An exciting weekend of music is in place for Birr's first ever classical music festival - Birr Festival of Music & Voice - from May 26 to 28.
Incorporating the Trench Award, now in its fourth year, the weekend will feature performances by world class artists in voice and instrument, masterclasses given by an international panel, as well as the Birr Young Voices project.
In a major coup for the festival, internationally acclaimed baritone Bruno Caproni and concert pianist Julian Evans will get the festival underway at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre on Friday 26 May.
Meanwhile, one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today, the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet will perform on Saturday 27 May.
Sunday evening sees The Trench Award Gala Concert, where six Midlands musicians of the future will perform a repertoire of solo instrument and song, during which the recipient of the Trench Award 2017 and other bursaries will be selected by a distinguished panel.
The inaugural performance of Birr Young Voices will also take place on Sunday 28 May. Made up of children, aged between 9-12 years, the event will be the culmination of ten weeks of workshops and classes under the direction of a professional children's choral team supported by The Trench Trust and Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath.
Director of the Festival, Maureen de Forge said: “It is envisioned the Birr Young Voices will be a permanent group in the town, receiving ongoing choral training through the year, adding new members each year. A major aim of the Festival is to enhance the profile and enjoyment of classical music for all, giving both participants and audiences in Birr and the Midland region the highest level of professional excellence.”
The full programme for Birr Festival of Music & Voice will be available from mid-March.
For more details on The Trench Award 2017 and Birr Young Voices, log on to www.birrtheatre.com