Special strings concert begins Chamber Music Fest

The 10th anniversary concert of the Donegal Junior Strings Orchestra at the Glebe Gallery, Churchill, on Saturday (12th) begins the programme of the 2019 Donegal Chamber Music Festival.

There are five concerts in eight days, featuring the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, the Aisling Óir Harp Duo and the strings duo Victor Yélamo (cello) and Orsolya Szabo-Yélamo (violin).

A special feature this year is the first-ever production in Ireland of a Vivaldi opera – ‘Griselda’, at An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny next Tuesday.

Victor Yélamo, one of the festival organisers, said they’re delighted with the line-up this year.

“We have some wonderful music happening over the next few days and we’ve been fortunate to secure very special venues as well. We have the Glebe House and Gallery, and in Letterkenny we have An Grianán Theatre, Rockhill House and Conwal Church.”

Victor Yélamo conducts the Donegal Junior Strings in a concert at St Baithin’s NS in St Johnston, part of their school tour earlier this year.


Victor himself is the conductor of Donegal Junior Strings, which has produced some exceptional young string players over the past ten years. The 10th anniversary concert will feature former members as guests, and also includes a performance by the newly-formed Donegal Town String Quartet.

The concert will be held in a specially-erected marquee in front of the Glebe Gallery at 12.30pm on Saturday (12th), and admission is free. The event is part of Wainfest, the childen’s arts and books festival happening across Donegal this month.

Orsi Szabo-Yélamo (violin) and Victor Yélamon (cello) – Grammy-nominated as part of Concerto Malaga in Spain.

There’s an international flavour to the concert featuring the Szabo-Yélamo String Duo at 5pm next day (Sun.) in Glebe House itself. Victor and Orsolya will present a programme of classical pieces, well-known tangoes and popular songs, with wine and tapas in the Tea Rooms afterwards.

The Irish National Opera presents Vivaldi’s opera Griselda at An Grianán on Tuesday night (8pm), with a starry cast of singers and music from the Irish baroque orchestra. It’s just the second night of their Irish tour.

Lucy Kerr, left, and Nodlaig Ní Bhrollaig, the Aisling Óir Harp Duo, are in concert on Thursday 17th Oct 2019 in Rockhill House in Letterkenny.

Well-known harpists Nodlaig Ní Bhrollaig and Lucy Kerr play contemporary arrangements of old Irish airs and tunes in their ‘Athraonadh’ concert at Rockhill House next Thursday (17th), 8pm.

There’s a mixture of old and new classical music to finish the festival on Sunday week (20th) at Conwal Church. The Donegal Chamber Orchestra and actress Maura Logue performed ‘Plan of a Place’, a new work by composer Derek Ball, a native of Letterkenny. It’s based on a text by Jane Austen. There’s also music by Elgar, Kreisler and Albinoni.

Booking is essential for the concerts at Glebe House and Rockhill House, and is through An Grianán box office, angrianan.com or phone 07491 20777. You can also book at the box office for ‘Griselda’. Tickets for the Conwal Church concert are available at the door.

The Festival is presented by the Donegal Chamber Music Society and the Donegal Music Education Partnership. More information from the DMEP at 07491 76293.