennedy, I cannot think of those with whom I can compare you!
... This is passionate abandoned playing, full of excitement, risks and drama
... a dangerously virtuosic ability which seems to feed off itself.”
- Alexander Bailie, RDS Music Festival
Belfast-born Michael McHale has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading pianists and has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.
He has performed as a soloist with the Minnesota, Hallé, Moscow Symphony and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and all five of the major Irish orchestras, and performed at the Tanglewood and Tokyo Spring Festivals, Wigmore Hall, London, Berlin Konzerthaus, Lincoln Center, New York, Symphony Hall, Boston and Pesti Vigadó in Budapest.
Michael’s début solo album The Irish Piano was released in 2012 by RTÉ lyric fm and selected as ‘CD of the Week’ by the critic Norman Lebrecht. More recent solo releases include Schubert: Four Impromptus on Ergodos, Miniatures and Modulations on Grand Piano, and a first orchestral album Irish Piano Concertos featuring works by John Field and Philip Hammond with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Courtney Lewis. His discography of over twenty albums includes releases on Delos, Nimbus Alliance, Champs Hill, and seven duo recital albums on Chandos with Michael Collins. The début album of the McGill/McHale Trio Portraits on Cedille featuring special narrations by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali was released in 2017 and immediately entered the Top 25 US Billboard Classical Chart. Upcoming releases include a recording of Strauss’s ‘Burleske’ with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Chandos, and a recording of two new works by Cliff Eidelman with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Winner of the Terence Judd/Hallé Award in 2009, Michael was also awarded the Brennan and Field Prizes at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, the 2005 Camerata Ireland/Accenture Award, and in 2016 a Major Individual Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, and his teachers and mentors include John O’Conor, Réamonn Keary, Christopher Elton, Ronan O’Hora and Barry Douglas. In 2018 Michael was invited to become a Patron of the Ulster Youth Orchestra, and in 2019 he was appointed as a part-time professor of piano for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Cork School of Music in Ireland.
Michael collaborates regularly with Sir James Galway, Michael Collins, Patricia Rozario, Dame Felicity Lott and Camerata Pacifica.
“…McHale played with cool authority and understated panache as one expected from a young pianist whose international career is in serious take-off mode…” Dick O’Riordan, Sunday Business Post
“...performed with zest and sensitivity by pianist Michael McHale with the RTÉ National Symphony under Courtney Lewis... McHale makes a potent case for all of it” Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
“…McHale was a wonderfully incisive soloist… this was exactly the sort of headlong, exciting adventure that Prokofiev intended it to be…” Michael Dervan, Irish Times
JS Bach – Sonata No 2 for Solo Violin in A minor, BWV 1003
Mozart – Violin Sonata in E minor, K304
Franck – Violin Sonata in A major
Ravel – Tzigane
Concert Tickets can now be purchased online through EventBrite. To purchase concert tickets online please click below
Tickets are also still available from the usual outlets
Tom Birmingham Mans Shop, 37 Oliver Plunkett Street Mullingar.
Tickets may also be purchased directly by telephoning 0876839061 or by email: Derravaraghmusicassociation@gmail.com
Pre Concert Suppers
Pre Concert Suppers are available in the Hotel Castlepollard
Please contact Russell on 044 966 1194 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking
As you may be aware, David Taylor has decided to retire as chairman of the Derravaragh Music Association after 25 years service.We are fortunate in having found a new chairperson, Jane Massy, who has wide experience at administration and a great knowledge of music, and also that Bridget, David’s wife, has kindly offered to continue as the Treasurer of the DMA for at least another year.
We are also delighted to announce that John Fairleigh has agreed to join the DMA committee.