Music for Galway presents

An International Cello Festival on the Edge of Europe

18 to 26 May 2024

Cellissimo celebrates "... this fabulously versatile instrument with its extensive range, noble sound and curvaceous body!" as artistic director Finghin Collins puts it, in the backdrop of the breath-taking region that is Galway City and County. It is a triennial event and its first edition was held at the end of March 2021.

Over 9 days, audiences can expect sumptuous orchestral galas, solo cello recitals in the most surprising of locations, intimate chamber music concerts, established repertoire and newly commissioned music, all performed by top musicians from around the world.


As part of an international student programme, eight young cellists from all over Europe will have the chance to come to Galway and learn from their masters and perform in front of audiences here. HOME, a new play developed in partnership with Branar with and for school children will show a very different side to the cello. A very special day for those who like the outdoors will be the Inishbofin Cello Trail Day, where we take a group of revelers to the island and let them discover the cello as they ramble through the landscape. The Galway Cello, a very special instrument that was commissioned for the first edition of the festival and built of timber from Galway, is currently in the hands of the Cellissimo Ambassador Catherine Cotter. During the festival it shall find its new 'owner', the Cellissimo Ambassador for the period 2024-2027.

An important part of Cellissimo 2024 is the strand Songs of Travel (SOT). SOT is part of a Creative Europe Cooperation Project that includes as partners four festivals and a game studio. Its goal is to increase empathy for two burning issues, those of migration and climate change, through the presentation of new co-commissioned music. One of the five commissioned pieces will be the music for a newly created interactive motion comic also called Songs of Travel. The commissions as well as the game, created by Causa Creation (Austria), will be presented in the four partnering festivals in Ireland (Cellissimo), Sweden (Fairplay Chambermusic), Norway (Valdres Symfoni) in 2024, and in 2025 in the Netherlands (Piano Biennale).

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Cellissimo Fundraiser

Help us bring together the big cello stars along with cellists of all ages and skill levels in Galway to celebrate one of the most beautiful and versatile instruments in the world!

To donate, click the button below to go to our fundraiser page. Thank you!


Featured artists: Mischa Maisky, Lily Maisky, Marc Coppey, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Jakob Koranyi, Hannah Roberts, Finghin Collins, Adrian Brendel, ConTempo Quartet, Adrian Mantu, Christopher Marwood, William Butt, Christopher Ellis, Tatjana Vassiljeva, Naomi Berrill, Natalie Haas

Artistic Director: Finghin Collins | Festival Director: Anna Lardi

Impressions from a cello festival delivered online: