Skip to main content

Mahler: Symphony no. 2

Esker Festival Orchestra
Peter Joyce, conductor
Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada, soprano
Madeline Judge, mezzo-soprano
Esker Festival Choir
Admission €20; concessions €12

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Symphony no. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection")

Allegro maestoso

Andante moderato

In ruhig fließender Bewegung

Urlicht ("Primal light")

In tempo des Scherzos



Esker Festival Orchestra, one of Europe's most exciting orchestras for emerging young professional and pre-professional musicians, was set up in 2014 to provide a high quality, beneficial and meaningful musical opportunity for young emerging musicians from all across Ireland and for the first time to have an orchestra of this quality and scope based in Galway. The orchestra was set up to fill the musical and social void that currently exists in Ireland by allowing young musicians from across the country to perform together, socialise together and to build relationships that will be essential during their personal and professional lives, to promote and develop orchestral music in Ireland by nurturing the talents of its emerging musicians and crucially to provide all of this with as little financial burden as possible on the musicians themselves. Finally, it is unique in that it is entirely led and run by its members for its members, allowing those taking part to gather invaluable first-hand experience in the world of orchestral music. The Esker Festival Orchestra now also welcomes international members each year, allowing musicians from across the world to come to Ireland, perform together and to meet and learn from their international colleagues and peers, further developing the impact and reputation of orchestral music in Ireland and abroad.

Peter Joyce is a prize-winning Irish musician, conductor and composer whose musical identity has been strongly developed by his early experiences with jazz, music theory, his vigorous training in Viennese Classicism and Modernism and his ongoing passion for contemporary music and experimental as well as traditional musical theatre. His artistic identity is as much influenced by the landscapes and great modernist literature of his native country as it is by the psychoanalytic and musical innovations of his adopted home Vienna. He is a music graduate of Trinity College Dublin where he began composing, arranging and conducting, later studying conducting with Dr. Geoffrey Spratt at the CIT Cork School of Music. Peter continued his musical education by studying conducting with Mark Stringer, and composition with Detlev Müller-Siemens at the renowned University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and has capped it off in masterclasses with Peter Eötvös, Marin Alsop, Sian Edwards, Salvatore Sciarrino and Stefano Gervasoni among many others. Winner of the 1st Prize and Orchestra Prize of the 2023 Feis Ceoil Conducting Competition, Peter has worked in symphonic, musical theatre, opera and choral settings with groups such as the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic, Pro-Arte Orchestra Vienna, Orchestra of the Technical University Vienna, the Akademische Philarmonie Wien, Max Brand Ensemble, Ensemble Ars Nova, the Webern Ensemble and the Webern Chamber Choir, and with the ORF as a musical assistant for live broadcasts from the Vienna State Opera. Peter is the founder and conductor of the Esker Festival Orchestra, Ireland's longest established, and one of Europe's most exciting orchestras for emerging young professional musicians.

Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada is an Irish soprano based in Ireland and the UK. Recently graduating from Royal Academy Opera where she studied with Kate Paterson and Raymond Connell, Kathleen is now a member of the Irish National Opera Young Artist Studio. Kathleen has performed lead roles in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta, Royal Academy Opera, 2021), Handel’s Alcina (Morgana, Ensemble OrQuesta, 2021), Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Royal Academy Opera 2020), Puccini’s La Bohème (Musetta, Hampstead Garden Opera, 2019) and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea, Ensemble OrQuesta, 2019). Kathleen premiered the role of the Green Death Witch in ROA’s production of Freya Waley-Cohen's Witch and performed the role of Zerbinetta in the prologue of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in Royal Academy Opera’s Triple Bill this year. Last summer Kathleen was an Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera where she covered the role of Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and performed an entire show for their annual OperaFirst performance with the English Consort Orchestra. Kathleen recently covered the role of Norina in Irish National Opera’s production of Don Pasquale and Fiordiligi in their production of Cosí fan tutte. Kathleen also won the Dramatic Cup at the Feis Ceoil this year and was a recipient of the Margaret and Tony Quigley award.

Madeline Judge is an operatic mezzo-soprano originally from Waukee, Iowa, USA. A graduate of Drake University and New York University, Madeline is now based in Dublin and recently completed her Doctorate in Voice Performance degree from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College Dublin where she studies with Dr. Imelda Drumm. Previously, Madeline has been engaged by Irish National Opera as understudy for the lead role ‘Angelina’ in Rossini’s La Cenerentola which starred Tara Erraught in 2019, and was featured as a soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra in their young artist showcase. She has been an active member of INO’s chorus since 2018. For the 2022/23 season, Madeline is a member of the Irish National Opera Studio, and their Company Chorus. Most recently, she portrayed the role of ‘Noble Orphan 2’ in their production of Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss, and will be covering the roles of Charlotte in Werther by Massenet and Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte by Mozart.