Harmonia Sacra: Divine Sounds & Dialogues

Aisling Kenny, soprano
Paul Kieffer, lute
Raymond O'Donnell, organ
Thursday 10 August 2017 at 20:00
Admission €15.00; concessions €10.00

Galwegian soprano Aisling Kenny specialises in early music and art song. A former organ and choral scholar of Galway Cathedral, Aisling studied music at Maynooth University, gaining a PhD in 2010. For the past two years she has been based in Basel, Switzerland, where she studies voice with Evelyn Tubb, having previously studied with Mary Brennan and Ansy Boothroyd. Aisling has participated in masterclasses with Paul Farrington, Emma Kirkby and Andreas Scholl. An accomplished recitalist, Aisling recently presented recitals in Dublin, Limerick, and Oxford. Recent performances as a soloist include Messiah with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Resurgam in Cork, under the direction of Monica Huggett, and Bach’s B minor mass with Trinity College Dublin Choral Society. An experienced ensemble singer, Aisling is a member of Mark Duley’s Resurgam Choir since 2008. Forthcoming highlights in 2017 include a concert with cornetto player Conor Hastings and organist Raymond O’Donnell in Dún Laoghaire and a concert in the Sundays at Noon series at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, with lutenist Paul Kieffer. Aisling frequently gives vocal workshops, working regularly with the choirs of the St Nicholas Schola Cantorum, Galway. Active as a musicologist, she is co-editor of Women and the Nineteenth-Century Lied (Ashgate, 2015).

Paul Kieffer fell in love with the lute as a teenager growing up in America. He has released two solo lute CDs to critical acclaim, performed in early music festivals of Utrecht, Bruges, Ambronay and Barcelona, and has given solo recitals in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, the USA and Canada. As a chamber musician, he has performed in most European countries and also around the world. He regularly appears with groups from various countries: Scherzi Musicali (Belgium), Ensemble La Fenice (France), Concerto Copenhagen (Denmark), MusicAeterna (Russia), Capriccio Basel (Switzerland), Neumeyer Consort (Germany) and others. He now works as répétiteur on lutes and related instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland), whence he graduated with honours.

Raymond O'Donnell has been organist & Director of Music at Galway Cathedral since January 1994. A native of Dublin, he studied music and mathematical physics at Maynooth University, graduating in 1991 with a first-class honours MA in organ performance and interpretation. Besides playing the organ, his duties in the Cathedral include directing the Cathedral Choir as well as planning and implementing music for the Cathedral liturgy. Between 2006 and 2007 he oversaw a major rebuild of the Cathedral organ, by Irish organ-builder Trevor Crowe, which saw it become what is probably the finest symphonic instrument in Ireland today. In addition to his work in the Cathedral, he has a busy performing career which has seen him give recitals across Europe and in the UK and USA; in the last few years he has given concerts in Germany, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Italy and the UK. In recent years he has returned to Maynooth University as a part-time lecturer in counterpoint and a tutor in organ performance and keyboard skills.