A Musical Tribute to Jonathan Swift – 24 June 2018

Sunday 24 June 2018

4.30pm 12 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1

Harpsichordist Malcolm Proud and @TheDrawingRoom have curated a programme of music by contemporaries of Jonathan Swift. First published in 1726 Swift’s classic satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels was an international success and was soon translated into German. It became so popular in Germany that in 1728 Georg Philipp Telemann composed a suite of five movements, each movement based on a different episode in the book.

Actor Sharon McArdle will read extracts from Gulliver’s Travels and baroque violinists Claire Duff and Marja Gaynor will perform Telemann’s music.

A trio sonata by Handel and Matthew Dubourg’s embellished version of a violin sonata by Corelli will also be performed between other excerpts from Swift’s writings.

Reputedly not a fan of music, Jonathan Swift once announced “I would not give a farthing for all the music in the universe”. However, before Handel left Dublin in 1742, following the successful premiere of his ‘Messiah’, Swift is said to have remarked “O pray let me see a German genius before I die!”. Matthew Dubourg “Chief Composer and Master of the Music attending His Majesty’s State in Ireland” led the orchestra at the first performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’.
Claire Duff

Claire Duff is an eminent baroque violinist whose ‘stylish solo violin playing’ (Vickers, Gramophone) has been described as having ‘all the excitement of a high-wire act’, (M Dervan, The Irish Times). Claire has recently been elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM), which is awarded to former students who have made a notable contribution to the music profession.

Claire is leader of the Irish Baroque Orchestra with which she regularly performs as soloist to critical acclaim. She has led Florilegium, I Fagiolini, English Touring Opera, The Kings Consort, and Camerata Kilkenny. She has co-led the Academy of Ancient Music and played principal second with The English Concert. Claire has an extensive discography, including a highly acclaimed CD of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Monica Huggett and IBO and more recently, a recording of Telemann’s concerto for two violins and bassoon. Claire is passionate about music education and is teacher of baroque violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.


Marja Gaynor

Marja Gaynor was born in Finland but has been based in Cork since 2005. She was awarded a 1st class honours MA at Cork School of Music, and continued her Baroque violin studies at The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk.

Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny. Both ensembles have released much-acclaimed recordings and toured nationally and internationally. Marja is also a founder member of Giordani Quartet, Ireland’s only chamber group specialising in early Classical repertoire using period instruments.

Outside Ireland Marja works with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European period orchestras, and is increasingly in demand as a leader, soloist and workshop facilitator. She was the Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival 2013-2015, and has also been invited to act as guest curator for the Kaleidoscope Night concert series.

With her various areas of interest and expertise (Baroque, traditional music, and improvisation) Marja is much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. Her proudest project to date was her critically acclaimed arrangement of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (Cork Opera House), and she also arranged and played the strings of ‘Falling Slowly’ for the movie ‘Once’, Oscar winner for best song in 2008.


Malcolm Proud
Malcolm Proud won first prize at the Edinburgh International Harpsichord Competition in 1982. He has performed at all the major Irish festivals and has toured Finland, Denmark, Holland, U.K., Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, U.S.A., Japan, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, Austria and Portugal. In 2016 he gave harpsichord recitals at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, at Fenton House in London playing the Queen’s 1612 Ruckers, at the Cobbe Collection of Historical Keyboard Instruments in Hatchlands, Surrey, and at Handel House in London.

Organist of St. Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, his CD of Bach’s Clavierübung III recorded on the Metzler Organ at Stein am Rhein in Switzerland was released in 2008 on the Maya Recordings label.

In 2010 Malcolm Proud played all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists at the London Proms and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He is co-founder with Swiss violinist Maya Homburger of Camerata Kilkenny and has performed concertos with the Academy of Ancient Music and the European Union Baroque Orchestra.

He has recorded Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the English Baroque Soloists. His most recent recording – J.S. Bach’s Six Partitas for Harpsichord on the Maya Recordings Label – has been critically acclaimed. http://www.malcolmproud. ie

Malcolm Proud is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by the Arts Council.

Sharon Mc Ardle
Sharon  Mc Ardle trained as an Actor-Musician at Rose Bruford College, UK. She holds a LGSM from the Guildhall College of Music and Drama, London and a Masters from Trinity College, Dublin.  Sharon lectures in Drama Education at the School of Arts and Movement, DCU. As a stage performer, she is currently touring a one-woman show,  ‘Brontë: A Solo Portrait of Charlotte Brontë’, which was commissioned by Armagh City & Craigavon Borough Council. The piece, directed by Declan Gorman and produced by Vere Lenox-Conyngham at Anaverna House was presented recently @TheDrawingRoom.

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