Regarded as one of Ireland’s most outstanding musicians, international award-winning violinist Patrick Rafter has performed alongside some of the greatest performers in the world today, including Maxim Vengerov, Schlomo Mintz, Barry Douglas and John O’Conor.
Patrick will be joined for this concert by acclaimed Wicklow pianist Fiachra Garvey, who brings a “deep and infectious enthusiasm, combined with insight and technical comfort” (Sunday Times) to everything he tackles.
A brand new commission from Conor Linehan, written especially for this superb duo, forms the centrepiece of a wistful and lyrical programme that beautifully fuses styles, genres and cultures, from French café to American jazz and even Irish traditional music.
*Funded by the Arts Council's Commissions Award
“The Vengerov-Rafter duo was a delight to behold... this was a partnership of equals.”Bachtrack
“…a deep and infectious enthusiasm, combined with insight and technical comfort.”Sunday Times (on Fiachra Garvey)
Regarded as one of Ireland’s most outstanding musicians, international award winning violinist and conductor Patrick Rafter has toured Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Internationally, Patrick has been the grand prize winner of multiple competitions including Valiant Violin Competition, Switzerland 2016 and the London Performing Arts Competition 2017.
During his career, Patrick has studied with and performed alongside some of the greatest performers in the world today, including Maxim Vengerov, Schlomo Mintz, Barry Douglas and John O’Conor. He has also worked with some of the most prominent composers of the world today, such as Arvo Pärt, and performed with some of the leading conductors including Semyon Bychkov, Marin Alsop, Sir Mark Elder and Gianedra Noseda. As a conductor, Patrick has directed the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in the finals of the RDS Feis Ceoil and has taken choral masterclasses with distinguished names such as Zoltan Pad and Volker Hempfling.
A protege of the legendary violinist, Maxim Vengerov, Patrick was born in 1991 into a musical family in Kilkenny, Ireland. He quickly became recognised as a prodigious talent winning over 50 national accolades. Patrick went on to receive a full scholarship to study at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying with Eyal Kless and Fionnuala Hunt. In 2011, Patrick was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he graduated with first class honours and was awarded multiple prizes throughout his studies. He was also selected as a member of the R.A.M. ‘s elite string ensemble ‘Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists’ with whom he made his Wigmore Hall debut in January 2015. In October 2015, Patrick was personally invited to study under Maxim Vengerov at the International Menuhin Music Academy.
Forthcoming performances include Czach Republic, Ireland, UK, Italy, Macedonia, France, Switzerland and also appearances with Prague Philharmonia, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, London Mozart Players, Bad Nauheim Symphony Orchestra and Israel Camerata.
Wicklow-born pianist Fiachra Garvey is possessed of a maturity and profound understanding of his art, which when combined with his infectious enthusiasm for music-making, has already captivated audiences in concert halls across Europe and beyond.
First prizewinner at the 2012 Jaques Samuel Competition, London, Fiachra Garvey, ARAM, has performed in venues from the Fazioli Auditorium in Italy to London’s Wigmore Hall. He has also been a prizewinner at AXA Dublin International Piano Competition (Brennan Prize and McCullough Bursary), EU Piano Competition Prague (concerto finalist), and 3rd Soirees-Concours Internationales de Piano a Collioure, France (Audience award).
The National Concert Hall Dublin awarded Fiachra the “Rising Star” prize in 2011, which subsequently led to a series of concerto and solo debuts.Fiachra’s concerto appearances include Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Janáček Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky and Poulenc with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Grieg with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Prokofiev No. 3 with the RIAM Symphony Orchestra and Grieg with the Hibernian Orchestra, working with eminent conductors including John Wilson, Duncan Ward, Theodore Kuchar, Stephen Bell and Mihhail Gerts.
Recent highlights include the first classical recital at Google Dublin, a series of solo and two-piano recitals in Japan, a tour of China during which Fiachra gave masterclasses at the Beijing Conservatory of Music, as well as appearances at Spoleto Festival Italy, Wexford Opera, Brighton Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and The Geneva Festival, Switzerland.
Fiachra’s debut CD For the Piano, on the RTÉ lyric FM label “brings a deep and infectious enthusiasm, combined with insight and technical comfort.” (Sunday Times). His second CD is a live performance from Wigmore Hall. Fiachra is the Founder and Artistic Director of the West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Classical Vauxhall.
He is hugely grateful for the support he has received from the Arts Council (Professional Development Award 2020) and the Wicklow Arts Office (Artist Award Scheme 2020).
When not performing, Fiachra loves nothing more than returning home to help on the family farm with the yearly lambing, dipping, shearing, harvesting and all the other elegant and refined activities on the farm! Fiachra feels this makes him a more inspired and fulfilled musician.
Conor studied piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with Thérèse Fahy and in London with Professor Peter Feuchtwanger. He has written scores for theatre companies including CoisCéim, Druid, The Abbey, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the British National Theatre, The Gate Theatre, the Lyric Theatre Belfast, Liverpool Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre, The Corn Exchange and Siren Productions. Recent productions include Richard the Third and Sive for Druid, Woyzeck in Winter for Landmark/Galway International Arts Festival and Dublin by Lamplight for Corn Exchange at the Abbey Theatre. Conor has solo piano commissions for the 2018 Dublin International Piano Competition and the renowned British pianist Joanna MacGregor which she performed on her 2015 Irish tour. Conor was 2018 Musician in Residence for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. As a pianist he has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra and Crash Ensemble. He is a member of the WhistleBlast Quartet. Conor is on the piano faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music.