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Bantry House

N71, Bantry, Co. Cork

+353 (0)27 50047

Bantry House is not only one of the finest historic houses in Ireland but it also commands one of the best views overlooking Bantry Bay in West Cork. The original house was built in the 18th Century but was extensively altered in the 19th Century into its present appearance. The house is still owned and lived in by Shelswell-White family, who are direct descendant of Richard White, 1st Earl of Bantry, and his family. The title was granted to Richard White after raising the alarm to the British authorities when the 1796 French Armada was attempting to land at Bantry with an invasion force. The house became the headquarters of the British forces during this time. Unlike many grand houses in Ireland that were destroyed during the War of Independence, Bantry House survived by inviting the Sisters of Mercy to use the house as a hospital. In World War II it gave shelter to the Bantry Garrison. It has been open to the public since 1946, the first to be so in the country and possibly also in the British Isles.

St. Brendan’s Church

Wolfe Tone Square, Bantry, Co. Cork

This beautiful old church was built in 1818, and is Church of Ireland. It was designed by Henry Edward Kendall, and is in the gothic style. It's situated in the centre of town, on Wolfe Tone Square, the heart of Bantry. Bantry claims an ancient connection with St Brendan, who was the first person to discover America.

St James Church, Durrus

Durrus, Co Cork

This small Anglican church is exquisitely located at the top of Dunmanus Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in 1792, replacing an earlier church on the site. It is built in the Venetian Gothic Revival style of architecture with several notable stained glass windows.

Studio 150 Bethlehemkerk, Amsterdam

Zwanenplein 34, 1021 CM Amsterdam, Netherlands

Studio 150 is a small concert hall and recording studio in Amsterdam. Originally a monumental church built in 1924, it is now a state of the art recording studio and a delightful music venue.

Henry Wood Hall, London

Trinity Church Square, London SE1 4HU, UK

Located just off London’s Borough Hill Street and set in the beautiful conservation area of Trinity Church Square in Southwark, Henry Wood Hall is the city’s premier rehearsal and recording venue. It is large enough for a full symphony orchestra and choir yet intimate enough for a single soloist. In constant use for more than thirty years, it was formerly the Holy Trinity Church.

In 1970, the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras carried out an assessment of various churches in London with the intention of creating a new permanent orchestral rehearsal studio in the capital. Their research into disused churches identified the Holy Trinity Church in Southwark, which was subsequently opened in 1975.

The hall was named after Sir Henry Wood, the conductor best known for his association with the Proms, after receiving a substantial donation from the Henry Wood Fund ( set up to rebuild the blitzed Queen’s Hall).

Visiting orchestras include the St Petersburg Philharmonic and Japan Philharmonic, both of which have recorded and rehearsed in the venue.

Christian Fellowship Church

Tower Street, Bantry. Co Cork, P75RW18

086 173 5134

In 2003 a new church was constructed at Tower Street near the Quay. It is a multi-purpose building, right in the heart of Bantry. You will see the finger post sign at the Quay next to Cinemax.

Abbaye Royaumont, Paris

95270 Asnières-sur-Oise, France

A stunning 13th Century Cistercian abbey in the Île-de-France region, this isolated and historic venue has a long history of musical performances. Although the original church was demolished after the French Revolution, when the site was turned into a cotton mill, the picturesque woodlands and isolated location continued to attract the wealthy to the private theatre situated at the site. Since the mid-19th Century, Royaumont has been a convent, a private holiday home and a hospital in the First World War, the owners in the 1930s opened the Abbey as a retreat for struggling artists and intellectuals in what would eventually become the Royaumont Foundation, offering an idyllic setting for the pursuit of art and the humanities.

Martinů Hall, Liechtenstein Palace, Prague

Malostranské nám. 258/13, 118 00 Malá Strana, Czechia

Originally built in the 16th Century by the powerful princes of Liechtenstein, it was rebuilt in the Classical style 200 years later. The Palace has housed several institutions, including the post office, the Austrian military and the Communist Party Political School, before being acquired by the Academy of Musical Arts. The Palace is now devoted to showcasing culture and performances take place is the elegant Martinů Hall.

Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam

Concertgebouwplein 10, 1071 LN Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the most illustrious music venues in the world, the Concertgebouw was begun in 1881, when the some of Amsterdam's most prominent citizens, frustrated by the national government's lack of interest and investment in the arts, forged ahead with the plan with no state aid, to provide their city with a world-class concert hall. The Main Hall is renowned for its unparalleled acoustics and the Concertgebouw is one of the most visited concert halls in the world, home to the celebrated Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Kleine Zaal within the Concertgebouw is one of the most brilliant venues for Chamber Music in the world.

Ehrbarsaal, Vienna

Mühlgasse 28, 1040 Wien, Austria

Located within the Palais Ehrbar, this 19th Century concert hall has played host to some of the most influential names in music, including Johannes Brahms, Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler. Originally built for a piano manufacturer, the building became home to a music conservatory in 1911. The Ehrbar Saal is exquisitely decorated in the Italian Renaissance style and possesses a beautiful acoustic. It played a significant role in the musical world of Vienna at the end of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, an era of great cultural sophistication, and premiered works by some of the leading musicians of the day.

Sancta Clara Keller, Köln

Am Römerturm 3, 50667 Köln, Germany

This historical vault is under a Roman wall tower in Köln and is a marvellously preserved, acoustically magnificent venue for chamber music. It was donated to the Clarissen order at the beginning of the 14th Century and for 500 years was the most distinguished convent in the city. The vault is the only part of the convent to survive the dissolution of the monastery in 1803 – the buildings above were rebuilt into a classical palace – and is a perfect venue for Chamber Music.

Budapest Music Centre

Budapest, Mátyás u. 8, 1093 Hungary

Founded in 1996 to promote and support Hungarian music, the current venue was opened in 2013 with a concert hall, library and rooftop hall. This modern and elegant venue is not on a repository for Hungarian music and a support centre for contemporary music, but creates the perfect atmosphere for an outstanding musical experience.

Gustav Mahler Hall, Toblach, Dolomiten, Italy

Via Dolomiti, 31, 39034 Dobbiaco BZ, Italy

The Gustav Mahler Hall is located in the Grand Hotel Toblach, an historic 19th Century Hotel, a luxury establishment that boasted members of the European nobility among its guests. During the First World War it was transformed into a military hospital (a circumstance shared by our home venue, Bantry House) and after the war, with the hotel in bad repair and although it continued as a hotel for a time, it passed through various hands and put to different used before being developed as a cultural centre. The Centre is home to the Grand Hotel Orchestra and hold year round events, as well as the Gustav Mahler Music Week. Gustav Mahler had a deep connection to Toblach. He stayed there for three summers 1908-1910, although suffering from heart troubles, he apparently found the idyllic location suitable to his creativity and composed several works during his summers in the region.

Kasteel Amerongen, Netherlands

Drostestraat 20, 3958 BK Amerongen, Netherlands

This unique and picturesque castle is not only one of the most beautiful places, but has a great history as well as an interesting connection with Ireland. The 17th Century House was built by the van Reede family and it was Godard van Reede who won the Battle of the Boyne for William of Orange, a feat which lead to his creation as the 1st Earl of Athlone, a reward that would be repeated a century later for the White family of Bantry House who were created lords for assisting the English against a French invasion of Ireland. In more recent history, Kaiser Wilhelm II resided there for eighteen months, signing his abdication on a desk that is still part of the castle's historical collection The magnificent gardens that surround the castle create a beautiful setting for films and festivals, and the interior displays a magical backdrop for concerts.

Auer Hall, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington

200 S Jordan Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States

The Jacobs Schools of Music has been dedicated to artistic and creative education and performance for more than a century, attracting students from 55 countries. The Auer Hall, built with a $1 million dollar gift from Ione B. Auer, is a pleasant, modern auditorium with a magnificent 4,000 pipe organ.

TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands

Vredenburgkade 11, 3511 WC Utrecht, Netherlands

This unique and modern music centre is in the heart of the medieval city of Utrecht and is home to all genres of music from chamber to jazz. It opened in 2014 and was part of an urban redevelopment project for Utrecht.

Voces8Studios, St Anne & St Agnes Church, London

The VOCES8 Centre, St Anne & St Agnes Church, Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7BX

Located near to the St Paul's Cathedral in the heart of London, this delightful Wren Church is a centre for vocal excellence, education and performance. There has been a church at this site since the 12th Century, and it has been renewed and rebuilt after fires, plagues and bombs. Unusually for a Wren Church it is faced with red brick rather than stone and the architectural plan is based on a Greek cross. The interior is a mix of styles, some pre-war and with fittings brought in from other damaged churches that were never rebuilt. The building was used as a Lutheran church to local Estonian and Latvian communities until 2013. Since then it has been home to the Gresham School for the promotion of vocal music. The church remains a vibrant service to the community and is home to the Voces8 Foundation.

Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, Chicago

430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, United States

This exquisitely ornamented performance hall is a delightful setting for music. The Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall has won multiple architectural awards and is a stunning example if artistic collaboration, with gorgeous stained glass windows and hand-painted murals. The original auditorium building was designed in 1890, built to be a 5-star hotel and opera house. However, during construction it was realised that a banquet hall had been left out, so a hall was suspended on the 7th story of the building and filled with some of the highest calibre artwork that the designers could create. The room fell into disrepair, but was obtained by the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University in 1956, and gradual restoration and renovation began before being fully restored in 2003.

Wiesengrund Studio, Berlin

Wiesengrund Studio is a truly chamber music venue, a private performance studio in Berlin used by musicians for private concerts and rehearsals. Small and intimate, it is not a typical studio venue, although it is home to a magnificent Steinway D and other historical instruments.

Studio Boerne45, Berlin

Börnestraße 43, 13086 Berlin, Germany

The studio offers state of the art recording and rehearsal facilities for independent artists, including a magnificent Steinway D.

Cermak Eisenkraft Gallery, SmetanaQ House, Prague

Smetanovo nábřeží 4
Czech Republic

The SmetanaQ House is located in an historic townhouse in Prague. The houses were built in 1846 by the architect Berhard Grueber along the bank of the Vlatava River, designed in the classical style. Originally conceived as an apartment building, the house served a variety of different office functions in the 20th Century. In 2013 the building was damaged by an explosion and although expensive reconstruction efforts have allowed it to be used, part of the building is still inaccessible. It currently houses several art galleries and cultural spaces, including the Cermak Eisenkraft Gallery, which was founded in 2014 to deal primarily with Czech art.

2021 Virtual West Cork Chamber Music Festival Venues

The international nature of the Festival and Culture Night this year has enabled it to bring together forty Festival musicians in performances filmed in venues in Chicago, Bloomington and Bantry, Amsterdam and London, Paris and Vienna, Berlin and Prague.

Map provided by google maps.

About Bantry

Overlooking Bantry Bay in the heart of West Cork, Bantry is a thriving market town situated at the head of Bantry Bay and surrounded by some of Ireland's most stunning country side with drives and walks that will take your breath away.With a fine raised plaza in its main square over-looking the harbour the town has a wide variety of shops, bars, coffee shops and restaurants in addition to a three screen cinema, tourist office, museum and library. The town is also host to the Friday market which sees a wide variety of market stalls selling West Cork’s finest local foods, antiques, art, crafts and livestock.

The majestic Bantry House, home since 1739 to the White family, the former Earl of Bantry, overlooks the harbour with its beautiful gardens reaching down towards the shore where one can enjoy the spectacular views of the Caha Mountains across the bay.As with many areas on Ireland's south-west coast, Bantry claims an ancient connection to the sixth century saint, Breandán (Naomh Bréanainn) the Navigator. In Irish lore Saint Breandán was the first person to discover America.The town is an important economic centre to the region. Apart from tourism, fishing is one of the main industries. Mussels in particular are harvested in the area. As one of the larger towns in West Cork with a population of about 4000 people and a catchment area of about 12000 people, it is a busy community with plenty going on all year round. Bantry is also host to the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, West Cork Literary Festival, Masters of Tradition, Bay Run Half Marathon, and Bantry BBQ Festival.

Our sponsors

Arts Council Music
Crespo Foundation
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
RTÉ lyric fm
Embassy of Hungary, Dublin
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
Irish Examiner
The Maritime Hotel
O'Keeffe's Supervalu
TJ O'Connor
University College Cork
The Ireland Funds
National String Quartet Foundation
EFFE Label
The Brick Oven
ROWA Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Cork Airport
Seaview House Hotel