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Magee Hosts Walled City Music Festival



Dr Cathal Breslin

Three Grammy award-winning classical musicians are among the line-up starring in the Walled City Music Festival hosted at the University of Ulster, Magee this week.

The Festival, now in its second year, is the brainchild of concert pianist Dr Cathal Breslin, from Derry, and his wife Dr Sabrina Hu, a flautist from the United States.  Artistic Directors Cathal and Sabrina will play alongside the visiting international artists in a number of concerts, including the opening concert on Tuesday 3 August where they will perform  as the ‘Trio Festivale’ alongside cellist Gerald Peregrine 

Grammy award-winning pianist Kathryn Stott, well known for her exciting collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will perform with Cathal in a rare performance of music for two pianos on Wednesday 4 August.

The acclaimed New Zealand born Bass Baritone Jonathan Lemalu, EMI artist and one of the most sought after performers on the international concert, operatic and recital circuit, will perform alongside his wife, mezzo soprano Sandra Martinovic, and pianist Michael Hampton on Friday 6 August. 

Completing the trio of Grammy winners is the exceptional French violinist Augustin Dumay, who will conclude the Festival on Saturday 7 August with a recital of violin sontatas, accompanied by Cathal Breslin.

Cathal said:  “It is a real privilege to have three Grammy winning artists joining us this year, among an impressive international-up representing nine countries.  As well as the wonderful concert programme we have also developed an exciting ancillary educational strand, with many of the visiting artists offering free workshops and masterclasses to the public.  This includes an amazing opportunity for rising vocal stars to attend a masterclass with Jonathan Lemalu and Sandra Martinovic which  really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

He added: “It is our goal to make this Festival an annual event which will fill the Derry air with very best of classical music and inspire and motivate young musicians in the City and beyond by providing them with opportunities to work with truly distinguished internationally artists.  As part of this commitment we are delighted that funding from the Arts Council allows us to offer all workshops, masterclasses and concert performances free to students.”

Niamh Pearce, Cultural Development Officer at the Magee campus said:  “We are delighted to host the Walled City Music Festival which complements the University’s own work in music development and education and we wish the Festival Committee every success with this year’s programme.” 

The Walled City Music Festival will run from Tuesday 2 August to Saturday 7 August.  For further information on the full programme of concerts and educational activities please log on to: www.walledcitymusicfestival.com or email: info@walledfcitymusicfestival.com. Tickets for all concerts are available from the Millennium Forum Box Office on: 028 7126 4455.

There will be a reception, including performances by several of the artists, to mark the launch of the Festival in the Great Hall on Monday 2 August at 3pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Please RSVP to info@walledcitymusicfestival.com.