West Cork Music is devastated to announce that once again the West Cork Chamber Music Festival has had to move online.
Since last summer the team here at WCM have been making every effort to produce a live Festival for 2021 – upending the normal Festival timetable by scheduling 130 concerts and recitals, the largest ever programme. The idea was simple – to enable our audience to experience a full festival despite the strict limitations imposed by social distancing.
The Festival’s plans for a live event were just completed with a full programme available on the website when the pandemic’s third wave struck. Once it became clear that the uncertainty around restrictions this summer would not be resolved, the team had to accept that a live Festival with a live audience would not be possible. After more than a year listening to music through the veil of a computer screen, the 2021 Festival was intended as a celebration of live music and to cancel it is a blow to everyone involved.
The WCM team is now focused on curating a Virtual Festival. Building on our experiences of last year, we will create a larger online programme with a more engaging and interactive online experience. Almost all the musicians engaged for the original programme will present at least one filmed concert from venues around Europe and USA. As soon as the programme for the 2021 Virtual West Cork Chamber Music Festival is completed, you will be informed.
Meanwhile as a reminder of times past, here is a link to a very special recital. One of the Festival secrets is that the greatest gems are sometimes the hardest found, usually late at night. The Russian poet, Alexander Blok, wrote an incredible set of poems dedicated to the great city of St Petersburg, which the composer Georgy Sviridov turned into an extraordinarily moving song cycle, sung for us by the incomparable Lyudmila Shkirtil accompanied by Yuri Serov. Listen here.
West Cork Chamber Music Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council, Crespo Foundation, Failte Ireland and Cork County Council.