Limerick Early Music Festival -Artists 2021

A-Z

Benjamin Bagby, Peter Barley, Antonio Cascelli, Mary Collins, Caoimhe de Paor, Rachel Factor, Nina Falk, Rhiannon Giddens, Laura Howes, Teddie Hwang, Aisling Kenny, Yonit Kosovske, Michael Laffan, Andrew Lawrence-King, Cecilia Madden, Maria O’Brien, Mícheál P. Ó Súilleabháin, Palisander, Steve Player, Aiden Scanlon, Wolodymyr ‘Vlad’ Smishkewych, Eve Stafford, Zoë Stedje, Eamon Sweeney

Benjamin Bagby

Benjamin Bagby
Benjamin Bagby

Benjamin Bagby, vocalist, harper, and teacher, directs the Sequentia ensemble, which he co-founded in 1977. Apart from the research and ensemble work of Sequentia, Mr. Bagby devotes his time to the solo performance of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic oral poetry and is well known for his acclaimed and ongoing performances of the Beowulf epic. In a career spanning more than four decades, he has performed all over the world, published and lectured widely, and is committed to teaching the next generation. Between 2005–2018 Bagby was on the faculty of the Université Paris – Sorbonne, teaching in the master’s program for medieval music performance. He currently teaches medieval performance practice at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany.

Peter Barley

Peter Barley
Peter Barley

Peter Barley is Organist and Choirmaster of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick. He is also a member of the teaching staff at the Limerick School of Music, where he teaches piano and organ and is a staff accompanist (www.limerickschoolofmusic.ie).

Peter was previously Organist at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, from where he holds the title of Organist Emeritus. Peter began his career in London, where he was Director of Music at St Marylebone Church, as well as regularly accompanying such choirs as the Corydon Singers, the London Concert Choir and Canticum. The foundations for his interest in choral, organ and sacred music were laid through studies at King’s College, Cambridge (where he was an organ scholar) and as a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, London.  His organ teachers during this time were Nicolas Kynaston, the late Peter Hurford and the late Nicholas Danby.

As an organist, Peter has performed at many UK venues including St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Bridgewater Hall. He has also played at most of the main Irish recital venues, and whilst living and working in Canada he played in all the regular ‘noon-hour’ organ recital series in Toronto.

Having studied on the church music course with Patrick Russill whilst a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Peter has also retained a strong interest in music in the church during his career. A former Director of the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy, Peter also spent six years as Chair of RSCM Ireland. He is now closely involved in the Limerick Pipe Organ Festival (www.lpof.ie). In January 2020 he was pleased to be able to form a new vocal ensemble, Sagittarius Hiberniensis, based at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Antonio Cascelli

Antonio Cascelli
Antonio Cascelli

Antonio Cascelli is Assistant Professor in Music and Head of Music Department at Maynooth University, Ireland. His main research interests are in arts and music in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, Monteverdi, Schenker and Chopin, music analysis, and the relationship between music and visual arts. After gaining his Degree in Literature and Philosophy at University of Rome, ‘La Sapienza’, he started studying at the University of Southampton, where he first gained a Masters in Musicology (1999) with a dissertation on Claudio Monteverdi, and subsequently completed a PhD on Schenker’s unpublished analyses of the music of Chopin (2004). He has published articles and reviews in Cambridge Opera Journal, Early Music, Ad Parnassum, Studi Musicali, Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana, Music & Letters, JSMI. He has published a book on Schenker’s material on Chopin from theOster Collection, New York Public Library (LIM, 2017). His articles on Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and L’Orfeo are published in the «Cambridge Opera Journal» (2017) and «Philomusica Online» (2018).

Mary Collins

Mary Collins limerick early music festival
Mary Collins

Mary Collins is an early dance specialist who has inspired musicians to look afresh at the dance music at the heart of the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. Reviving original choreography and gesture for historical performance, Mary promotes a vibrant, multi-disciplinary approach to music making, valued by artists and audiences alike. She has worked with dance, theatre and TV companies, regularly giving master-classes, lecture-recitals and workshops. She collaborates with many of the world’s leading exponents of early music and is a faculty member of Aestas Musica in Croatia, the Austria Barokakademie and, for 26 years, The Ringve International Summer Course in Norway. She has worked with the Irish Baroque Orchestra in Dublin, London Handel Players, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Southbank Sinfonia York Early Music Festival, Tilford Bach Festival, Gregynogg Early Music Festival, and East Cork Early Music Festival. Future performances with Florilegium Baroque Ensemble involve concerts and workshops at King’s Place in London and The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Mary teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music in London, and University of Birmingham. She has also conducted courses for ballet companies, drama schools and universities in Ireland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, South Korea, Romania, USA and Brazil. She has been a guest artist on multiple occasions at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, where she has given workshops to students from across disciplines.

Caoimhe de Paor

Caoimhe de Paor

Caoimhe de Paor began her musical studies in Limerick’s Municipal School of Music, Ireland, where she was taught by Maria O’Brien. She continued her studies on recorder and clarinet under Elizabeth Jones in the Cork School of Music, from where she received her B.Mus before moving  to London for a Masters in Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has studied with Ian Wilson, Robert Ehrlich, Pamela Thorby (GSMD) and Elizabeth Jones (CSM), and has participated in masterclasses with Kees Boeke, Karl van Steenhoven, Piers Adams, Sebastien Marq, Dan Laurin, Drora Bruck and Eric Bosgraaf. As well as achieving a number of competition success in Ireland and the UK, Caoimhe has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in prominent events and venues, including Wigmore Hall (Chamber Tots series), Wilton’s Music Hall, Handel and Hendrix Museum, Crypt of Mont St. Michel, Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival, East Cork Early Music Festival, St. Barrahane’s Festival of Music, Tel-Aviv Early Music Seminar (Israel), World Forum on Music (Brisbane) and London Handel Festival. She has also appeared alongside the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra and the Academy of Ancient Music, as part of their AMMplify scheme. Most recently, she has given the Irish premiere of Richard Harvey’s Concerto Incantato with the UL orchestra, recorded for The New York Times Conception series and performed live on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ with her quartet Palisander

Rachel Factor

Rachel Factor
Rachel Factor

Rachel Factor was introduced to the harpsichord when she began her BA Piano Performance studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Upon leaving The Royal Irish Academy of Music Rachel received tutelage from many highly esteemed artists such as Carole Cerasi, Laurence Cummings, Malcom Proud and Christophe Rousset in advanced masterclasses. Carole Cerasi has been an influential mentor since Rachel has finished her formal musical studies. She has performed extensively throughout Ireland as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed with many of Ireland’s leading ensembles. She is a member of many ensembles that perform Baroque music, including Sonamus and Ensemble Revelare. In London Rachel has performed on multiple occasions at the Handel House Museum. In addition to performing work, she is harpsichord professor at The Conservatory of Music and Drama at TU Dublin. Rachel is also local centre examiner for the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In a curatorial roll she co-directed the successful ‘Alchemy Music Concert Series’ with Baroque guitarist Eamon Sweeney from 2010 until 2019. In 2010 Rachel was the recipient of The Arts Council Music Network Capital Scheme award. This afforded her the opportunity to commission a harpsichord. She plays a single manual ‘petit ravelmant’ Flemish harpsichord crafted by Andrew Wooderson after Ioannes Ruckers 1685. Rachel is also recipient of The Arts Council 2017 Artist Bursary. More recently she was a second time recipient of The Arts Council Music Network Capital Scheme Award in 2019. Rachel gratefully acknowledges the support of both Music Network and The Arts Council.

Nina Falk

Nina Falk
Nina Falk (photo ©Michael Ventura)

Nina Falk, violinist and violist, was born in New York. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, she studied in London and Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship. On her return to the States, she played with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, the Marlboro Music Festival, and the Baltimore Symphony. After teaching at Illinois State University, Nina Falk moved to Washington, DC, in 1983, where she made her home. Playing frequently with the National Symphony (not as a member) she toured and recorded under Rostropovich and Leonard Slatkin. In 1985 she participated in the recording of Handel’s Messiah at the National Cathedral, with leading musicians of early music, and fell in love with historically informed performance. Performances with the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire, the Folger Consort, and Opera Lafayette followed. She created her own group, Arcovoce, which performs with both sets of instruments, early and modern, as well as the soprano Rosa Lamoreaux. Her passion for glass began by chance when attending a local art show in 2003. Soon after, she attended workshops at the Corning Museum School of Glass, the Pilchuck School of Glass, and many local workshops in the Washington, DC area. Her work appears in private collections, as well as public installations such as at the George Washington Hospital, the Hilton Hotel in Dupont Circle, and the law firm of Holland and Knight. Nina is the founder and director of A Musical Heart, which brings live music to the bedside of hospice patients.

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens (photo ©Ebru Yildiz)

A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Rhiannon Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. She was most recently nominated for her collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, there is no Other (2019). Giddens’s forthcoming album, They’re Calling Me Home, is a twelve-track album, recorded with Turrisi in Ireland during the recent lockdown; it speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis. Named Artistic Director of Silkroad Ensemble in 2020, Giddens is developing a number of new programs for that ensemble, including The American Silkroad, an exploration of the music of the American transcontinental railroad and its builders. She recently wrote the music for an original ballet, Lucy Negro Redux, and the libretto and music for an original opera, Omar, based on the autobiography of the enslaved man Omar Ibn Said. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black female banjo players, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, and Amythyst Kiah, and co-produced their debut album Songs of Our Native Daughters (2019), which tells stories of historic black womanhood and survival. Pitchfork has said of her work, “few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration,” and Smithsonian Magazine calls her “an electrifying artist who brings alive the memories of forgotten predecessors, white and black.

Laura Howes

Laura Howes (photo © Dominika Alkhodari)

Laura Howes is a mezzo soprano from Co. Clare. Laura graduated in 2020 from Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Limerick with a First-Class Honours in Music and German (Bachelor of Arts course). Throughout her time at MIC, Laura was a member of the Choral Society, participating in multiple Christmas concerts, including performances at the Redemptorist and St Joseph’s churches. As part of the Erasmus+ programme she spent a year studying abroad in Keele University, England and Otto-Friedrich-University in Bamberg, Germany. While at Keele she joined the Gospel Choir and appeared on the BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year. Currently Laura is a member of the choir at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick; she has been with the choir for over ten years. Having been consistently involved in the Sunday services, she has had the opportunity to sing a number of solos such as Mendelssohn’s I waited for the Lord and Weelkes’ Jubilate. She has also performed in various concerts held in the cathedral and within these concerts has featured in the solo sections of works such as the Mozart Coronation Mass. Laura has also obtained a bronze and silver medal in the RSCM Voice for Life training scheme as a means to further develop her vocal skills. More recently, Laura has become a member of the Sagittarius Hiberniensis choir and performed in its launch concert in January 2020. In September, Laura is planning to study the MA in Music Education at MIC.

Teddie Hwang

Teddie Hwang (photo ©Heiko Schmitt)
Teddie Hwang (photo ©Heiko Schmitt)

Flautist Teddie Hwang is fascinated by the timbre and vocal qualities of the baroque traverso. Based in Germany, she collaborates with a variety of ensembles, playing repertoire ranging from 17th century airs de cour to 19th century symphonies. She has given workshops on historical performance at institutions such as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the School of Music at the University of Victoria BC, and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. In addition to the flute, Teddie is also an avid photographer.  Specialising in portraiture for musicians, she creates each image like a musical composition with a specific structure, emotion, and style.  She enjoys the challenge of expressing the essence of music and of musicians through a visual medium. Teddie studied traverso with Wilbert Hazelzet and received her Master’s degree in Historical Flute Performance from the Koninklijk Conservatorium Netherlands. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Germanic Studies from Indiana University USA, where she studied modern flute with Kathryn Lukas and graduated with high distinction. She is a winner of the Baroque Flute Artist Competition held by the National Flute Association of America, and has also adjudicated for its masterclass competitions. 

Aisling Kenny

Aisling Kenny
Aisling Kenny

Irish soprano Aisling Kenny is a soloist and ensemble singer specialising in early music and art song. She pursues a busy freelance career singing frequently as a soloist in chamber music and oratorio. Her favourite repertoire includes anything by Bach, French baroque, Mozart’s sacred music, lute songs and Lieder. She has sung as a soloist with Irish Baroque Orchestra, Camerata Kilkenny, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Marlborough Baroque, Luminosa String Orchestra, The Orchestra of St Cecilia, Linden Baroque and the Staatskapelle Halle and as a soloist with professional and amateur choirs including Resurgam, Sestina, and Chamber Choir Ireland. Aisling features regularly in the National Concert Hall’s Chamber Music Series, most recently with IBO for their La Donna Barocca project directed by Claire Duff, and Handel in Italy directed by Peter Whelan. Other memorable concert experiences include Couperin’s Leçons de ténèbres with Camerata Kilkenny and Sharon Carty, Venetian Splendour, a concert tour of Monteverdi with Resurgam and the English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, and performances at many of Ireland’s festivals including Galway Early Music Festival, Clifden Arts Festival, Sligo Baroque Festival, Ardee Baroque Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Aisling is a devoted song recitalist and loves singing with lute, harp, fortepiano and guitar. Recent recitals include Dowland’s lute songs with Thomas Dunford in Paris and Kilkenny and Galway Early Music Winter Festival with historical harpist Siobhan Armstrong. An experienced ensemble singer, Aisling is an Associate Artist with Resurgam and a member of Sestina and Crux Vocal Ensemble.

Yonit Kosovske

Yonit Kosovske
Yonit Kosovske (photo ©Angela Horsfall)

Yonit Kosovske performs as a soloist and collaborative artist on harpsichord, modern piano, fortepiano and chamber organ. Passionate about both sacred and secular repertoire from the Renaissance through New Music, Yonit has curated, directed and co-produced interdisciplinary projects and festivals. Chrome Attic is one of Yonit’s main and ongoing projects that brings together research, performance, Baroque painting, and contemporary photography in a voyage of chromaticism and chiaroscuro in music and art. She recently received a 2020 Arts Council Music Commissions Award for Watershed—a new song-cycle for voice and piano composed by Ailís Ní Ríain on poetry by Jessica Brown. Together with Vlad Smishkewych, Yonit is the co-producer of the inaugural 2021 Limerick Early Music Festival, as well as the co-founder of H.I.P.S.T.E.R. (Historically Informed Performance Series, Teaching, Education and Research) and the artistic director of WAVE~LINKS, a new video series exploring music and artisanry. Originally from the United States, Yonit moved to Ireland in 2011 and is a Lecturer in Music at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. She is the author of “Historical Harpsichord Technique: Developing La douceur du toucher” (Indiana University Press, 2011) and holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied historical keyboard performance in the studio of Elisabeth Wright.

Michael Laffan

Michael Laffan
Michael Laffan

Michael Laffan holds a music degree from UCC, Cork where he specialised on jazz piano and cello. After his studies he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland where he taught music in the classroom, instrumental piano and guitar, and lectured in popular music at Jewel and Esk Valley College. He also performed regularly, accompanying folk fusion artist Talitha MacKenzie and playing keyboards in various cabaret bands and experimental fusion rock outfits. Then a chance to move to North Carolina invited a change of direction from education to piano tuning, and he spent a year studying piano technology at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. While in North Carolina he mentored under John Foy and John Johanson, who ran a highly respected piano rebuilding workshop in Greensboro, focusing mainly on action-rebuilding and tuning. In 2015 Michael returned to his home of Limerick and established Laffan Piano Tuning, which specialises in domestic, institutional and concert piano care in the Munster region. He also runs an instrumental refurbishment and rebuilding workshop. He has recently established a number of working partnerships to facilitate professional development. One such project, the 2020 restoration of a Klop harpsichord under the guidance of Aiden Scanlon, was a perfect window into harpsichord construction, maintenance and care. Michael is greatly looking forward to building on this experience.

Andrew Lawrence-King

Andrew Lawrence-King
Andrew Lawrence-King

Andrew Lawrence-King is the doyen of historical harping, one of the world’s leading performers of Early Music, and an internationally renowned scholar. Born in Guernsey, now based in Tallinn, Estonia, he is an award-winning Baroque opera, orchestral, and ensemble director, imaginative continuo-player, improviser, early harp virtuoso, specialist in Baroque gesture and historical action, investigator of Flow, and opera composer.  His pioneering recordings of Trabaci, Ribayaz, Handel & Carolan re-established the lost worlds of Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Welsh and Irish Baroque harps. Andrew is co-director of Tragicomedia and directs The Harp Consort, combining state-of-the art early music performance with stylish improvisation and entertaining stage presentation; Il Corago, the production team for historical staging of early opera; and the International Baroque Opera Studio and Opera Omnio in Moscow. His research into Tactus redefines our understanding of Baroque rhythm. As guest director & teacher, he inspires musicians around the world to reach new levels of technical precision and stylish historicity with fun, energy and passion. Andrew’s hobbies include marathon running, sailing, kayaking, fencing (modern epée & historical rapier) & Tai Chi Chuan. He is an Ocean Yachtmaster & a qualified hypnotist.

Cecilia Madden

Cecilia Madden
Cecilia Madden

Cecilia Madden is a native of Limerick where she directs Ancór Chamber Choir and is Deputy Principal of Limerick School of Music. Cecilia read Music and History at Trinity College Dublin to MPhil level where she was awarded a double exhibition for her studies. In parallel with her academic studies she sang as a Choral Scholar and later conducted the Chapel Choir and University Orchestra at Trinity while she also studied Oboe Performance at DIT Conservatory of Music. Further focus in Choral Conducting at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik followed where she also sang with the three choirs of Berlin Cathedral. Since returning to Ireland, Cecilia has conducted several other choirs and continued her studies at postgraduate level in Music Education and Educational Leadership & Management at the University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth respectively. As well as conducting and performing regularly as a recorder player, oboist and pianist, Cecilia also sings as an ensemble singer, recently becoming a founding member of Sagittarius Hiberniensis under the direction of Peter Barley at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

Maria O’Brien

Maria O’Brien
Maria O’Brien

Maria O’Brien, originally from Dublin, was awarded a scholarship to study recorder and flute at The Royal Irish Academy of Music in 1973. One of the highlights of her time there was her participation in The Capriol Consort under the direction of Doris Keogh. She moved to Sligo when she completed her studies and taught in Sligo and Leitrim VEC for several years. Maria relocated to Limerick in 1985 to work as a musician in Bunratty Castle. She is a flute, recorder, and theory teacher in Limerick School of Music since 1986 and is a member of the school management team as Assistant Principal. Ensembles are her passion, and during her time at the Limerick School of Music she has formed many groups, including an Early Music Consort who have performed in a number of venues throughout Limerick city and have participated in nationwide competitions and festivals. Maria is an experienced external examiner and is regularly invited to act as adjudicator in recital competitions and festivals. She performs both flute and recorder with many of the local ensembles and amateur orchestras such as Limerick Symphonia, Limerick Philharmonic Orchestra, The Baroque Players, Limerick Choral Union, and UL Orchestra. She is currently a student on the MA in Community Music programme at the University of Limerick, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Mícheál P. Ó Súilleabháin

Mícheál P. Ó Súilleabháin
Mícheál P. Ó Súilleabháin

Mícheál P. Ó Súilleabháin has apprenticed himself to the repertoire of his mother, renowned Irish sacred singer Rev. Nóirín Ní Riain, as well as the artform of poetic recitation. He has recorded and travelled widely performing several genres of music with his brother, Owen. Mícheál, with his brother and mother, run tours to Ireland and present online courses on a range of Celtic, artistic and spiritual themes under the banner of Edge School. He has recently published his book of poetry Early Music under David Whyte’s Many Rivers Press.

Palisander

Palisander
Palisander (photo: ©Marc McGarraghy)

Palisander prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire, performing largely from memory on recorders up to 6 feet tall. Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant ensemble which devises their own choreography, writes new compositions and unique arrangements for the ensemble, and are keen ambassadors for the recorder’s versatility. Palisander was selected for the prestigious Emerging European Ensembles’ Scheme 2019–21, providing the group with residencies, training and performance opportunities across Europe. Winners of the 2018 London International Exhibition of Early Music’s inaugural chamber music competition, the group was awarded a Golden Medal in the Manhattan International Music Competition 2019. Palisander has performed at Newbury Spring Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, London Festival of Baroque Music, London Fashion Week, and they have toured Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Japan and Russia. Their debut album “Beware the Spider!” was self-released in 2017 and received a 4 star review from BBC Music Magazine. The quartet have featured on radio and were thrilled to be the partner ensemble of the National Centre for Early Music’s Young Composer Award 2020 in collaboration with BBC Radio 3. Palisander enjoys giving family concerts and educational workshops, including the prestigious Live Music Now scheme, and as featured artists in Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Tots series. The group has recently been awarded another Arts Council England grant to tour “Recorder Revolution!” brings interactive, educational performances to schools and music venues across England.

Steve Player

Steve Player
Steve Player

Steve Player is a dancer, musician, choreographer and actor. He is also an expert on Will Kemp, a clown who performed in Shakespeare’s original company of actors. After studying guitar and lute at the Royal College of Music and Commedia delle Arte, Player devoted his career to performing music and dance from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and is in fact considered one of the foremost experts in Elizabethan jigs. He performs with various early music groups all over the world, lectures at various universities, and has appeared, choreographed and taught for tv, theatre, opera, school and the layman.

Aiden Scanlon

Aiden Scanlon
Aiden Scanlon

Aiden Scanlon (organist) is well known throughout Ireland for his work involving the tuning and maintenance of harpsichords, chamber organs, and church organs. His instrument services are in high demand by universities nationwide, as well as by major concert halls, festivals, concert series, individual musicians, and leading ensembles, such as the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Irish National Opera, Chamber Choir Ireland, Resurgam, among many others. For several years he was employed as an organ builder, working for Kenneth Jones, and on various projects voicing organs in major churches throughout Ireland, the United States, Australia, and throughout Europe. Included amongst his personal instrument collection are several harpsichords, a clavichord, regal organ, continuo organ, and a square piano.

Aiden-Scanlon

Wolodymyr ‘Vlad’ Smishkewych

Wolodymyr ‘Vlad’ Smishkewych
Vlad Smishkewych (photo ©Jan Gates)

Tenor Wolodymyr ‘Vlad’ Smishkewych has performed with artists as diverse as Sequentia, Theatre of Voices, Carlos Nuñez, Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, The Harp Consort, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and Ensemble Dialogos. On the opera and concert stage he has performed as soloist under directors such as Christophe Rousset, Peter Sellars, Albert Takazauckas, Gary Thor Wedow and Andrew Lawrence-King. Vlad has recorded for Sony/BMG, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Norton, and Focus Records. He holds the Doctor of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University, and has lectured and taught masterclasses and performance programmes at universities in the USA, South America, Canada, and Europe. His passion for writing and creating audio and video about music, culture, and nature brought him to Spain as a Fulbright Fellow in 2005. In 2011 he moved to Ireland to become director of the MA in Ritual Song and Chant at the University of Limerick, Ireland, where he taught until 2014. He then returned to performing and to the world of audio broadcasting and film, in 2015 joining Ireland’s RTÉ lyric fm as an announcer and programme writer, and as the host of Ireland’s weekly early music programme, Vox Nostra. Together with Yonit Kosovske, he is co-founder and co-director of the Limerick Early Music Festival (LEMF) and of H.I.P.S.T.E.R., an acronym for Historically Informed Performance Series, Teaching, Education and Research.

Eve Stafford

Eve Stafford
Eve Stafford

Eve Stafford holds a Licentiate and Diploma in Classical Music Performance with the London College of Music and has studied voice with Olive Cowpar for the last few years. Eve has won all major awards at Féile Luimnigh and Feis Maitiú Corcaigh for Operatic Solo, Oratorio and Early Music to name but a few. Eve is an experienced recitalist having performed at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Chapel and St. Mary’s Cathedral. She has performed for the last seven years with “Opera Delights” as part of Culture Night in association with University Concert Hall, Limerick. Eve is an ensemble member of the Limerick-based Opera Workshop and has appeared in all their performances to date. In November 2019, Eve appeared as the soprano solo with the MIC Choral Union for their performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C major, K.317 at the Redemptorist Church, Limerick.

Zoë Stedje

Zoë Stedje
Zoë Stedje

Zoë Stedje is a cellist from Limerick where she began her musical studies in the Limerick School of Music playing cello and piano. Following her studies with Peter Sebestyen, she studied with Christopher Marwood in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin for her Music Performance degree and received a First Class Honours. She is now studying with Martin Johnson before undergoing her Masters Degree. Zoë has also had extensive vocal training and has studied with Alison Cowpar and Veronica Dunne. She has won many awards and prizes in cello, piano and voice, including first prizes at Féile Luimnigh, the Feis Maitiú in Cork and the Feis Ceoil in Dublin. She has participated in masterclasses in Ireland and abroad with many very eminent teachers, including Frans Helmerson and most recently with Julius Berger at the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg, and also in Malbronn. As a soloist, Zoë has given a number of recitals in Ireland, including performances at Áras an Uactaráin. She is a member of the choir Sagittarius Hiberniensis under the direction of Peter Barley at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney began his musical studies on the violin, picked up an electric guitar during his teens, and subsequently studied Classical Guitar with Dr John Feeley at the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music. While there he was exposed to the Baroque Guitar, inspiring his doctoral research into the 17th-century instrument and its variants. He continued his study of early plucked-instruments with Xavier Díaz-Latorre at Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Barcelona. Eamon teaches and performs extensively in a variety of genres, giving broadcasts, lectures, and seminars in his native Ireland and internationally. He is a founding member of a number of ensembles that focus on the performance of Early and Irish music: Tonos, The Gregory Walkers, and Sonamus. Eamon is also committed to the provision of Community Music, Music in Healthcare Settings, and Early Years Music. Over the years Eamon has collaborated with some of Ireland’s leading artists including the late Seamus Heaney, Elaine Agnew, Brian Irvine, Mary Coughlan, Steve Cooney, and Theo Dorgan. Eamon is grateful for the support his work regularly receives from bodies such as The Arts Council, Music Network, and Wicklow Arts Office.