A Children’s Concert by the Degani Piano Trio featuring Irish composer Ian Wilson's new work Whale Tales, inspired by different stories about, or things to do with whales, as a way of reminding us how wonderful these creatures are.
The rest of the programme will consist of some Irish children's poetry with Irish folksong arrangements.
The musicians - pianist Rachel Quinn, violinist Alan Smale, and cellist Annette Cleary - will be joined by Donegal artist Kim Sharkey who will provide her wonderful live drawing alongside the music.
Whale Tales is a new piece of music by leading Irish composer Ian Wilson for violin, cello and piano inspired by different stories about, or things to do with, whales, as a way of reminding us how wonderful these creatures are. A short introduction is followed by four main movements – “Jonah”, “The Whale’s Tail” (after the area on the dwarf planet Pluto with the same name); “Sleep” (inspired by how whales sleep – vertically!); and “The White Whale”, after Herman Melville’s famous novel. The music is very illustrative and the movements relatively short so it will appeal to children’s imaginations. The inclusion of live-drawing by the wonderful children’s artist Kim Sharkey will make the experience completely engaging for under-10s.
Whale Tales is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An chomhairle ealaíon.
Ian Wilson was born in Belfast in 1964 and began composing while at university. He has since written over 200 works, including operas, concertos, 20 string quartets, a range of orchestral and chamber music and multi-media pieces. His compositions have been performed and broadcast on six continents and presented at festivals including the BBC Proms, Venice Biennale and Frankfurt Bookfair and at venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Royal Albert and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Vienna's Musikverein and Tokyo's Suntory Hall. Wilson has in recent years also worked with jazz musicians, Asian tabla and Chinese pipa players and traditional Irish singers; he has also collaborated with choreographers, theatre directors and electroacoustic and computer music composers.
The Degani Piano Trio
The Degani Piano Trio is made up of award winning musicians: violinist Alan Smale (violin); pianist Rachel Quinn, and; cellist Annette Cleary. Alongside recording work of composers such as Haydn, Chopin, Brahms and Piazzolla, they have innovatively collaborated with theatrical and visual artists in live concert settings.
Rachel has performed critically acclaimed concertos by composers such Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt with Irish and International orchestras. A recording artist in her own right, Rachel has also spearheaded the Degani Piano Trio’s innovative collaborations with renowned theatrical and visual artists, Barry McGovern, Donna Anita Nikolaisen and Kim Sharkey.
Alan Smale, Violin
Alan is founder of The Degani Ensemble. For 20 years he was Leader of the RTE NSO. He is a great exponent of Irish contemporary music and has recorded concertos by Raymond Deane, Frank Corcoran, James Wilson and Jerome de Bromhead. Alan plays on a superb Venetian violin made by Eugenio Degani in 1896.
Annette Cleary, Cello
Annette Cleary has performed as soloist with the NSO and acted as jury member for International Competitions. Her tutors have included Coral Bognuda, Paul Tortelier, and Antonio Janigro. Annette was a prizewinner at the Barchet International Cello Competition. She currently teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where she recently received her Doctorate. www.annettecleary.com
Kim Sharkey is a multi-disciplinary artist living by the sea in West Donegal; working in art, illustration, animation, participatory arts and arts education. Kim’s creative inspiration has always stemmed back to her love of words and story; with artwork widely exhibited and now part of nine publications, she loves the collaborative process of making a book. Her illustrations in the début picture book Mór agus Muilc won her The Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book at the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2020.