Irish Fantasy: a family affair is a celebration of the music of Ireland through songs and violin and piano music performed by members of a remarkable musical family: sisters Una Hunt (piano) and Fionnuala Hunt (violin) with Una’s daughter Rachel Kelly (mezzo-soprano). The programme includes music by Harty, Stanford, Esposito, Hughes, Moore, Wallace, Balfe and TC Kelly – who was Rachel’s grandfather and a Wexford man.
Jerome Hynes Theatre
Wexford Opera House
Saturday, 1 November – 11:00
Irish Heritage at Wexford is curated by Una Hunt to showcase neglected and forgotten works by Irish composers.
Una Hunt is one of Ireland’s leading pianists and has performed concertos with the National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra. She has played recital programmes in Britain, Ireland, Russia and the USA and with her violinist sister Fionnuala. She has also appeared with flautist James Galway and violist Bruno Giuranna.
Una is a prominent advocate for the promotion of neglected works by Irish composers. Her interest has led to an unrivalled discography of sixteen world-premiere CDs with a further release planned for 2014. She is also an experienced broadcaster and producer. Forthcoming projects include A Musical Calendar of Irish Saints, showcasing the music associated with the mediaeval church, and The Wild Irish Girl and her Harp, a portrait of the harpist, composer and writer, Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan).×
Fionnuala Hunt is one of Ireland’s most distinguished violinists, known as a soloist, recording artist and chamber musician. Born in Belfast she later studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna and graduated with first class honours in her performing diploma.
Her career since then has seen her lead, and perform as a soloist, with a host of prestigious orchestras such as: the London Symphony Orchestra, The BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, Melbourne Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
She was Artistic Director and Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra from 1995 to 2002 and has performed and recorded Bach’s double violin concerto with Nigel Kennedy and the ICO. This performance was subsequently released on DVD by EMI.
In 2005 Fionnuala Hunt released her own disc of tango music, Tangos and Dances, arranged by herself and performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. She regularly plays with The World Orchestra for Peace, conductor Valery Gergiev, performing at the BBC Proms and Salzburg Festival.
Fionnuala also teaches in the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she has recently been appointed Curator of Chamber Music. She is currently Leader of the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra and recently received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Queen’s University, Belfast.×
Rachel studied singing with Mary Brennan in Dublin and is presently with Janice Chapman in London, where she attends the National Opera Studio. She is a Samling Scholar and was awarded a Masters degree with distinction on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, receiving the DipRAM for Excellence.
Recent roles include Fanny (London premiere, Mansfield Park), Beatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict, director John Copley, conductor Sir Colin Davies), Wu (Kommilitonen, Peter Maxwell Davies), and Dorabella (Così fan tutte). Rachel has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and at Carnegie Hall and in St Petersburg with the Thomas Moore Festival; recorded the role of Jane (Dearest Enemy) and recently gave a solo recital at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. She is kindly supported by the Ian Smith of Stornoway Legacy, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Sickle Foundation and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund.×