Our online box office for this concert has now closed. Tickets will be available to buy on the door. Please note we can only accept payment by cash on the door.Download the concert programme
Time & Date:
7.30pm, Sunday 29 May 2022
Priory Church of St George, Church Street, Dunster, TA24 6SH
Aoife Mairead Ní Bhriain | Violin
Clare O’Connell | Cello
Liam Byrne | Viola da Gamba
James McVinnie | Organ
£20/£15/£10 (see seating plan in the picture gallery)
** We have a limited number of £1 tickets available for 8-25 year olds – first come first served! These tickets must be booked in advance and will not be available on the door.**
Approximately 2 hours (including a 20-minute interval)
A celebration of the anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams from this superstar quartet, with excitingly fresh versions of his music, including The Lark Ascending, alongside works by Nico Muhly, David Lang and Alexander Agricola.
Aoife Mairead Ní Bhriain (violin)
Born in Dublin, to a family of musicians, Aoife Ní Bhriain has established herself as one of the most versatile musicians of her generation. Thanks to her musical heritage combined with her classical studies she has collaborated and performed with musicians such as pianist Eliso Virsaladze, fiddle player Martin Hayes, jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and Oscar winning actor Tim Robbins.
She is a member of the avant garde string quintet Wooden Elephant as well as the Goodman Trio with whom she has explored the manuscripts of the music collected around Ireland in the1800’s by Canon James Goodman.
Aoife has a particular interest in solo violin works and curated a performance on the solo violin works of J.S. Bach and the improvisations of acclaimed Dublin fiddle player and soloist Tommie Potts.
She graduated with first class honours from the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Leipzig in 2018 and plays on a violin by J.B. Vuillaume on generous loan.
Clare O'Connell (cello)
Performer, arranger and curator, cellist Clare O’Connell plays as a soloist and chamber musician.
Since founding her own concert series Clare’s practise has developed into a mixture of performing, writing, arranging and curating projects in which she collaborates with musicians and artists who inspire her. She is most interested in the intent behind a piece of music and finding the perfect context in which to present it.
She is a member of visionary ensemble Lontano and the Storytellers Ensemble and is a regular collaborator with many other chamber music & chamber opera projects.
For Behind The Mirror, her concert series based in Berkhamsted, she commissions many new works from living composers, makes her own arrangements of a vast array of music for unusual groups of instruments, and interweaves music poetry and storytelling to add another dimension to the listening experience.
Over lockdown she arranged, recorded and produced her debut solo album The Isolated Cellist, a deeply personal collection of ancient & modern music for solo and layered cello which was released by Stone Records in April 2021.
Highlights of 2022 include a performance of Cheryl Frances Hoad’s work Katharsis with the new music ensemble at Oxford University, and premiering Figures of Eight, Ed Finnis’ duo for cello and double bass which she co-commissioned with bassist Elena Hull.. She will be one of four solo cellists performing in Laura Jane Bowler’s new opera The Blue Woman at the Royal Opera House and at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh; and throughout the year performs as a soloist with Michael Morpurgo as he tours his Carnival of the Animals poems.
She is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford where she studied Ancient & Modern History followed by postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music & the Hochshule für Künste in Bremen, Germany with internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. She plays on a cello by Stefan Krattenmacher.
“she has a deep understanding of the way the music works and a joy in the simple act of playing which illuminates everything – from the most complex to the most basic music put in front of her.” – Harvey Brough – composer, producer, arranger
“beautiful playing” – Alessia Naccarato – Schmopera
“unruly talent” – George Collins – A Younger Theatre
“Especially moving” – Jon Jacob – Thoroughly Good
Liam Byrne (viola da gamba)
Liam Byrne spends most of his time playing either very old or very new music on the viola da gamba. An obsession with the instrument’s most obscure 16th and 17th century repertoire is a recurring theme in his work, whether in devising baroque performance installations for the Victoria & Albert museum, or in collaboration with the Appalachian fiddler Cleek Schrey, or creating new electronic works with Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson.
Liam’s solo performances frequently combine old viol music with new works written for him by composers such as David Lang, Nico Muhly, and Edmund Finnis, among many others. His membership in Icelandic record label and artist collective Bedroom Community has led to the release of two massive studio-based works: Donnacha Dennehy’s 40-minute long Tessellatum for multi-tracked viol and viola (with Nadia Sirota), and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Dissonance, a 23-minute deconstruction and explosion of a Mozart string quartet using many layers of Liam’s improvisation.
In June 2017, Liam was commissioned by the Victoria & Albert museum to create a site-specific sound installation for their new Courtyard Gallery, which resulted in the 8-hour long piece Partials, an exploration of the space’s resonance derived entirely from upper partial harmonics played on the viol. In 2015 Liam also collaborated with Nico Muhly on a sound installation for the National Gallery’s Soundscapes exhibition, and in 2016 was commissioned by the Dulwich Picture Gallery to make an immersive work in their Mausoleum, in response to two 17th century paintings by Gerrit Dou.
Over the years, Liam has worked closely with a wide variety of musicians, from Damon Albarn to Emma Kirkby, and is a frequent guest of new music ensembles Stargaze, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and Crash Ensemble. With a background in Historical Performance and degrees from Indiana and Oxford Universities, Liam has played and recorded with many of Europe’s leading Early Music ensembles, including the Huelgas Ensemble, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen, i Fagiolini, and the viol consorts Phantasm, Concordia, and most notably Fretwork, with whom he toured and recorded extensively for several years.
James McVinnie (organ)
James McVinnie’s work as a performer encompasses music from the 16th century to the present day. He has collaborated with many leading figures in new music including Philip Glass, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Angelique Kidjo, Nico Muhly, Martin Creed, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner, Darkstar, Hildur Guðnadóttir, David Lang, Sarah Davachi many of whom have written large scale works for him.
James McVinnie is a member of Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. ‘Cycles’, his debut recording of music written for him by Nico Muhly, was released on this label in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. An album of music by Philip Glass, ‘The Grid’, was released on Orange Mountain Music in 2018. ‘All Night Chroma’, an album of works by Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher was released on Warp Records in September 2019.
This season’s highlights include the first performances of Philip Glass’s Symphony 12 ‘Lodger’ with Angekique Kidjo and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under John Adams and in London with the London Contemporary Orchestra at Southbank Centre, Messiaen recitals in Lieu Unique Festival, performances of Nico Muhly’s organ concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, an evening-length collaboration with electronic duo ‘Darkstar’ for the SPCO’s ‘Liquid Music’ series. He also appears in recital at Paris Philharmonie and London’s Southbank and Barbican Centres.
James McVinnie was Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey between 2008 and 2011. Prior to this appointment, he held similar positions at St Paul’s Cathedral, St Albans Cathedral, and Clare College, Cambridge where he studied music. His teachers were Sarah Baldock, Thomas Trotter and Hans Fagius. He made his debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall in March 2014, giving one of the six reopening recitals on the refurbished iconic 1954 Harrison & Harrison organ. He made his solo debut in the Salzburg Festival at age 26 performing with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Ivor Bolton.